In this post: Hide
Air Belgium is scheduled to operate flights on behalf of LOT Polish Airlines between Warsaw and New York, utilizing the Airbus A330-900neo aircraft. The arrangement, as reported by Pasazer, is part of a wet-lease agreement that includes both Air Belgium’s aircraft and its crew. This agreement will go into effect in October and is slated to last 12 months.
Under this wet-lease agreement, the aircraft and crew will (mostly) be provided by Air Belgium, while the onboard food, drinks, and amenities will be as per LOT’s standard offerings. Krzysztof Moczulski, a spokesman for LOT, stated in an interview with Pasazer.com that, besides the Air Belgium crew, some LOT cabin crew will also be staffing the route.
This is good news for passengers
The Airbus A330-900neo used for this service will feature a three-class configuration. The aircraft carries a total of 286 passengers, including 30 lie-flat seats business class in a 1-2-1 configuration. Premium economy class contains 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, and the remaining 235 economy class seats are in a 2-4-2 configuration.
By contrast, LOT’s 787, which currently flies between New York and Warsaw, features an inferior 2-2-2 business class configuration and substantially narrower seats in premium economy and economy class. Air Belgium’s A330-900s also have more business class seats–30 versus 24 on the 787-9 and 18 on the 787-8–which is good news for award availability.
Reason for the partnership
With LOT’s plan to increase its flight frequency during winter and ramp up maintenance on its Boeing 787 fleet, this wet-lease agreement with Air Belgium seems like a way to maintain its scheduled flights to New York without interruptions.
LOT has done something like this before; in 2019, an Airbus A340 from Air Belgium was used to operate LOT’s route from Warsaw to New York.
The wet-lease agreement allows Air Belgium to operate LOT’s Warsaw to New York route with an Airbus A330-900neo for a year starting this October. Air Belgium will provide the aircraft and most of the crew, while the standard LOT food, drinks, and amenities will be available to passengers. The arrangement is intended to facilitate LOT’s planned flight increases and allow for maintenance on its fleet of Boeing 787s. Most importantly, this arrangement means a substantially better passenger experience for those flying between New York and Warsaw.