Polish national carrier LOT is acquiring six more Boeing 737 MAX 8s as part of its fleet modernization plans.

The airline said June 6 the aircraft are being taken on nine-year operating leases from Kuwaiti lessor ALAFCO. Five will be delivered this year, with the final example in 2020.

Warsaw-based LOT is already in the process of receiving a batch of MAX 8s from US-based Air Lease Corp.; the first and second were delivered in December 2017; another is scheduled to be delivered this month, while the final one will arrive in May 2019.

LOT's website shows it also operates four Boeing 737-800s and three -400s. The CFM LEAP-1B engines give the MAX 8 a range of 3,110nm (5,750 km), 1,215nm greater than the 737-400.

The new 737 variants will serve on what LOT classifies as mid-haul routes, to destinations such as London, Madrid, Frankfurt and Tel Aviv. The airline said the aircraft have already proved highly popular with passengers and will strengthen its position in the central and eastern Europe region. They will fly in a 186-seat, three-class configuration: business, premium economy and economy. All seats will have electrical sockets and USB ports.

The latest batch of aircraft represents ALAFCO’s first contract with the Polish airline: “Our agreement with LOT Polish represents a significant milestone for ALAFCO and marks the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership between the two companies,” ALAFCO vice-chairman and CEO Ahmad Alzabin said.
By the end of 2020, LOT’s fleet will include 12 737 MAX 8s and 15 Boeing 787s (eight 787-8s and seven larger 787-9s) for long-haul services.

This fleet development is part of LOT’s growth strategy, which assumes annual passenger traffic will have reached 10.5 million passengers by 2020. Currently it carries 6.8 million passengers per year.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com