95th Anniversary of LOT Polish Airlines

1st January 2024 marks the 95th anniversary of LOT Polish Airlines, which today stands as one of the world’s oldest operating airlines. 

History of LOT | LOT Polish Airlines’ beginnings in the global skies

1st January 1929 saw the establishment of "Linje Lotnicze LOT". The company was formed by the merger of two private carriers: Aerolot and Aero, thus creating one of the world’s oldest airlines that is still in business. In the same year, Tadeusz Gronowski, one of the most eminent graphic designers, conceived the LOT Polish Airlines logo a stylised silhouette of a crane embedded in a circle, which has been the airline’s symbol for an uninterrupted 95 years.

History of LOT | Dynamic growth

The inter-war period saw spectacular growth for LOT. Under the leadership of Colonel Wacław Makowski, the airline acquired new aircraft and launched connections, linking cities from Finnish Helsinki to Lydda in Israel as part of the Baltic Line. 

In 1938, director Makowski, as commander and first pilot, made a flight of 24,850 kilometres from Burbank near Los Angeles to Warsaw. The flight served as a trial for a regular service from Warsaw to North America scheduled for 1940, and was completed in a newly acquired Lockheed L-14H Super Electra aircraft with the signs SP-LMK.

History of LOT | Fleet modernization

After the end of World War II, LOT Polish Airlines underwent a rebirth: although, as a carrier from behind the Iron Curtain, its operations were limited to those destinations important to the authorities of the time. What was a crucial moment was the acquisition by LOT of long-haul IŁ-62 aircraft, which enabled the carrier to launch connections to the most important destinations for the Polish community in Canada and the United States 50 years ago.

At the end of the 1980s, yet another major change arrived at LOT. The obsolete Soviet aircraft were gradually replaced by modern American aircraft – first Boeing 767s, later 737s. At the same time, five-person cockpit crews were reduced to two-person crews. The regional fleet was supplemented by Embraer regional aircraft debuting at the time, and in 2013, the carrier opted to replace the Boeing 767s with the world’s most advanced wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

How to become a Dreamliner pilot? Jerzy Makula for LOT Polish Airlines

Read more about the History of LOT Polish Airlines

LOT Polish Airlines today and tomorrow

Today, LOT Polish Airlines is one of the oldest airlines in the world. Its highly experienced pilots take modern and comfortable aircraft into the sky every single day, providing passengers with a host of safe and comfortable travel solutions. Year after year, the Airline is thriving, expanding its flight network to include new destinations and proving that it matters who you travel with, as we have always been proudly promoting Polish hospitality and traditions. 

New image campaign of LOT | New safety video