Poland's LOT airline sees finances improve after cost cuts, reorganization

WARSAW, Poland – Poland’s debt-ridden LOT airline said Wednesday it has improved its finances through cost cuts and a reorganization of its business.

LOT said it will close the year with a loss of some 20 million zlotys ($5 million), or about 110 million zlotys less than had been assumed in a restructuring plan implemented this year.

Spokeswoman Barbara Pijanowska-Kuras said that was achieved by saving money on fuel, cutting administration and personnel costs and renegotiating deals with suppliers. LOT introduced new, flexible tariffs and widened its ticket distribution network.

It also offered chartered Boeing 787 flights to various popular spa resorts and leased one of its five 787s to Finnish airlines until Jan. 10. LOT was Europe’s first carrier to have the 787, but suffered losses when the planes were grounded globally for security reasons.

LOT signed a compensation deal with Boeing on Monday, but did not disclose the details. Pijanowska-Kuras said the financial effects of the deal will be seen in 2014, which will be the “key” year for the company’s restructuring program.

The European Commission is reviewing LOT’s restructuring plan to decide whether to allow some 400 million zlotys ($ 95 million) in government aid that the airline received in 2012.