Eurolot has announced that it would fill some of the routes left free by the demise of budget carrier OLT Express, and offer cheap tickets between major Polish cities.
The airline, part of the Lot group, said that from August 20 it will operate a service between Poznań and Kraków, with tickets going for as little as PLN 99. In a statement the company said it was opening the new service “in response to passenger needs, and because of the continual development of Eurolot.”
The move comes following the end of OLT.
The carrier threw in the financial towel and declared itself bust on July 27, a few days after it had suspended all domestic flights at short notice. The bankruptcy declaration also led to the cancellation of foreign charter flights, leaving some holidaymakers struggling to get home.
To rub salt into the stricken airline’s wounds, the Polish Civil Aviation Authority suspended, indefinitely, it’s operating licence meaning that it can no longer participate in the air transport market.
The reason for the suspension is the financial situation of the carrier, which fails to guarantee that it will be able to both service existing and potential liabilities.
OLT had burst onto the Polish aviation market in 2011. The product of strategic investor Amber Gold, the company aimed to shake up the country’s petrified domestic air passenger market, long dominated by Lot. It also hoped to tap into a stream of passengers eager to escape the lengthy rigours of domestic land journeys.
So by offering cheap tickets and promising to whisk passengers to their destination in a fraction of the time it would take them to go by train or drive OLT had big ambitions. But the airline struggled to make money, and in the end Amber Gold, having already invested EUR 52 mln in the carrier, decided to pull the plug.
OLT Express is the latest budget airline in the region to suffer an ignoble financial fate. At the end of 2009, Centralwings, a low-cost of arm of Lot, closed its hanger doors for the last time after failing to make money. In the same year, Sky Wings, a Bratislava-based low-cost carrier filed for bankruptcy after running up huge debts.
But OLT’s German sister, OLT Express Germany, said it remained unaffected by the death of its sibling and planned to continue its market expansion.
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)
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