The history of LOT Polish Airlines. Part 4. 1987-1998.

Warszawa 2014-04-15.

The history of LOT Polish Airlines. Part 4.

1987-1998.

1987 year.

After the crash of the Il-62 M SP-LBG plane (May 9, 1987), the FAA issued a ban on the entry to the USA of Il-62 machines. And then it turned out that LOT Polish Airlines does not have a single machine capable of maintaining the Atlantic connection. After many meaningful discussions, specific decisions were made and a contract was signed for the annual lease of one Douglas DC-8 aircraft by PLL LOT.

On August 31, 1987, a Douglas DC-8 Super 62 passenger plane, registration N8968U, serial number 46069, landed at Okęcie Airport. The aircraft was owned by the American leasing company International Air Leases Inc., and it was operated and operated by Arrow Air Inc., which is a subsidiary of International Air Leases Inc. The company seconded two mechanics to Warsaw, fully trained in the airframe, engines and equipment. A spare parts package was also provided. The missing parts were imported from warehouses in Europe. The pilots of the aircraft are the staff of Arrow Air Inc., while the cabin crew are Polish-American with LOT and Arrow Air. This was for security reasons. After the cabin crew had been trained, all flight attendants were from LOT.

The plane was built and flown on July 14, 1969, i.e. it was already 18 years old. The first user of the machine was United Airlines, then Braniff International Airways, after which the plane was sold to a leasing company. During 18 years of operation, the plane was modified. First of all, it received the Pratt and Whitney JT3D-7 silent two-flow engines, meeting the strict noise standards of the time in the USA. The machine takes 204 passengers on board in tourist class, on a route of up to 9,360 km. The PLL LOT company sent the plane to operate Atlantic regular and charter flights to New York. It was also planned to operate flights to Chicago and Detroit, and possibly Montreal, Toronto and Vancuver in Canada. In the colors of LOT, the first flight was made by the plane on September 1, 1987, on the route Okęcie - JFK Airport (New York).

Transatlantic charters arrive in Detroit and Los Angeles. Warsaw-Detroit, Michigan USA - 7,238 km, 4,497 miles, 3,908 NM. Warsaw-Los Angeles, California USA - 9,648 km, 5,995 miles, 5,209 NM.

One year later, in August 1988, the plane was returned to the leasing company. He then flew as passenger and cargo in Canarias Cargo and Fine Air. All the time with N8968U registration.

Douglas DC-8 Super 62 in the colors of PLL LOT. On the fuselage, the inscription - Chartered by LOT Polish Airlines. Okęcie 1987. Photo of Okecie airport
Douglas DC-8 Super 62 in the colors of PLL LOT. On the fuselage, the inscription - Chartered by LOT Polish Airlines. Okęcie 1987. Photo of Okecie airport

1988 year.

In 1988, LOT Polish Airlines launched a long-distance connection from Warsaw to Singapore, India (6,270 km, 3,896 miles, 3,395 NM).

1989 year.

In 1989, LOT Polish Airlines hosted the IATA General Assembly. In 1989, 2,300,000 passengers used the services of PLL LOT.

Boeing 767 in PLL LOT.

In 1988, the communist Polish authorities issued a decision to purchase Boeing 767 planes for LOT Polish Airlines. On November 4, 1988, the Government Press Office announced that the Prime Minister had approved LOT Polish Airlines' intention to lease three new, modern long-distance Boeing B-767 aircraft. This news made Poles very happy, especially those behind Wielka Woda. At that time, the B-767 aircraft were operated by 36 airlines, in the number of about 140 pieces.

The lease was to be for up to 20 years. Thanks to this, it did not burden the state budget, because it was financed annually only with foreign exchange (exchangeable currency - zlotys were not exchangeable at that time) from the receipts of LOT Polish Airlines. The owners of the planes were an alliance of several American banks. It was also thanks to the Polish community.

The first two planes were the former Boeing 767-200 ER. The plane was the basic version of the airframe, taking 208 passengers on board. 18 seats in business class and 190 in economy class, in two cabins. The letters ER (extended range) distinguish the model with an extended range of over 12,000 km. The prototype of this version made its first flight in 1984. The power unit consists of General Electric CF6-80C2B6 engines with a thrust of 2 x 266.9 kN. The price of such a plane is $ 56-66 million. The contract stated that the first copy would be delivered in April 1989 and the second in May 1989.

The third copy is the Boeing 767-300 ER. The aircraft has a fuselage 6.5 m longer and therefore takes 249 passengers, and the volume of the lower hold has increased by 33%. 24 passengers in business class and 225 in economy. The fuselage, wings and undercarriage were strengthened. The first flight of this model was made in January 1986. The price of such a plane is $ 67-74 million. It was delivered to PLL LOT in June 1990.

B-767-200 ER SP-LOA Gniezno during production in Everett. The photo was taken on March 13, 1989. Photo of Boeing
B-767-200 ER SP-LOA Gniezno during production in Everett. The photo was taken on March 13, 1989. Photo of Boeing

Roll out B-767-200 ER SP-LOA Gniezno. 1989. Photo of Boeing
Roll out B-767-200 ER SP-LOA Gniezno. 1989. Photo of Boeing

On April 23, 1989, at the Boeing Field Flight Test Center in Seatte, a 2,800 m long RWY plane stood on the RWY, a Boeing 767-200 ER in the colors of PLL LOT. The first modern Polish passenger plane. At that time, the handover of the plane to the Polish company takes place in the hangar. There were present representatives of Boeing management, vice president of Boeing, Mr. Albrecht, LOT's commercial director, Mr. Z. Dąbrowski, captain, pilot Władysław Wójcicki, captain of the crew that flew to Poland.

On April 24, 1989, the B 767 SP-LOA landed at Okęcie Airport. In May 1989, the second SP-LOB Krakow aircraft was delivered. After the purchase of the Boeing 767 wide-body planes, LOT Polish Airlines becomes the first carrier in Central and Eastern Europe to use American equipment.

In the first months, until December 1989, both B.767 aircraft had a flight time of 6,375 hours. According to specialists from Boeing, LOT Polish Airlines planes broke the world record, staying in the air for 14.5 hours a day. The planes performed very well, and Polish pilots proved that they had mastered a highly developed technique.

The third aircraft, and also the first version of the B-767-300 ER SP-LPA No. 24865/322, was delivered to Poland in August 1990.

To cover the demand for the increased number of transports in the summer, LOT Polish Airlines rented planes from other transport companies. The first was the B-767-200 ER registration ZK-NBJ No. 23250/113, which was borrowed for the summer of 1992, 1993 and 1994 from Air New Zealand.

In May 1995, the fourth Boeing 767-300 ER SP-LPB aircraft No. 27902/577 was delivered to Poland.

In 1996, LOT Polish Airlines rented a B-767-300 ER, registration A40-GH No. 24484/260 from Gulf Air. The plane was borrowed for the period from June 1996 to November 1997. This machine then flew in Malev with HA-LHD registration. Then it was returned to LOT with SP-LPD registration for the period from June 2002 to November 2002. The aircraft was rented under a contract with Universal Airlines from Guyana.

In May 1997, the fifth Boeing 767-300 ER SP-LPC aircraft No. 28656/659 was delivered to Poland.

In July 2005, the sixth B-767-300 ER SP-LPE No. 24843/314 was delivered to Poland. The plane was not new. Previously operated as PP-VOK of the Varing line. In LOT Polish Airlines, he wears the Star Alliance paint job. Star Alliance is an alliance of over twenty airlines, founded in 1997, to which our carrier LOT also joined.

In April 2006, the seventh B-767-300 ER no. 24876/319, registration of the SP-LPF, was delivered to Poland. Previously as ZK-NCF Air New Zealand.

In 2009, the eighth B-767-300 ER SP-LPG was delivered to Poland.

Boeing 767 planes were operated at LOT Polish Airlines until the first Boeing 787 Dreamliners were imported (2012).

Boeing 767-200 ER SP-LOB Kraków, Balice Airport. 2004. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Boeing 767-200 ER SP-LOB Kraków, Balice Airport. 2004. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

B-767-300 ER registration SP-LPC Poznań. It is this plane in 2011, it landed without a landing gear at Okęcie Airport. Balice 2004. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
B-767-300 ER registration SP-LPC Poznań. It is this plane in 2011, it landed without a landing gear at Okęcie Airport. Balice 2004. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Written by Karol Placha Hetman