Under the direction of newly elected President of the Board, Rafał Milczarski, LOT announced in 2016 its new strategy which focuses on profitable growth and aims to become the leading airline in Central Eastern Europe. By taking advantage of the dynamic market in the region, LOT developed a strong network of connections and strengthened its position in the air travel industry. Last year, the airline transported nearly 9 million passengers – an increase of two million since 2017 – across 111 connections worldwide, including direct longhaul, short-haul and domestic flights.
At this year’s International Media Tour hosted by Poland Today, Milczarski said he needed to “change the mentality of the company from doom and gloom and failure to the mentality of the winner, which was not easy.” Coming from the private sector as an entrepreneur in the railway market, he knew how to get results. “If you want to be successful, you have to be willing and able to devote your attention and time, sometimes to the nitty-gritty details – and the results were outstanding,” said Milczarski. Paying attention is imperative when negotiating deals for aircraft acquisitions, he continued, especially when it comes to asking for a better price: “I inspired my people not to be ashamed. If I’m not ashamed to ask if something can be cheaper, they must not be ashamed either. And I always ask for a cheaper price for good quality. I’m absolutely proud of it.”
In line with its strategy, the carrier has added 65 new routes and has expanded its fleet by more than 40 aircrafts, bringing the total up to 90. This September, a brand new LOT-operated Boeing 787-9 took off from Delhi to Warsaw, launching the new transcontinental long-haul flight which will now operate five times per week to LOT’s 6th Asian destination. Considering almost 9.5 million passengers travelled between India and Europe during the last 12 months, the airline jumped on the opportunity to cater to this market. But other factors also contributed to this strategic decision – India is one of the largest markets in Asia for Polish businesses. According to LOT, Poland is an important investment market for India, such as in the IT sector, and a gateway to all countries within the European Union: “The new connection is a key element in strengthening economic ties and developing business relations between the two countries.”
While expanding its network of connections from Budapest, LOT announced it will launch flights from Hungary, marking another stage of market consolidation. starting with non-stop flights to Seoul, plus six new European destinations in March, LOT will operate 12 routes from Budapest. Jost Lammers, CeO of Budapest Airport, said, “This development of the route network of LOT’s base in Budapest will strengthen Hungarian ties in business and tourism within and outside Europe.”
Back home, Milczarski supports the government’s plan to build the solidarity Transportation Hub. He said this is one of the best infrastructure projects in Europe at the moment. “Once they overcome the regulatory hurdles and the master planning, investors will be killing to get involved,” he added.
The original and complete article is here: https://poland-today.pl/clear-skies-for-expansion/