On Monday evening after work, Lux-Airport was the venue for the inauguration of the new passenger flight service between Luxembourg and Warsaw, Poland, courtesy of LOT Polish Airlines, in a codeshare with Luxair.
Around 150 people attended the event - circa 4,000 Polish nationals live in the Grand Duchy - organised by the Luxembourg Poland Business Club (LPBC), Lux-Airport, Luxair and Polska, the Polish Tourist Organisation.
Johan Vanneste, CEO Lux-Airport, stated that the airport is enjoying a period of expansion, with HOP! Air France starting flights to Lyon last week and two other airlines, Aer Algerie and Jet AiFly (to Marrakesk and Cssablanca), starting on 1 March too (due to the temporary closure of Lorraine Airport in Metz). And the new LOT flights to Warsaw is a step into Eastern Europe, with Luxair also flying to Prague again this year.
Marcin van Gijlswik, Regional Director Benelux for LOT Polish Airlines, said that LOT last flied from Luxembourg in 1981, but a lot has changed since. The airline flies to 56 cities in four continents worldwide and has a very modern fleet. He talked about the airport in Warsaw and the aims of the airline to double its flights over the coming years. On the bookings to date he told The Luxembourg Chronicle that the initial flights are currently at 65% capacity with many week-end flights proving particularly popular.
Benoit Berger, VP Sales & Revenue Management at Luxair, said that Luxair's collaboration has existed since March 2008, via Vienna and Frankfurt, but this is the first time the flight to Warsaw will be direct, in a codeshare with Luxair. He stressed the excellent relationship Luxair enjoys with LOT which includes the occasional provision of planes on wet lease arrangements.
Artur Sosna, President LPBC, acknowledged that one of the first initiatives was to write letters to five airlines requesting a direct flight between Poland and Luxembourg. The LPBC connects people, including companies doing business in both countries. He mentioned that the LPBC will organise a Business Day on 17 June, with its Summer Business Ball the following day, 18 June.
Luxembourg's Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Francois Bausch, said he is delighted with the progress of Lux-Airport and, in particular, with the start of flights by LOT Polish Airlines and also its cooperation with Luxair. He thanked all the people involved in getting the flight off the ground and wished it a great success.
The formal part of the evening over, those attending participated in Cocktails & Networking, which also included a Prize Draw for a week-end in Warsaw, sponsored by LOT Polish Airlines, Lux-Airport and the Polish Tourist Organisation, won by Heiner Richters.
From 1 March 2016, flights between the two cities will operate 6 times/week using Embraer E170/175/195 jets with 4 seats abreast, for a capacity of 72 seats.
Warsaw - Luxembourg: 07:30 - 09:30 (Mon - Thu)
Warsaw - Luxembourg: 14:30 - 16:30 (Fri & Sun)
Luxembourg - Warsaw: 10:10 - 12:05 (Mon - Thu)
Luxembourg - Warsaw: 17:05 - 19:00 (Fri & Sun)
Return flight costs start at €189 (promotion price). For further details, including reservations, see www.lot.com  and www.luxair.lu.
Photos by Geoff Thompson