While hardly significant in the grand scheme of things given that the arrangement only lasts a week, this is interesting nonetheless:

Finnair and LOT Polish Airlines have signed an agreement by which Finnair’s New York route will be operated by one of LOT’s almost brand new Boeing 787 aircraft from December, 27 2013 to January 2, 2014, due to scheduled maintenance of Finnair wide body aircraft. The agreement includes an option to continue the lease period until January 7, 2014, in case of maintenance delays.

On all flights the service is according to Finnair concept, and there is a Finnish purser on every flight. The rest of the crew is from LOT Polish Airlines.

So you have a LOT crew along with a Finnair purser on each flight. LOT’s 787s have fully flat beds in business class, so it shouldn’t represent too much of a downgrade in terms of product quality. Well, as long as they do Finnair catering and not LOT catering, which leaves a bit to be desired.

Quite funny to go to American’s website and find award availability for a Finnair flight on a 787 operated by LOT Polish:

FInnair-LOT-Wet-Lease

Anyway, this is one of the more unique solutions I’ve seen to figuring out a short term aircraft shortage due to scheduled maintenance.

  1. December 5th, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Ryan said,

    It represents a very significant drop in J capacity on the route. LOT only has 18 J seats on their 787s. They are fully flat, but the window seats do not offer direct access to the aisles.

  2. December 5th, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Andrew B said,

    Finnair seems to be bleeding money — if this helps their bottom line a bit, I’m all for it.

  3. December 5th, 2013 at 9:25 am

    lucky said,

    @ Ryan — Though in fairness this is over the holidays, when premium cabin demand is extremely low.

  4. December 5th, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Ryan said,

    @ Lucky — Fair point. I look at this from the perspective of someone who often needs to buy (or change) J class tix at the last minute, so reductions in capacity have the potential to limit my options when I need to be somewhere in a hurry. Finnair is a good lower cost J class option from JFK to Eastern Europe and Asia, assuming availability.

  5. December 5th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    SG said,

    Trip report? ;)

  6. December 5th, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Andrew said,

    I flew LOT ORD-WAW a couple weeks ago on the 787, and thought it was great. I think it was a much better experience than you had, Lucky! The food was fine, and the service was really good. Smiling, friendly, attentive FA’s.

    We flew LH’s new business class on the way home, and I’ve got to say, the LOT seat was preferable in a number of ways…felt much more spacious than the LH seat, especially when sleeping.

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