Polish airline LOT may “switch sides” and go to competitor Airbus after not closing a compensation agreement with Boeing regarding the 737 MAX.
The dissatisfaction occurs with the Polish LOT Polish Airlines, which has its fleet supported by Brazilian models from Embraer and Boeing, being historically a company loyal to the American manufacturer since the 1990s, after the end of the Soviet Union. Loyalty made the company go from the 737 Classic (300/400/500) to the Next Generation (700/800) and now to the fourth generation of best seller from Boeing, the 737 MAX.
This same move also followed on larger planes, where the company swapped the 767 for the 787 Dreamliner, but all of that could be broken after a fruitless deal.
With the stoppage of almost two years of the 737 MAX due to fatal accidents in 2018 and 2019, many companies were left with the fleet depleted, having to resort to used aircraft to fulfill the routes that were planned for the new MAX.
After many complaints, Boeing started to compensate these companies, either by paying for the rental of the aircraft “caps” or simply a “fine” in cash, but that didn’t happen with LOT. According to Polish newspaper Polityka, the company was already irritated by past problems with the 787 Dreamliner and, more recently, by the unsuccessful attempt to reach a deal with Boeing.
LOT is said to be considering filing a lawsuit against Boeing to secure compensation for the five 737 MAX jets that have been idle for nearly two years.
“Airbus is definitely on the move, which does not mean there will be cancellations (of contracts) with current suppliers, Boeing and Embraer”, Krzysztof Moczulski, LOT spokesman told the newspaper.
Another point against the American manufacturer is that LOT wants to unify and simplify its fleet until 2030, and this would be more viable with Airbus, which has aircraft with similar operations, mainly from the A320neo to the larger A330neo and A350XWB, the transition from pilots is faster and their cabins are very similar. Another point would be to even replace the Embraer jet fleet with Airbus A220 jets, the old Bombardier CSeries.
In addition, the fact that Airbus is a company managed within the context of the European Union, would improve Poland’s image in the bloc, weighing in the French manufacturer’s favor. The hammer isn’t hit, but Boeing seems to have been on a tightrope.