During the period from January to December 1997 LOT Polish Airlines flew 2,276,739 passengers, a remarkable increase of 12 percent as compared to 1996.
The biggest dynamics of growth have been achieved in foreign charters. In 1997 the foreign charter flights carried 228,100 passengers. This means that compared to the previous year in 1997 this charters soared by 86 percent. During the last few years, the charter flights constituted the largest expansion in the operation of LOT Polish Airlines.
In 1997 during the scheduled international flights LOT Polish Airlines flew 1,713,048 passengers (a 7 percent increase), and during the scheduled domestic flights flew 335,600 passengers (an 8 percent increase). Since July 1997 the domestic flights in Poland have been serviced by EuroLOT S.A., a sister airline of LOT Polish Airlines.
During the 12 months of 1997 LOT Polish Airlines carried 30,900 tons of cargo, an extraordinary increase of 36% of cargo traffic compared to the same period of 1996. Of this on the domestic flights LOT Polish Airlines carried 2,791 tons of cargo (a 10% increase), and on the international flights 28,128 tons of cargo (a 40% increase).
At the same time the passenger load factor during the domestic flights rose from 54.1 percent in the previous year to 58 percent in 1997. During international flights the passenger load factor slightly decreased from 66.7 percent in 1996 to 64.3 in 1997.
To serve its passengers better and to keep up with the expectation of the market and the growing demands of flights, LOT Polish Airlines began in 1997 the exploitation of two new planes, both Boeing 737, version 300.
Recently, for an unprecedented third year in a row, the British magazine Business Travel World has named LOT Polish Airlines the “Best Eastern European Airline for 1997”.