LOT Polish Airlines will axe 12 international services from October 27, as part of a route rationalisation aimed at satisfying EC rules on state aid.
Some of the cancelled routes are significant for business travellers, although cuts were expected as far back as January, as we reported at the time (see news, January 6).
The 12 routes in question are named today on Swiss aviation website ch-aviation.ch.
The flights from Warsaw to be dropped are those to Beirut, Bydgoszcz, Cairo, Dusseldorf, Helsinki, Nice, Rome, Stuttgart and Zurich. In addition, the flights linking Katowice with Munich, Krakow with Frankfurt and Poznan with Munich will also be axed.
LOT said the routes in question are either seasonal or did not provide sufficient long-haul feed to its Warsaw hub. For example, the regional flights into Munich and Frankfurt were simply handing passengers on a plate to rival carrier Lufthansa.
The problem faced by LOT is that a) its short-haul traffic is threatened by low-cost carriers and b) it finds it difficult to develop a long-haul network as there are numerous major carriers only too happy to woo Polish passengers.
In addition, it now faces competition from Emirates operating from Warsaw to Dubai and beyond.