LOT Polish airlines announced its return to India with five times a week flights to New Delhi starting September 2019. The announcement was made at the Global Aviation Forum which was held in Mumbai on 15th and 16th January 2019. The Star Alliance member will start operations from 17th September 2019 (Warsaw Departure)
Routes Online reported the schedule on 16th January along with the information on the airline’s service to India in 1980s. The airline serviced New Delhi from October 1985 to October 1992 and operated to Mumbai from until February 1982.
The airline will operate the B788 Dreamliner to Delhi as below
LO071 WAW2240 – 0900+1DEL x14
LO072 DEL1115 – 1545WAW x25
The airline has a fleet of 8 B788 and 3 B789 with 4 more B789 on order. The airline’s B788 are configured in three classes with 18 Business Class seats, 21 Premium Economy and 213 economy class seats with a total seating of 252.
The airline will try and chase the traditional traffic from India to North America, as it operates to Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Newark and New York and intends to begin Miami before New Delhi. The airline also operates to Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton in Canada.
The New Delhi flight connects to Chicago, Newark and New York with close connection outbound from Delhi and a longer one inbound. However, the flight timings offer seamless two way connectivity to Belgrade, Kiev, Tallinn, Vilnius, Riga, Budapest, Bucharest, Madrid, Venice, Milan, Berlin, Prague, Copenhagen and Brussels. These destinations have seen an uptick in traffic from India in recent times and few of these see direct service from Air India.
Estimates given out by Warsaw Airport – Aero marketing team suggest that the demand of passengers travelling between New Delhi and Warsaw by one-stop flights (in-direct demand) was 26,000 in 2017 and New Delhi is one of the top five cities unconnected from Warsaw by passengers flown.
The airline will have to stimulate a lot of demand to sustain a 252 seater aircraft operating five times a week and find a balance between the connecting traffic to rest of Europe, North America and Poland.
Warsaw Chopin airport handles about 40% of air traffic of Poland and is the largest (by area) and busiest (by movements and passengers) airport in Poland. The airport has one of the shortest connecting times in Europe.
Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi climbed to 16th place worldwide in calendar year 2017 with 63 million passengers. The airport had crossed 50 million passengers in 2016, recording 55.64 million passengers for the calendar year. The airport grew fastest in the list of top 20, recording a 14.2% growth in the statistics released by ACI.
New Delhi airport has become one of the most congested airports in this part of the world and is continuously undergoing upgrades. However, slot guidelines allow for the available slots being given out to new airlines and new destinations on priority. A new connection will compensate for the unfortunate suspension of services by WOW air, due to its financial trouble.
The air services agreement between India and Poland allows for seven services each between the two countries.