LOT Polish Launches Court Proceedings Against Boeing

After long-running talks failed to reach a settlement, LOT Polish Airlines is suing Boeing over losses incurred from…

LOT Polish Launches Court Proceedings Against Boeing

After long-running talks failed to reach a settlement, LOT Polish Airlines is suing Boeing over losses incurred from the Boeing 737 MAX grounding. The airline has launched legal action in Seattle this week and is seeking approximately US$253 million in compensation.

LOT Polish Airlines is suing Boeing over losses resulting from the 737 MAX grounding. Photo: Boeing

Negotiations between LOT Polish Airlines & Boeing fail

According to a report in Reuters, the lawsuit followed months of failed negotiations. LOT Polish has had ongoing issues with Boeing regarding the 737 MAX grounding and problems with their 787 Dreamliners.

The airline has five 737 MAXs in service and a further ten due. Speaking to media recently, LOT Polish CEO Rafał Milczarski said;

“We are conducting and have conducted talks with Boeing about the issue. So far, these talks have not resulted in an outcome we expected, so we will be using all available solutions to obtain compensation.

“I think we will find a solution. We will not let go, and we cannot let go of anything that Boeing owes us.”

LOT Polish Airlines CEO Rafał Milczarski. Photo: LOT Polish Airlines

Ongoing frustration for LOT Polish

Boeing 737 MAX aircraft worldwide were grounded in March 2019 following fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. LOT Polish says it had to lease substitute aircraft to fill the gaps in schedules caused by the grounding, significantly adding to the airline’s operational costs.

While some airlines have received compensation from Boeing because of the MAX’s grounding, LOT Polish Airlines did not. The US planemaker relied on a clause in its leasing contract with LOT Polish that rules out compensation due to technical problems.

LOT Polish has repeatedly voiced its frustration with Boeing and its unwillingness to pay compensation. Last month, Rafał Milczarski said the airline was considering suing Boeing. On Tuesday, LOT Polish spokesman Krzysztof Moczulski confirmed launching legal action.

But it is not only a lawsuit Milczarski was threatening. He said he was open to defecting to European plane builder Airbus and becoming an all-Airbus airline. To date, LOT Polish has been one of the few European airlines not flying Airbus aircraft.

Rafał Milczarski has set a 2030 deadline for unifying LOT’s fleet. Presently the airline flies a mixture of Boeing and Embraer aircraft. Swapping out factory fresh Boeings for Airbus planes by 2030 isn’t realistic, but the threat does demonstrate the extent of Milczarski’s displeasure with Boeing.

LOT Polish Airlines is seeking approximately US$253 million in compensation from Boeing. Photo: M Kwasowski/Lot Polish Airlines

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Boeing’s Dreamliners also a problem for LOT Polish Airlines

Underscoring the airline’s dissatisfaction with the US planemaker were long-running problems with 787 Dreamliner engines that saw some of LOT’s Dreamliners grounded and delayed some route launches.

In 2019, three LOT Polish Dreamliners were grounded after the Rolls-Royce engines were removed for repairs. At the time, the airline leased an Airbus A330 and Boeing 767 from other operators to plug holes in the schedules.

A series of problems with the Dreamliners, including long-running issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, have been a rolling problem for Boeing and 787 operators. But the saga largely escaped close media scrutiny owing to the higher profile MAX grounding.

Most countries have now allowed the MAX to resume flying, and Boeing’s order book is filling up again. But LOT Polish is not the only airline to have sought compensation from Boeing as reverberations from the grounding continue.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Jetstar Reboots Its International Network

Lately, Qantas has hogged the headlines when it comes to resuming international flights in and out of Australia,…

Jetstar Reboots Its International Network

Lately, Qantas has hogged the headlines when it comes to resuming international flights in and out of Australia, but offshoot airline Jetstar is also dusting off its planes and preparing to resume international operations once again.

Jetstar is resuming some international routes as soon as mid-December. Photo; Jetstar

Jetstar is getting ready to fly at around 25 routes to eight countries over the next few months using a mixture of Airbus A320-200 and Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft. Here’s a rundown on when various routes are resuming and how often Jetstar plans to fly on them.

Jetstar beefs up its trans-Tasman flying from January 1

Jetstar plans to fly nine routes between Australia and New Zealand by the start of 2022. New Zealand isn’t allowing quarantine-free entry for Australians into New Zealand yet. However, judging by the schedules, Jetstar (and other airlines) are clearly confident this will happen by the New Year.

From January 1, 2022, Jetstar is offering a daily return between Sydney and Auckland using an Airbus A320-200 aircraft. Also resuming from January 1 is a daily return Airbus 320 flight between Sydney and Queenstown.

The Queensland holiday hotspot of the Gold Coast is a significant jumping-off point for Jetstar flights to New Zealand, with four routes offered. Daily return flights to Auckland, thrice-weekly return flights to Christchurch, five times weekly return flights to Wellington, and thrice-weekly return flights to Queenstown are timetabled to operate from the Gold Coast from January 1, 2022. Jetstar is using its Airbus A320-200 aircraft on these routes.

There are also three Jetstar routes to New Zealand from Melbourne in the offing, including to Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown. From January 1, Jetstar will offer eight weekly A320 return flights between Melbourne and Auckland (daily with a double daily on Saturdays), four times a week return A320 flights to Christchurch, and daily return A320 flights to Queenstown.

Jetstar will use Airbus A320-200 aircraft on its flights to and from New Zealand. Photo: Jetstar

Jetstar eyes Bali flights from February 2022

There is currently lots of noise Bali is about to drop its unusual five-day quarantine for fully vaccinated tourists, and while Jetstar isn’t yet locking in their usual full gamut of flights to Bali yet, they are putting flights to Bali from Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane into their schedules.

From February 1, Jetstar is planning thrice-weekly return 787-8 Dreamliner flights between Sydney and Denpasar, with flights initially running on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. It is the same deal from Melbourne, with three times a week return Dreamliner flights to Denpasar. The ex-Melbourne flights will initially run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

The likelihood of international flights operating out of Brisbane by February is less certain. Nonetheless, Jetstar has thrice-weekly Dreamliner return flights between Brisbane and Denpasar beginning February 2. Flights will initially operate on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Mondays.

Jetstar might be taking a punt on Brisbane re-opening by February, but it knows Perth is a lost cause. They haven’t scheduled any flights to Denpasar from Perth until the start of the northern summer flying season in late March 2022. Even then, seats on those flights have not been released for sale.

Jetstar also normally flies to Denpasar from Adelaide and Darwin. Early 2022 flights from either city are not yet timetabled in or available for sale.

Jetstar plans to fly its 787-8 Dreamliners to Bali from three Australian cities by February. Photo: Jetstar

Jetstar’s Japan flights take-off again

Jetstar’s routes to Japan from both Cairns and the Gold Coast are coming back, with flights resuming in early March. Jetstar will once again start flying its Dreamliners between the Gold Coast and Tokyo Narita on March 2. The flights will initially run three times a week on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Monday.

Flights between Cairns and Narita are resuming slightly sooner on February 1. Jetstar will fly four times a week between the two cities using its Boeing 787-8 aircraft to make the seven and a half hour flight. Flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

Jetstar’s other Japan route from Cairns is to Osaka’s Kansai Airport. Thrice weekly Dreamliner flights there will resume on February 2, with flights running on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Mondays.

In an easterly direction, Jetstar is restarting its popular flights to Honolulu in March. Jetstar now has flights for sale to Honolulu from Sydney. The ex-Sydney flights will commence on March 3 and operate three times a week on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Mondays.

Jetstar usually also flies to Honolulu from Melbourne. It has twice-weekly flights timetabled in from early March 2022 but has not yet released these flights for sale. Jetstar uses its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners on its Honolulu runs.

Jetstar should be flying around 25 international routes from Australia by March 2022. Photo: Jetstar

A roundup of the remaining Jetstar international routes

There remain a handful of international routes resuming early next year. Jetstar is restarting its flights to Fiji on December 17, offering daily return A320-200 flights from Sydney.

Sydney will also host a new Jetstar service to Phuket, thrice-weekly flights starting on February 2. A Jetstar Dreamliner will take nine hours to make the flight to Phuket every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

Flights to Phuket from Melbourne will resume one day later on February 3. Jetstar will operate return flights twice-weekly on Thursdays and Sundays.

Both Singapore and Ho Chi Minh will initially see two Jetstar routes early next year. Singapore will get Jetstar flights in from Melbourne and Darwin. Dreamliner flights from Melbourne are resuming on December 16 and will operate four times a week every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

Thrice-weekly return flights between Darwin and Singapore will restart on December 21. The flights will operate every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. Jetstar’s Airbus A320-200s will fly this relatively short four-and-a-half-hour sector.

Finally, Ho Chi Minh will see Jetstar flights from Sydney and Melbourne. Jetstar will fly a Dreamliner to Vietnam from Sydney every Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday from April 1. Dreamliner flights to Ho Chi Minh will run every Saturday, Monday, and Thursday from April 2.

Jetstar’s initial international route network in early 2022. Source: GCmap.com

Still a dynamic flying environment

There are a few caveats to point out. Schedules in and out of Australia are pretty dynamic right now as border reopening dates shift and countries do travel corridor and quarantine deals.

A travel corridor with Singapore has just been announced, meaning frequencies there may increase and start dates come forward. A travel corridor with Bali is also imminent, which means more flights to Bali and probably sooner.

There is no guarantee New Zealand will be open to Australian travelers by January 1.

While you can have a degree of confidence most flights from both Sydney and Melbourne will resume on or before their current planned dates, you cannot say the same for international flights from other Australian cities.

Jetstar’s route rollout is good news, and there’s a reasonable degree of certainty behind it. But like most things flying these days, circumstances can change at very short notice.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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