NEW YORK, June 1, 2013 — If you’re looking to fly the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, your options dramatically increase this month as LOT Polish Airlines introduces transatlantic service between three North American cities to Warsaw, Poland. On June 1, LOT became the first carrier to offer scheduled Boeing 787 Dreamliner service from New York City’s JFK Airport. Later this week, the airline will begin the only transatlantic Dreamliner service from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
LOT’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner features an elegant interior design inspired by famous Polish symbols and traditions, new in-flight entertainment and amenities, toys for children, and a new Premium Economy class of service.
LOT’s inaugural New York flight was scheduled to depart for Warsaw just hours after the Federal Aviation Authority grounded all Dreamliners for battery problems five months ago. LOT is now the seventh airline to resume 787 flights since the flight ban was lifted on April 25.
With an increase in fuel efficiency gained from the use of composite materials in the construction of its airframe, LOT expects the Dreamliner to reduce flight time between two long haul destinations, said LOT spokesman Nancy Vaughan. Vaughan added that the Dreamliner should be more comfortable for passengers because of its large windows, lighting design, air circulation, smoother ride and quieter engines.
For LOT’s planned January 16 inaugural New York flight, representatives from Polish and American media and dignitaries had lined up to tour the new plane. It was going to be a big day for the Polish community in Chicago, which has the largest Polish population outside of Poland. This was the day that more people would hear about LOT Polish Airlines and want to fly on the new aircraft. It was a Star Alliance member so travelers could receive miles on United Airlines, US Airways, Lufthansa, or any other Star Alliance member when flying LOT.
Then came the news just a few hours before the Dreamliner departure: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was immediately grounding all Dreamliner flights by US airlines until they could determine why the 787’s lithium-ion batteries were catching on fire. The European Aviation Safety Agency, which regulates European carriers, echoed the FAA directive. The inbound Dreamliner flight already en route to Chicago from Warsaw landed in Chicago without incident but remained grounded at O’Hare Airport, visible from the road for several weeks.
Currently, LOT operates three Dreamliners and is expecting delivery of its fourth later this month. Four others are on order. On June 5, LOT will begin Dreamliner service between Chicago to Warsaw and add Dreamliner flights between Toronto to Warsaw beginning June 6. All of LOT’s Dreamliners have completed the installation of the new lithium-ion batteries that have been modified and are proving reliable. Vaughn said airline expects each of its inaugural Dreamliner flights to be sold out.
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