"United and LOT Polish Airlines sign commercial agreement in Warsaw
LOT Polish Airlines has begun the 2003/2004 winter season by signing an agreement with a new partner in the American market, United Airlines, which is a member of the Star Alliance. The two carriers signed an agreement for cooperation and free access to flight connections between Poland and the USA today. Passengers will have the option of flying from Poland to nearly 30 cities in the USA as early as October 26th, via LOT flights to Chicago and New York, and connecting flights from there to the chosen destination with United.
At the same time as signing a code-sharing agreement, the two airlines have also signed a marketing agreement concerning collaboration in marketing and business activities as well as other areas. Both agreements were signed in the head office of LOT Polish Airlines by Graham Atkinson, Deputy Director of the Sales and Alliances Department for United and Piotr Dubno, a member of LOT Polish Airlines’ Management Board for commercial matters.
Following Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, BMI and All Nippon Airways, the American carrier is the fifth member of the Star Alliance to sign an agreement with LOT for joint utilization of flight connections. For LOT, this represents another step towards membership of the world’s largest airline alliance, beginning on October 26th this year.
Graham Atkinson commented: “The agreement which we signed today confirms our cooperation with LOT, the strongest airline in the region. Thanks to this agreement, we will be in a position to offer our clients new options for traveling between Poland and the USA. I am pleased that United has taken this opportunity to enter the promising Central and Eastern European market. I believe that our work together will become even more profitable after LOT Polish Airlines joins the Star Alliance.”
“We are very happy with the agreement which we signed today. Close cooperation with United, one of the strongest airlines in the world, is of strategic significance for LOT. I am convinced that by working together we will be able to offer our passengers an attractive range of services which is more in line with their expectations. One improvement will be a significant increase in the options for flying from Warsaw and Krakow to nearly 30 US cities. This is, however, only the first phase of our collaboration, which will become closer with time. In future, after we have obtained the necessary permits, LOT flights from the USA to Poland and from there to many other European cities will also be available for passengers of United Airlines,” added Piotr Dubno.
The history of flight connections between Poland and the USA goes back 30 years. At the beginning of the 1970’s there were charter flights from Poland to New York and Chicago. The first scheduled flight to New York was on April 26th 1973. The next step forward was a scheduled connection to Chicago. Currently, an annual total of over 190,000 passengers fly in long-distance Boeing 767 planes from Warsaw and Krakow to two American cities, New York (Kennedy and Newark Airports) and Chicago."