Polskie Linie Lotnicze "Lot" (1989-1998 - New Era)
Transition to democracy and market economy that started in Poland in 1989 was a turning point for the LOT
as well. It had to quickly adapt to new economical conditions - and in very difficult circumstances, considering shape of Poland's economy at the time. Already earlier a decision was made to replace Il-62's and An-24's with western-made airplanes, but it was also followed with a decision (partially based on technical factors, but in significant part on political factors - basically on Soviet/Russian stuff becoming "politically incorrect") to replace all other Soviet-built planes - including factory-fresh Tu-154's with western-made ones. New geopolitical considerations influenced also LOT
's web of airline connections with some routes being discontinues (sometimes due to undue pressure from foreign governments whose airlines didn't like competition), and with new lines created. In 1991 lines to Kiev, Minsk, Lvov and Vilnius were opened, in 1993 to Oslo, Riga and Dusseldorf, in 1994 to Tallin, Nice and Thessaloniki and in 1996 to Munchen and Stuttgart.
At the same time significant changes in LOT
's structure has occured, with creation of it's subsidiaries. First of these was EuroLOT
created in 1996 and operating since 1997, whose function is to operate domestic flights (and some international flights, mostly, but not exclusively, with neighbouring countries). Later (and therefore covered in next part for chronological reasons) were CentralWings
and LOT Charters
Note: unfortunately information on exact dates of purchase, selling etc. of the post-1989 fleet of LOT is - quite surprisingly - somewhat sketchy, conflicting and incomplete at certain places (and - frankly - amount of time I was willing to spend on answering certain questions related to it wasn't unlimited), therefore the information below may contain errors or omissions. Sorry.
First western-produced planes obtained by LOT
since 1960s were B767 airliners intended as replacements of ill-fated Il-62's. First two were delivered in 1989 in 200ER version (SP-LOA, SP-LOB). They were followed in 1990 with one B767 in 300ER version (SP-LPA). All further LOT
's B767's were 300ER's: in 1995 SP-LPB, in 1997 SP-LPC, in 2005 SP-LPE, in 2006 SP-LPF (second-hand, ex-Varig) in 2009 SP-LPG (ex-Air New Zealand). In 2008 SP-LOA and SP-LOB were sold to Mexicana airlines and in 2011 SP-LPF to North American Airlines. On 1st november 2011 SP-LPC belly-landed in Warsaw-Okęcie airport without casualties, and was subsequently written off. In the coming years LOT
's B767's are due to be replaced.
Poland, Boeing 767-200, Boeing 767-300
As a replacement for aging An-24's LOT
purchased ATR-72 turboprops. First three were delivered in 1991 (SP-LFA, -LFB, -LFC), two in 1992 (SP-LPD, -LFE), two in 1994 (SP-LFF, -LFG) and one in 1996 (SP-LFH). Additionaly, two more were obtained in 2011 from Czech Airlines (SP-EFI, -EFK). With the creation of EuroLOT
all ATR-72's were transferred there. There some received new painting, and some retained their old LOT
livery with only certain elements (like name of operator) changed. On 14th july 2011 SP-LPH struck a ground vehicle and although there were no casualties, it was subsequently written off. Remaining ATR's are still in operation, but are also already offered for sale.
As replacement for Tupolev's, the Boeing 737 was chosen. Very first of these flying for LOT
were two B737-500 chartered in 1992-1993 from Linjeflyg (with Swedish registration numbers). At the same time, in 1992, LOT
's first own (or rather bank's own - like all other LOT
's Boeings, but let's not get into discussion of subtleties of ownership legalities) B737-500's were delivered (SP-LKA, -LKB, -LKC, -LKD), followed by one more in 1993 (SP-LKE) and one in 1994 (SP-LPF). From 2000 to 2004 four more were on long-term lease from one of French airlines (SP-LKG, -LKI, -LKH, -LKK).
In 2009 (?) SP-LKA was sold to RwandAirExpress, followed by SP-LKB around 2011-2012. SP-LKC was sold in 2011 to Ukraine International. SP-LKD was sold to, while SP-LKE and -LKF seem to be still "on the roster", but probably will be sold soon too.
Many thanks to Guillermo2312 for his Boeing 737.
Poland, Boeing 737-500
Next version of B737 used by LOT
is B737-400. First three were delivered in 1993 (SP-LLA, -LLB, -LLC), one more in 1996 (SP-LLD), three on 1997 (SP-LLE, -LLF, -LLG), followed by SP-LLH on temporary lease around 2000, and three more planes obtained sometime later (SP-LLI, -LLK, -LLL). In 2005-2006 some planes were transferred to CentralWings
(SP-LLA, -LLD, -LLE, -LLF, -LLG, -LLK, -LLI, -LLL), and after this subsidiary of LOT
ceased to exist in 2009, they either returned to LOT
itself (SP-LLD) or were transferred to LOT Charters
(SP-LLE, -LLF, -LLG, -LLI, -LLK, -LLL - with some of these being later also tranferred to LOT
). From 2009 to 2011 SP-LLA, -LLD and -LLI were sold.
Poland, Boeing 737-400
Third version of LOT
's B737 was B737-300. First one was delivered in 1996 (SP-LMB), and three more in 1997 (SP-LMC, -LMD, -LME). SP-LMB (which was bought second-hand) was already in 1997 sold. Remaining three were transferred in 2005 to CentralWings
and from it for a short while to LOT Charters
and subsequently, already in 2009 - sold (SP-LMC and -LMD to Surinam Airlines, SP-LME to WebJet).
Poland, Boeing 737-300
's - or rather EuroLOT
's fleet of short range turboprop was strenghtened in late 1990's by smaller brother of ATR-72 - ATR-42, used in two variants: ATR-42-300 (SP-EE... registrations) and ATR-42-500 (SP-ED... registrations). First five were delivered in 1997 (SP-EDA, -EDB, -EDC, -EDD, -EDE), with four more in 1998 (SP-EDF, SP-EEA, -EEB, -EEC). Two more were obtained in 2002 (SP-EED, -EEE) and further two (second-hand) in 2011 (SP-EDG, -EDH). SP-EEC was sold in 2002, SP-EEA and -EEB in 2005, SP-EED and -EEE in 2006. SP-EDA, -EDB, -EDC and -EDD were sold around 2009. Remaining are still in operation but already (at least SP-EDE and -EDF) offered for sale.
For a short time from 1998 to 2000 EuroLot
was leasing from Tasawi Air Services two BAe Jetstream 31 turboprops. Neither of these got full EuroLot
Poland, BAe Jetstream