28th Jul 2012, 16:37
OLT Express have filed for bankruptcy and have suspended all flights.
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28th Jul 2012, 16:37
OLT Express have filed for bankruptcy and have suspended all flights.
Buster the Bear
28th Jul 2012, 17:49
Huge expansion rapidly, sadly another one bites the dust
28th Jul 2012, 17:55
At the moment it's only the domestic routes ie the ATR fleet the international side ie airbuses is not affected :ok:
28th Jul 2012, 18:01
no routes at all bookable on there website
28th Jul 2012, 22:54
Sad to hear about this. The failure relates just to OLT Regional Express, which operates domestic routes, not OLT Express Poland, the charter arm.
I recently flew OLT Regional Express on a domestic sector in Poland. The flight was operated by a Spanish Swiftair flight crew with OLT cabin crew. Maybe their downfall was offering fixed low prices on every service. The flight was fairly full, but I would have paid a lot more than I did for the one-hour flight to avoid an 8-hour train or road journey. Poland badly needs region-to-region domestic connections - it is a huge country with a poor road network and slow railways. OLT was a breath of fresh air.
31st Jul 2012, 11:13
OLT Airbus fleet arrived in Dublin overnight
31st Jul 2012, 11:44
Airbus A319 -111 2460 SP-IBC OLT Express Poland ferried 31jul12 WAW-SEN on return to lessor (+ 3865 SP-IBA WAW-PAD) ex G-EZIG
Airbus A320 -214 533 SP-IAA OLT Express Poland ferried 31jul12 POZ-DUB on return to lessor (+566 SP-IAB WAW-DUB, + 973 SP-IAC AMS-DUB) ex EI-DDL
Airbus A320 -214 1454 SP-IAE OLT Express Poland ferried 31jul12 WAW-OSR on return to lessor (+ 2712 SP-IAF) ex EI-EPX
Airbus A320 -214 2142 SP-IAD OLT Express Poland ferried 31jul12 AMS-MLA on return to Air Malta ex 9H-AEF
Airbus A320 -214 2619 SP-IAH OLT Express Poland ferried 31jul12 WAW-PAD on return to lessor ex D-ABDB
Airbus A320 -214 2668 SP-IAG OLT Express Poland ferried 31jul12 WRO-VIE on return to lessor ( + 5115 SP-IAI KTW-VIE) ex OE-LEO
31st Jul 2012, 13:36
Airbus A320-214 -SP-IAC as YAP232P on F24 AMS - DUB (?)
31st Jul 2012, 13:46
I wondered what all those OLT flights where last night ott
31st Jul 2012, 13:55
Looks like curtains for OLT Express then... LOT/EuroLOT will probably take over the best performing routes. While temporarily overshadowed by OLT Express, EuroLOT have in the meantime expanded their network. New routes added since 05 June include:
- Gdansk to Aarhus, Amsterdam, Bremen and Poznan
- Warsaw to Heringsdorf and Zadar
- Krakow to Amsterdam, Bremen, Florence, Hamburg, Heringsdorf, L'viv, Vilnius and Zurich
31st Jul 2012, 14:19
I know many people who certainly will not be switching from OLT Express to LOT for domestic flights, the vast majority of OLT express passengers were either new, or those who had switched from long journeys by rail.
In any case LOT have hiked the prices up of domestic flights, introduced a 50zl booking fee and now want to sell EuroLot which runs domestic flights because it is not profitable even at the new hiked prices introduced in the last few days, so it's clear that the reason they reduced their prices to lower than OLT Express in some cases and started waiving fees was merely to try and hasten the demise of the competition.
In other words now the competition is gone we'll go back to the usual overpriced domestic fares we had prior to the entry of OLT Express. Sure I think OLT caused a lot of their own downfall and was possibly too cheap and ambitious but at the same time LOT is overpriced for domestic flights and competition is badly needed and many people in Poland are angry that publicly owned LOT become somewhat predatory, if it was Ryanair or a LCC behaving the way LOT did there would be outrage.
31st Jul 2012, 15:04
I agree that many of OLT Express' PAX where probably using surface transport before, since many transversal domestic routes simply did not exist.
So OLT Express was useful; they showed that there was untapped domestic air travel potential. But it had to be at the right price. Of course LOT/EuroLOT temporarily lowered their fares to get rid of OLT - that's capitalism for you. But you can't keep such low fares forever. I've witnessed the price rise too, but are LOT now overpriced? Hard to say. They have to cover their costs somehow and (hopefully) make a profit, and they know what their cost structure is. Plus I bet they're now trying to recover some of the losses they took while fighting OLT Express.
A good proportion of PAX who enjoyed (temporary) low fares will go back to travelling by road or train...
In reality, even Ryanair or Wizz Air can't make low fares work on Polish domestic routes while flying 738s or A320s. Because of short sector length, only turboprops can fly some of these at a profit. But even there, I expect fares to be higher than what we've seen recently...
31st Jul 2012, 16:35
Considering that LOT are now talking about selling EuroLOT as the domestic business is not lucrative enough I would imagine that they will not be making a profit on such routes anytime soon. However I would also imagine that LOT is not the most efficient of businesses so their cost base would be much higher than a lot of airlines in Europe.
It is true that fares of 99zl which OLT Express were offering on a lot of flights were simply not viable, even between cities such as Warsaw and Gdansk. However at the same time if you look at August on LOT.pl the cheapest fares you are seeing is around 300zl including the new 48zl transaction fee with most fares sitting at 350-400zl (almost 100 euro) which simply is too much.
31st Jul 2012, 16:52
Warsaw-Gdansk as a sample major route between 2 major cities takes about 6 hours by train.
Easyjet manage to do pretty well flying A320 family aircraft between London and Edinburgh / Glasgow, which would take only 4h30 by train.
I realise that average incomes are higher in the UK than Poland, but the economy in Poland is not doing too badly.
Yes, I know the LCC base in Warsaw has moved to Modlin, but the train to central Warsaw when in full operation will take only 30 mins - equivalent to Gatwick or Luton.
Could someone explain what would stop Wizzair (or Ryanair if they don't know what to do with surplus aircraft) from flying on some of the larger domestic Polish routes with A320 / B737 sized aircraft, possibly as double daily W routes Monday-Friday, or why this could not be profitable ?
Alternatively, could an EU carrier like flyBE come in and do something with smaller regional aircraft ?
I keep thinking that with short distances by air but poor ground public transport there's a gap in the market (and yes, a market in the gap before someone points out the difference), which means that some other EU airline may see an opportunity to make money.
31st Jul 2012, 18:00
I myself flew WAW-GDN a few months ago on an Airbus A320 and it was about 90% full and that was in the first few weeks of OLT operating on the route and from what I believe they got more and more popular after this.
Anyone running on the domestic routes is going to have to deal with LOT though, and they are not going to hesitate to use their state owned funding to defend their position as they did with OLT.
I doubt Wizz have that much slack in their fleet to be honest to start running lots of domestic flights as it's pretty much being fully used at the moment thanks to the battle with Ryanair in Budapest and Poland they are going with at the moment. Ryanair however, have spoke about possibly entering the domestic market and would be able to free planes up much more easily you'd think.
31st Jul 2012, 18:36
Few motorways and slow train connections are the main reasons why Poland has domestic potential. I recently flew WAW-SZZ on OLT Express; the choice was 9hrs by train, 8hrs by road, or... 1hr by air (plus 45min by shuttle from the airport)! Btw, the aircraft was at least 75% full both ways... However, because of average route length and PAX figures, most routes are viable only when flown by turboprops.
EDI or GLA to STN or LGW are between 300 and 320nm in a straight line, and they are "trunk" routes; that works for EZY or FR. The only Polish routes that would compare would be for instance GDN-KRK (260nm), SZZ-WAW (240nm) or GDN-KTW (240nm). On a short route a heavy jet does not reach its optimum FL, hence a high fuel burn - reflected on fares. The Polish economy is doing rather well, but that's not always reflected on wages, and the local market is extremely price-sensitive (the same can be said of the local charter market btw).
Shorter connections, such as GDN-WAW, WAW-RZE (135nm) or GDN-WRO (195nm), or "thin" routes where PAX numbers don't justify a larger aircraft, could probably only support turboprops. So in theory an operator such as Flybe/Flybe Nordic could be tempted, but EuroLOT has the advantage of being the incumbent, and considering their crew wages :sad: (and State backing) could still undercut the competition...
31st Jul 2012, 19:33
Ryanair however, have spoke about possibly entering the domestic market and would be able to free planes up much more easily you'd think.No doubt, with all these "spare" planes out of use during the winter...
Only a lack of base in Modlin would limit this option. Anyway, e.g. WRO - WMI would be perfectly possible and probably worth trying, as the relevant train travel takes 5½ hrs or more.
31st Jul 2012, 21:26
This company didnt last long. Good luck to all involved.
anyone know if OLT Express Germany has been affected?
31st Jul 2012, 21:28
What OLT offered that was new was the chance to do a day trip between two regional cities - something that was a welcome development for many Polish business people.
31st Jul 2012, 22:32
Would the new routes to BRS, NCL and EDI etc planned to commence in October have worked?
31st Jul 2012, 23:32
would there be a market for easyjet to fly from SEN to poland?
1st Aug 2012, 00:14
It is very difficult to compete with the hugely overstaffed monopoly of LOT.
They have strangled Polish air travel for many years.Mainline LOT staff look down upon Eurolot staff as being second class.
1st Aug 2012, 00:26
wawkrk - in the mid 1990s, British Airways was overstaffed and functioned as a quasi-monopoly
BA had kept UK flying under their control for many years - only bmi kept them vaguely honest.
BA mainline staff then looked with disdain and contempt at tiny budget carriers Easyjet and Ryanair and their staff
1st Aug 2012, 07:34
And still look down on their passengers as an inconvenience.
2nd Aug 2012, 07:38
I've spotted some rumours suggesting that the unfortunate OLT Express was created mostly as a tool to deliberately burn the investors money. This airline has been owned in its entirety by quasi-bank investment company that has apparently implemented a variation of the pyramid scheme. They collected large sums of money promising their investors high rates of return, unrealistically high. And from the very beginning they knew that the money would never return to their owners. But why they decided to own an airline? Having "earned" substantial sums of money for themselves, being unable to return the original value, they needed an easy way to squander the rest. Fast, effectively and without criminal charges. As the money loss results from a mistaken investment, can they bee held responsible under the law?
As we learn, they needed just four months to burn the money. Didn't even negotiate the airport fees, provided catering on 20-euro flights, flown jets with just one pax on board etc., it's easy. The money evaporated.
Can anybody from Poland shed some light on this subject?
2nd Aug 2012, 07:51
This is not limited to OLT Express though. Last time I flew Eurolot, for 25 eur I got catering (free wine included), free luggage and even an Ipad during the flight. There were 11 passengers on an ATR.
3rd Aug 2012, 13:12
alm1 when did you fly? Prices like that were virtually unheard of until LOT lowered them when OLT came on the scene.
Meanwhile in Poland there is now allegations that there was some conspiracy against OLT Express to protect LOT (use google Translate) from state agencies.
Amber Gold: Tajna notatka dowodem na operacj (http://trojmiasto.gazeta.pl/trojmiasto/1,35636,12245728,Amber_Gold__tajna_notatka_dowodem_na_operacje_przeciwko.html)
There is also an anticorruption investigation going into Modlin Airport as well that was revealed at around the same time.
9th Aug 2012, 14:16
OLT Express Owner Sees Low Labor Costs Key To Profit (http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/avd_08_09_2012_p04-01-484216.xml)
Good for all people at OLT and Contact Air :D
Panta Holdings is also the current owner of Denim Air and past owner of VLM
German: OLT Express Germany mit neuem Eigentümer (http://gds.oltexpress.de/nc/unternehmen/news/aktuell/article/sonderflug-zur-aero-am-21042012-in-friedrichshafen/)
10th Aug 2012, 05:38
I saw a massive illuminated advert in Krakow last night for the renamed Eurolot.com It showed the brand new route network also some routes with Embraer 175. Routes I cannot remember seeing in the past Zurich,Florence,Aarhus,Zadar,Split,Dubrovnik. but I am not sure which are actually new I have not used them for a while. Fares from 195PLN.(38GBP)
Aviation in Poland has huge potential and has been strangled for years by state run LOT. The percentage of the population who fly are about on a par with some third world nations.
If LOT- Eurolot.com get their act together with modern management methods and top heavy staff reductions, they could compete with Wizz at least in Poland.