Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Polish flag carrier emerges from turbulence

From Jim Boulden, CNN
May 25, 2012 -- Updated 0907 GMT (1707 HKT)
  • The Polish government has tried to privatize LOT since 2008
  • LOT flies to 59 destinations and employs over 2,800 staff
  • It will be the first European carrier to fly the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner

(CNN) -- The Polish government's loss-making national flag carrier, LOT Polish Airlines, has been on the block since it lost more than $260 million in 2008. But now, as it emerges from the red, a deal may be on the horizon.

"For the last 12 months we've been trying to identify the best investor for LOT, and we have [had] quite advanced conversations with potential partners," LOT's President and chief executive Marcin Pirog told Marketplace Europe.

I believe that between now and the end of summer one of them will sign exclusivity agreement
Marcin Pirog, LOT's President and CEO

"I believe that between now and the end of summer one of them will sign exclusivity agreement," he added.

Consolidation is a consistent theme across the troubled airline industry. As the economic slowdown bites and airlines face rising fuel costs and weak passenger demand, airlines mergers are shaping up as a necessary measure, according to Vaughn Cordle, chief analyst for AirlineForecasts, who spoke to CNN earlier in May.

According to Pirog, the consolidation process in Europe will continue apace. "I believe that consolidation is in front of us, not behind us, because it's still a very fragmented market," he said.

LOT was established in 1929, making it one of the world's oldest airlines. It now has more than 2,800 staff and flies to 59 destinations in Europe.

It was the first carrier in eastern Europe to fly western-made Boeing aircrafts and later this year it will become the first European carrier to fly the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Pirog hopes that their new, bigger, fleet of Dreamliners will help them push into Asia. "In the near future we want to open new destinations in Asia to balance our North Atlantic destinations and to have more and more connections to Asia," he said.

Pirog added: "We are not only the strongest player in this part of the world, central eastern Europe, but we can be a ...very good partner for one of the biggest airlines and profitable airlines in the industry."

Part of complete coverage on
Marketplace Europe
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
Marketplace Europe visits Latvia to see how the Baltic country has made its transition to the Euro from the Lat.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Nina Dos Santos visits Latvia to speak to the country's outgoing Prime Minister and the prospects for the eurozone's 18th member.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1640 GMT (0040 HKT)
Malta is the gateway to Europe and on the frontline of the immigration flows. Isa Soares reports from a detention center on the Mediterranean island.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
CNN's Isa Soares speaks with people on the streets of Valletta who say their country can't cope with more migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
Malta cannot afford to continue supporting migrants from war-torn countries in its over-crowded detention camps, the country's foreign minister has told CNN.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
Slow recoveries, bailouts, and youth unemployment. Richard Quest speaks to Europe's top CEOs about the issues of 2013.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2114 GMT (0514 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to economist Bob Parker about defining moments of 2013 and about what to expect in 2014.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Estonia is setting the pace for other European nations with a thriving economy and its tech industry, according to the Baltic nation's leader.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
The Baltic nation of Estonia is developing its oil shale energy reserves in a bid to become energy self-sufficient.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Europe must stop being nationalistic if it wants to help a lost generation of workers, the regional boss of U.S. conglomerate General Electric says.
November 14, 2013 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Peer at the windows and you'll spot big colorful chairs, plastic plants and a huge bed, but this is no department store.
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
There once was a time, many years ago, when the sounds of bagpipes struck fear into the stomachs of Englishmen.
November 11, 2013 -- Updated 1116 GMT (1916 HKT)
Greece is on the way to economic recovery as investor faith returns to the recession-ridden eurozone nation, an executive at Greece's largest bank has told CNN.
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Could Greece's famous spice help the country's farmers through a four-year long economic crisis.
November 1, 2013 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
One of the masterminds behind the euro says Europe would have suffered a far worse fate if the single currency had never been created.
October 31, 2013 -- Updated 1741 GMT (0141 HKT)
Nina Dos Santos visits the Dutch city where the European treaty carrying the city's name came into force 20 years ago.
October 25, 2013 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
As Spain continues its drive to slash budgets and cut spending, one of the nation's favorite pastimes is under threat as ministers look for ways to boost productivity.
October 24, 2013 -- Updated 1617 GMT (0017 HKT)
The high commissioner of Brand Spain talks about getting the country back on its fee and attracting business.