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New Star Alliance option Singapore direct to Europe with LOT Polish

Polish national carrier LOT will use it's Boeing 787 to link Singapore and Warsaw from 15 May next year.

We learned yesterday that Star Alliance carrier LOT Polish Airlines are about to announce direct flights from Warsaw to Singapore, using their Boeing 787 aircraft in a three-class configuration (Business, Premium Economy and Economy). The new route launches on 15 May 2018 (and on 17 May from Singapore to Warsaw).

This will be the only direct flight to Central and Eastern Europe from Singapore, and will be LOT’s fourth year-round route to Asia (they already fly to Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo, plus a seasonal flight to Bali).

LOT787 (Adrian Pingstone)
LOT Polish was the 8th airline to introduce the Boeing 787 into commercial service, back in 2012. They operate eight 787-8 aircraft, with four 787-9 aircraft on order.
(Photo: Adrian Pingstone)

Proposed schedule

These flights haven’t been loaded into the GDS system yet, but we have seen a copy of the proposed schedule. Initially the flight will operate three days per week, quickly increasing to four-weekly in July 2018.

From Warsaw to Singapore the nonstop flight is scheduled to take 11 hours 15 minutes, on the return leg from Singapore to Warsaw the scheduled duration is 13 hours 10 minutes.

From 15 May 2018 (SIN-WAW from 17 May 2018)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
LO067 WAW2300 – SIN1715* 788 ·2·4·6·
LO068 SIN0005 – WAW0615 788 1··4·6·

*next day

From 2 July 2018 (SIN-WAW from 4 July 2018)
Flight From / To Aircraft Days
LO067 WAW2300 – SIN1715* 788 12·4·6·
LO068 SIN0005 – WAW0615 788 1·34·6·

*next day

Redemption availability

With most new route launches, plenty of redemption award availability is typically loaded in the early days, as demand on new routes takes a while to establish. LOT Polish are no exception to this, for example they immediately opened up six business class award seats on each of their Boeing 787 aircraft for their route launches last year from Warsaw to Newark and from Warsaw to Los Angeles, in both directions. These were all available to KrisFlyer members.

As mentioned above, this flight hasn’t yet been loaded into the reservation systems and so you can’t secure any redemptions yet, but once it’s confirmed we do expect to see a good award availability inventory.

This could be a useful way of securing a few seats for the family to Europe using KrisFlyer miles, especially coming into the peak northern summer season (July and August), when availability with SIA and other Star Alliance airlines to Europe is usually pretty tight.

If it’s an option which sounds like it interests you we would recommend having some dates in mind, so you can hopefully jump on the award seats as soon as they are loaded.

Redemption cost

This route will be affected by the Star Alliance KrisFlyer devaluation we wrote about earlier this week, but an increase only applies in business class. That means provided you book by 6 December the cost in KrisFlyer miles will be:

  • 45,000 miles one-way in Economy
  • 80,000 miles one-way in Business

If you book on or after 7 December, the cost in KrisFlyer miles will increase to:

  • 45,000 miles one-way in Economy (no change)
  • 85,000 miles one-way in Business

What’s LOT business class like?

LOT operate the business cabin on their Boeing 787 in a 2-2-2 configuration, and all seats convert to a fully flat bed. For couples, it’s probably a very good option.

For solo travellers it’s certainly less privacy than Singapore Airlines offer to Europe, but if this is the only redemption option available on the dates you need, it shouldn’t be too bad. Pick a C or D seat (aisle seat in the middle pair) for unrestricted aisle access.

LOT Business Class_Dreamliner_5
The business class seat on the LOT Polish Boeing 787 converts into a flat bed.
(Photo: LOT Polish Airlines)

We can’t personally endorse it as we have never tried it – but here’s a recent review.

How about economy?

Economy is in a 3-3-3 layout which is typical of most 787 operators, and so isn’t ideal for couples. Then again, SIA is 3-4-3 in economy for most of their Europe flights, unless you can secure an upper-deck economy pair on the A380 Version 1.

LOT 787 Y (Paweł Drozd)
LOT economy class on the Boeing 787.
(Photo: Paweł Drozd)

Each seat on the aircraft has an interactive, touch-screen, on-demand IFE system. Meals and drinks are complimentary, as you would expect, but there is no Wi-Fi functionality in any cabin.

Warsaw connection options

LOT Polish

If you can find redemption availability, the early morning arrival into Warsaw means that for the same number of miles quoted above you can tap into LOT’s extensive European network of over 50 destinations. Connections should also work well for the late night departure on the return sector from Warsaw to Singapore.

For the more adventurous, this might not be a bad way to try and redeem all the way to North America; LOT offer daily flights to Chicago, New York (JFK and Newark) and Toronto.

They also have a lounge in Warsaw to while away a few hours between flights if you’re flying business, or have Star Alliance Gold status. From what we’ve read online, comfortable, but forgettable is the broad consensus.

LOT Lounge WAW
The LOT lounge at Warsaw Airport.
(Photo: LOT Polish Airlines)

A North America add on would increase the KrisFlyer miles needed for a one-way redemption from Singapore to 55,000 in economy, and 97,500 in business (both of these remain unchanged after the 7 December “revaluation”).

Wizz Air

If you don’t mind the climb down from a full service carrier for the rest of your journey (and it would certainly be a climb down from business class), another option, perhaps little known to many Singaporeans, is low-cost airline Wizz Air.

Think Scoot or Jetstar, just a bit more pink / purple!

Wizz have a major base at Warsaw, operating to 46 year-round and seasonal destinations, and their fares are usually very competitive. This option could also work if you can’t redeem to your chosen European destination on LOT due to availability.

Obviously your connection would be unprotected if you went down this route, so we’d advise to build in some contingency. As well as some primary European cities, Wizz Air flies to many ‘smaller’ destinations not offered by LOT like Aberdeen, Birmingham, Doncaster/Sheffield, Eindhoven, Liverpool, Porto and Reykjavik.

Wizz A320
You won’t earn any KrisFlyer miles continuing your journey from Warsaw on Wizz Air, but they offer a wide range of cheap flights including an interesting portfolio of secondary cities in Europe to explore.

Will this flight use the new Changi Terminal 4?

Unlikely. LOT will be keen to maximise Star Alliance connections at the Singapore end of the route, and so we expect that they will operate from Terminal 2, or possibly Terminal 3.

Will full-fare be competitive?

Until the flights are loaded we wont know, but we’re pretty hopeful that they will be. For example, LOT will want to tap into the market for business class travellers between London and Singapore, and there are often some good deals available in business class on this city pair with one-stop connections, such as with Finnair, Swiss and Qatar.

So we think it’s likely that LOT will price aggressively in the early days on city pairs like that, as they drive demand for the Singapore flight, especially as they can’t offer a connection every day of the week, which most business travellers require.

This could therefore also prove to be a ‘cheap’ way of earning some KrisFlyer miles too. We’ll keep an eye on it and let you know if we spot any really good deals.

Summary

Keep your eye out for the official launch and for flights being added to the GDS timetable or on the LOT website, then check redemption availability (you’ll have to call KrisFlyer) or even explore the full-fare options as we suspect there may be some decent launch offers.

If you do decide to redeem, do it as soon as possible and for business class preferably by 6 December as you’ll save yourself 5,000 miles each way per person by taking advantage of the current Star Alliance redemption rates.

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