LOT Polish Airlines recently announced that they would open a route between Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) in Poland and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the U.S. This 6,000 mile trip is the first direct between Eastern Europe and California. The airline plans to use Boeing 787 aircraft for the route. Connections will be made four times a week, and LOT started flying the route on April 3rd. This new route is one of multiple that LOT flies to the United States, and the airline hopes that passengers will fly to LAX through Warsaw from destinations that do not have direct service to the western U.S. city. Flights originating in Warsaw last about 12 hours 20 minutes, and return flights last about 11 hours 20 minutes. LOT believes that this route has great potential to make them money.

However, LOT isn’t the only airline opening a route to LAX. Austrian Airlines has also announced that they will fly to LAX in April. Austrian recently announced a route from Vienna (VIE) to LAX. Austrian Airlines is the first to connect Austria to America’s west coast. Starting April 10, Austrian will fly one of its 777-200ERs between VIE and LAX five times a week. Austrian is assuming the route will be  popular, and is upgrading the route  to a daily flight starting on June 13 of this year. Similar to LOT, a large part of Austrian’s new route depends on if travelers are willing to connect to the new route from some of their other European destinations that don’t have direct service to the western U.S. Two-thirds of the Austrian Airlines’ connecting passengers go through its hub in Vienna to get between destinations.

“After Chicago, Newark and Miami, L.A. is now the fourth new flight destination and the so far biggest leap into the USA. We will fly to the West Coast with our existing fleet and are already very excited about this new venture”, said Andreas Otto, Austrian Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer, in a statement released by the airline.

These two routes are important because they allow passengers to fly from Central Europe to Los Angeles nonstop, whereas they previously had to change planes at a major Western European hub, such as in London, Amsterdam or Frankfurt. In addition, the new flights allow passengers in towns near Vienna and Warsaw a chance to fly to Hollywood nonstop cheaply on a local carrier, rather than being forced to connect to larger, more expensive international carriers.

These routes can leave a large impact on central European residents. Passengers can now fly local airlines nonstop to one of the biggest cities in America, and one of the most popular for tourists. These routes can impact Americans because it opens up new, relaxing holiday destinations on relatively cheap airlines without the hassle of changing planes before reaching the final destination. These routes can also help international, tourists connect to even more tourists through some of the other new routes these airlines have introduced. For example, Austrian opened a new route to Hong Kong toward the end of last year. New routes from LOT Polish Airlines and Austrian Airlines have great potential to open new windows to tourists and airlines who are looking to connect to the Western U.S. nonstop.

Austrian Airlines’ Flight Schedule to LAX (daily except Sundays)

Vienna – Los Angeles

OS 081 Vienna 10:00am Departure –> Los Angeles 1:30pm Arrival

Los Angeles – Vienna

OS 082 Los Angeles 3:05pm Departure –> Vienna 12:00pm+1 Arrival

Categories: Industry Talk