Polish flag carrier LOT Polish Airlines will launch nonstop service from Warsaw to Washington Dulles in summer 2020, with three flights per week beginning June 2, 2020. The route will operate three times per week on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays using a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner seating 252 passengers in a three-class configuration (18J/21W/213Y). The flight schedule for the new route is as follows.
|LO 39||Warsaw – Washington Dulles||16:50||20:30||-2–5-7|
|LO 40||Washington Dulles – Warsaw||22:35||13:25+1||-2–5-7|
When it launches, Washington Dulles will become LOT’s sixth destination in the United States and seventh in North America (Toronto, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, and New York JFK are the other six). Later in summer 2020 (August 5), LOT will also launch nonstop service from Warsaw to San Francisco.
LOT will fly to all eight of the aforementioned destinations from its main hub Warsaw. It also offers service from Krakow to New York JFK and Chicago O’Hare, and from Budapest to New York JFK for total of 11 North American routes.
In the US, LOT has leaned heavily on its Star Alliance partnerships with United Airlines and Air Canada (all destinations except New York JFK and Miami are Star Alliance), leveraging connectivity on either side of the route and growing tourism demand in Poland to build a successful North American operation.
In fact, since adding the 787 to its fleet, LOT has quietly built an impressive long haul operation at its Warsaw hub (with a couple of flights from focus cities in Budapest and Krakow).
Washington Dulles has also seen a resurgence in network growth after several years of stagnation. United is adding six new domestic routes (and additional capacity and frequency on several routes) next summer, and the airport will also see new nonstop service to Madrid from Iberia and to Zurich from Swiss (United also serves Zurich). Annual passenger traffic at the airport rebounded from a low of 21.6 million in 2014 to 24.0 million last year, and is up 3.1% year to date through October 2019. The airport is still well below its all time peak of 27.0 million passengers, set back in 2005, but with United and foreign carriers growing again, that figure should not be too far off.
For passengers, LOT tends to have decent fares and award availability in economy class. But the real winners will be business class travelers, as LOT tends to have extremely low one-stop fares in business for a lot of Western European destinations and strong award availability. The only factor that limits this upside is that the route will be flown three times per week.