The Polish government established the airline as a state owned self governing corporation on the 1st of January, 1929, taking over existing domestic lines Aerolot and Aero.
On the 2nd of January, 1929, LOT started its operations using Junkers F.13 and Fokker F.VII aircraft.
LOT was accepted into IATA in 1930, and opened international routes to Bucharest, Berlin, Helsinki and other destinations later that year.
Until Second World War started, the airline carried almost 220,000 passengers, and its fleet included Douglas DC-2s, Lockheed L-10A Electras and L-14H Super Electras.
On the 10th of March, 1945, the Polish government recreated the LOT airline and, one year later, services restarted with 10 Lisunov Li-2 aircraft, joined later by 9 Douglas C-47 and 30 more Li-2s.
After the end of the stalinist period in Poland, a few Western aircraft were acquired (Convair 240 and Vickers Viscount), before the fleet switched to Soviet aircraft once again.
In 1961, LOT buys its first turboprops, Soviet-made Il-18s.
In 1968, LOT acquires its first jet, the Tu-134.
In 1972, long-haul Il-62s join the fleet, and the first Polish flight over the Atlantic Ocean is performed by a LOT aircraft.
In 1972, regular service from Warsaw to New York is introduced.
In 1986, the old Il-18s and Tu-134s are withdrawn from the fleet, and new Tu-154Ms are purchased.
Two years later, LOT acquires Boeing 767 jets, becoming the first carrier in Central and East European countries operating American equipment.
During the early 1990s, new Western aircraft continue to be added to the fleet, and the airline becomes a single-shareholder State Treasury company (December, 1992).
New routes continue to be added to the network, and «Business Travel World» recognizes LOT as the best airline in Central and Eastern Europe in the business class for four consecutive years – 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
On the 1st of July, 1997, EuroLOT, a wholly-owned subsidiary airline, was established.
On the 18th of November, 1999, the Minister of the State Treasury signs agreements for the sale of LOT’s shares to Swiss SAirGroup Holding.
In 2001, LOT transported over 3 million passengers.
In October, 2003, LOT became a Star Alliance member.
LOT created a low cost subsidiary, Centralwings, in 2004. Five years later, Centralwings ceased operations.
In early October, 2006, LOT S.A. is awarded, the title of «IT Leader» and prize in a competition organized by weekly «Computerworld», for achievements in the use of IT.
In September, 2007, LOT is awarded the prestigious Business Traveller award for «Best Airline in Central and Eastern Europe» for the second time.
In May, 2009, LOT Polish Airlines sets up a new charter division called LOT Charters.
On the 8th of November, 2009, LOT Polish Airlines and Cargojet inaugurate the first direct transatlantic freighter service in the history of Polish commercial aviation.
In January 2010, and again in 2011, LOT Polish Airlines was named the Best Eastern European Airline in the reader survey of Global Traveler magazine.
In 2011, a new type of aircraft, the Embraer 195, enhanced the LOT fleet.
At the end of 2012, LOT Polish Airlines became the first European airline that started operating the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The cabin, configured with 18 Elite Club seats, 21 Premium Club seats and 213 Economy Class seats, offers unparalleled levels of comfort.
Since August 2103, LOT has been performing all long-haul flights only with its five Dreamliners.
In May 2014, the LOT Polish Airlines fleet was joined by the sixth Boeing 787 with a graceful name of Frank, which was given by passengers in an Internet contest. By the end of 2017, the Polish airline will have eight Dreamliners.
In March 2015, Eurolot, a formerly wholly owned subsidiary airline operating since 1997, ended operations and transferred the majority of its fleet of Bombardier Q400 aircraft to LOT.
In 2016, as part of the airline’s future expansion, LOT agreed to lease 6 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 4 Boeing B737 800 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation, with deliveries starting in 2017.
In 2017, LOT started operating more long-haul routes, such as between Warsaw and South Korea, Los Angeles, and Newark, as well as from Krakow to Chicago.
In December 2017, LOT has taken delivery of its first Boeing B737 Max, becoming the first operator of this type of aircraft in the Central and Eastern European regions, and one of the first overall operators in Europe after the budget carrier Norwegian Air.
For 2018, LOT announced new routes to Dubrovnik, Nuremberg, and Moscow – Domodedovo, as well as the resume of service to Oslo, Panama City, and Singapore.
First deadly accident involving LOT aircraft occurred in December, 1962, when 33 people on board a Vickers Viscount 804 perished due to a crash at landing in bad weather at night in Warsaw. Poland’s worst air disaster took place in May, 1987, when a LOT Il-62M crashed shortly after departure from Warsaw, killing all 183 people on board. Last fatal incident involving LOT occurred in November, 1988, when an Antonov An-24W made an emergency landing on a field after both engines failed, and one passenger died.