On August 26, 1999 Polish Airlines LOT SA and EL AL Israel Airlines concluded a code-share co-operation agreement in Tel Aviv. Jan Litwinski, President of LOT Polish Airlines and Joel Feldschuh, President of EL AL, signed the agreement on behalf of the Polish and Israeli sides respectively. The agreement concerns Warsaw - Tel Aviv and Krakow - Tel Aviv flights.
Beginning September 12th, 1999 the Israeli airline will have a block of 40 seats bought from LOT (5 in business class and 35 in tourist class) on the Warsaw - Krakow - Tel Aviv route.
Flights from Krakow will be made with LOT planes only. The agreement for the Warsaw - Tel Aviv route will come in effect October 31, 1999. The airlines will make blocks of seats available for one another. The newly concluded agreement only concerns regularly scheduled flights.
EL AL is the seventeenth airline with which LOT Polish Airlines has concluded a cooperation agreement. As LOT`s President and CEO Jan Litwinski stated, the new agreement certainly offers both sides many significant benefits. First of all, we now have a better offer for passengers thanks to an increased number of flights and better access to transit flights of both airlines. LOT passengers will be able to take advantage of the Polish airline’s morning flights while EL AL passengers will be able to book afternoon flights for practically all LOT connections. Another definite advantage of the agreement is improvement of the profitability of flights and better use of the offer thanks to the possibility of selling free seats to a partner.
The history of Warsaw - Tel Aviv flights dates back to 1934 when the construction of the longest route in Europe commenced. A 4,300 km route began in Helsinki and ran through Finland, Estonia and Lithuania to Warsaw. From Warsaw it ran over Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhodes Island to Palestine. It finished in Lydda, airport of Tel Aviv. In 1989 regular Warsaw - Tel Aviv flights were renewed after a 50-year break. Both airlines offered one flight per week. A few months after the start up of flights, LOT joined in an action to fly Jewish emigrants to Israel, predominantly from the former USSR. Both countries signed an Airline Agreement on February 28, 1990. LOT Polish Airlines started up the new Warsaw - Krakow - Tel Aviv flights on August 15th, 1999. Those flights are served by Boeing 737-400 planes which hold 147 passengers.
These recent developments will also be of special interest to passengers proceeding to Israel via Poland from North America. LOT operates its transatlantic flights non-stop from New York, Newark and Chicago to Warsaw and Krakow by wide body 767 Boeing aircraft.