History of LOT in a nutshell

Comparison of old and new lot logo

Discover the history of LOT Polish Airlines and see how we have managed to spread our wings over the past nine decades! Today, we proudly connect Poland and Central and Eastern Europe with the world - flying to over 100 destinations on 4 continents.

The sign of the flying crane has been around since 1929. In 1931, we first set off for our journey together. Since then, we have continued to take off to the skies as one of the world's oldest and most experienced airlines. 

old lot logo logotype and old plane photo in sepia

Our first flight schedule was just a sheet of paper with a domestic route network, departure and arrival dates and times, and aeroplane types that operated on the respective routes. 

Our first fleet had slightly more than 20 aeroplanes which operated mainly domestic flights. 

However, we started broadening our horizons as early as the 1930s. We made a pioneering flight across the Atlantic from Los Angeles to Warsaw. We also became a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in which we were assigned the code LO

The outbreak of the war in 1939 interrupted our operations. Six years later, we took off to the skies again. In the 1940s and 1950s, we were flying over Europe, and in 1955 we welcomed our millionth passenger.


Historia Lot
Historia Lot

Our white painting was born in the 1970s, with the name LOT inscribed on the forward section of the fuselage with right-leaning italics. It was also when our fleet received aeroplanes with which we started to reach much farther beyond the boundaries of Europe. In the late 1970s, we were flying to destinations around the world, including New York, Toronto and the Far East. We made our first longest flight in 1988 - from Warsaw to Singapore. At that time, we became the first carrier in Central and Eastern Europe to operate US Boeing aircraft, and entered the 1990s with three Boeing 767-300 ER.

In the 1994 IATA report our air fleet was considered the youngest among all airlines in the world! In the late 1990s, we reported the largest number of charter flights in our history. We were making even more flights daily thanks to our purchase of regional Embraer ERJ-145 jets. We started the year 2000 very dynamically by expanding our fleet with as many as 11 new aeroplanes, the largest delivery in a single year in the history of our company! 

In the 2000/2001 winter season, our route network grew significantly. With the Okęcie Airport converted into a hub, Warsaw had become an attractive destination both in local and transit traffic. 

The year 2003 marked the launch of Miles&More, a mile earning programme for our passengers, which to this day is known as the largest loyalty programme in Europe.

In the same year, we signed an agreement with Brazil's Embraer for deliveries of Embraer 170 aeroplanes, which joined our fleet soon afterwards. We were also once again recognised as the Best Airline in Central and Eastern Europe by both OAG and Business Traveller magazine. 

We also became a member of Star Alliance. It was a great success, for its members set the top standards in the world's aviation. On this occasion, our Boeing 737-500 SP-LKE received new painting. 

In 2012, we were ranked among the safest airlines according to a safety audit carried out by the International Air Travel Association (IATA). 

In 2014, our fleet was joined by Boeing 787s, the world's most modern long-haul aircraft. We also broke another record that year, with one of our Dreamliners making the longest non-stop flight to the city of Antofagasta in Chile. With the total of 12,000 kilometres covered and as many as 14.5 hours spent in the air, it was the longest non-stop flight in our history.

In 2014, to commemorate our 85th birthday, we painted one of our Embraer 175s in colours characteristic of the 1940s, thus joining airlines with "retro jets" in their fleets.

On 23 September of that year, we presented the world's first aircraft officially painted in colours inspired by the Mamma Mia! musical. We also became the official carrier of the artists of the Polish version of the musical staged by the ROMA Musical Theatre.

In June 2018, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Polish independence. To commemorate the occasion, LOT's latest Boeing 737 MAX 8 in white and red painting landed at the Warsaw Chopin Airport. 

Samolot na płycie lotniskowej

In 2019, we celebrated our 90th birthday, adding our record breaking achievement of 10 million passengers carried in a single year! 

In 2020, we made 388 flights under the LOTdoDomu program and carried about 54,000 passengers. 

In 2020, we made the longest flight in the history of our airline - on March 31, 2020. Boeing 787 Dreamliner made a flight lasting 14 hours and 55 minutes from Warsaw to Buenos Aires.

April 2023. LOT became the punctuality leader in Europe.

In 2024, we celebrate our 95th anniversary as one of the oldest airlines in the world.

We and our crane continue our fascinating journey, writing the history of one of the world's oldest and most experienced airlines. 

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