It’s Official: LOT Polish Is Adding Flights From Budapest To New York & Chicago

Filed Under: LOT

A couple of days ago I wrote about the news that LOT Polish was planning on launching new transatlantic flights out of Budapest. Hungary has been without a national airline since 2012, and they’ve been desperate for some year-round transatlantic service.

Budapest is a hot tourist destination, and until recently they didn’t have any transatlantic links (now Air Canada Rouge offers limited seasonal service between Toronto and Budapest).

Well, it looks like Budapest isn’t just getting one year-round transatlantic flight, but two. It has just been announced that LOT Polish will base a Boeing 787-8 out of Budapest as of May 2018, which will operate 4x weekly flights to New York and 2x weekly flights to Chicago.

The schedule for these new flights will be as follows:

Budapest to New York departing 11:55AM arriving 3:40PM [Mon, Thu, Fri, Sun]
New York to Budapest departing 6:15PM arriving 8:50AM (+1 day)[Mon, Thu, Fri, Sun]

Budapest to Chicago departing 11:35AM arriving 2:50PM [Tue, Sat]
Chicago to Budapest departing 4:35PM arriving 8:55AM (+1 day) [Tue, Sat]

The flights are already bookable directly on LOT’s website.

The Budapest Business Journal reports that the airline will employ Hungarian crews, so I imagine the hiring for that will start soon. The airline is adding this route without taking away any existing routes, which is possible since they still have a few 787s on order.

As I explained a couple of days, I suspect LOT Polish is getting significant subsidies on this route, or else they likely wouldn’t operate it. While Budapest is a popular tourist destination, it’s not an especially high yield market.

The one other thing I find strange is that they’re operating the flight to New York JFK, rather than to Newark. That means this flight will have virtually no connecting traffic on either end — meanwhile if they had flown to Newark, they’d at least have some connecting traffic from their partner, United.

Congrats to Hungary on restored year-round transatlantic service, and I hope to take this flight at some point!

(Tip of the hat to PeterCS)

Comments

  1. Malev terminated New York service in 2008. Delta ended theirs in September 2011. The last non-stop flight from the US to Hungary was American Airlines four-times weekly service from New York JFK which ended in December 2011.

    This route has stood out for lack of a single non-stop especially in a low fuel cost environment, in fact I’ve been surprised that neither Delta nor American tried to restart it. It’s still likely a marginal route, but underserved European routes for legacy carriers are pretty slim pickings so it’s far from crazy.

  2. Good news indeed.
    I wonder if the O&D traffic is enough to make this route sustainable (incl. the subsidies Ben pointed out).

    @Dan: Air Transat no longer serves Budapest. YYZ-BUD flights are operated by Air Canada Rouge – I think 3x weekly.

  3. LOT has also has through-fares filed with American Airlines domestic segments, so no doubt they’ll be getting some connecting traffic through JFK as well

  4. @daniel it wasn’t meant towards u I mistakenly commentated my email address so I asked the moderator to delete it

  5. I visited BUD for the first time last month and was very impressed at how well poised the terminal was for international traffic. I could not understand why none of the major carriers offer non stop North American to BUD service. I also wondered if Hungary had/has a national airline and this was confirmed when I saw the mini boneyard area of vintage malev aircraft as you leave BUD Airport; glad I snapped video of that with my iPhone.

    Really enjoyed my stay in BUD!

  6. I sure wish they would have flown this from EWR so I could get connecting flights to/from TPA on the same UA award ticket.

  7. Glad that someone is opening up Budapest to international routes. If you haven’t been to Budapest, JUST GO!!!! Absolutely awesome city that is changing in so many ways, and all for the good!

  8. No availability in J on LO from ORD to BUD using UA miles. Do Miles & More members have better access to J on LO?

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