How to make a report on a flight operated by an airline that used to exist only between April and July 2012? When there is no such airline as in FR database? I will try anyway using the code of the German OLT that used to be the part of the group.
This flight dates back to April 2012 and it's a return flight from my birthday trip to Gdansk. It wouldn't have taken place without the madness called OLT EXPRESS airlines that announced to start its operation on domestic market in the beginning of the year causing a lot of confusion from the very beginning as the tickets were supposed to be ultra cheap while the airline planned to fly between almost all the major Polish cities offering a hot snack and full range of beverages even on the shortest routes. Sounds crazy, right? This craziness lasted only 4 months and ended up with a bankruptcy of the airline and it's mother company Amber Gold.
OLT EXPRESS POLAND
It has all started in 2009 with foundation of a charter airline called YES AIRWAYS that was based in Warsaw and operated from regional airports in Poland on behalf of tour operators. In 2012 it was rebranded as OLT Express Poland by its new owners, Amber Gold, who also controlled OLT Express Germany and OLT Express Regional. At the same time the airline announced its expansion on domestic market starting in April 2012 and European market starting in October the same year. As all the domestic flights in Poland have been operated by then exclusively by LOT, the new airline has been immidiately attacked by the flag carrier on using unfair practices and stealing the name that from 1929 belonged to LOT (OLT called itself "NEW POLISH AIRLINES that combined with its short name OLT that by accident used the same 3 letters as LOT but in a different configuation was supposed to mean that it will soon become the new airline of Poland).
The problem of LOT was more serious as people got crazy about cheap airline tickets and started buying OLT tickets on domestic routes leaving LOT aircarft operating on domestic routes between April and July 2012 literally empty. OLT Express inaugural flight from Warsaw to Gdansk took place on 1 April 2012. The airline offered flight between these two cities almost every hour and as the prices started from a couple of euros for a return ticket bought in advance, almost everyone wanted to spend a summer weekend by the sea brought there by A320 within 30 minutes. OLT was that time the first and only airline in Poland to operate A319/A320 fleet. The future seemed to look bright but soon it appeared that the airline operates thanks to the money of Amber Gold customers that were cheated by the so called "pyramid scheme" as their money was not invested in gold but used to ensure the operations of the airline. As a result of this fact revealed, OLT Express cancelled all its services on the 31st of July 2012 leaving all the passengers stranded. All leased aircraft were returned to their owners. The European network planned to be launched in October 2012 has never become reality. My next trip to Gdansk in August was cancelled and it was only thanks to my bank that I received all the money using charge-back service. The owner of the airline - Amber Gold announced its bankruptcy in September 2012.
The April trip to Gdansk had 3 goals: to celebrate my birthday, fly the new airline that everyone was so crazy about and also visit the new terminal built especially for Euro 2012. The new terminal looked good from the very first moment.
Lufthansa Regional E-190 operating flight to FRA
Our flight was slightly delayed but soon the A320 SP-IAD in characteristic red and white livery landed and boarding started. Strange thing was the seats were not assigned and there was a free-seating policy on this flight.
View from my seat and the cabin
Onboard magazine. I must say this whole big lie looked really professional.
The airline used also some old ATRs like this one operating flight to Lodz
The terminal seen from the tarmac
Taxiing for departure
Few minutes after take off with view of Gdanks bay and mouth of Vistula river
Despite the flight being short, we received a warm pastry, as promised, but there was no drink service due to catering company's fault… It was dry and tasteless
Some inflight views
Descending over Vistula river and Kampinos Forest that is the Kampinos National Park in the northern outskirts of Warsaw.
Another funny thing about OLT Express was that it always provided jet bridges for its passengers…but who was I to tell them how to spend "their" money?
My teedy souvenir from Gdansk
Thanks for reading!
Gdańsk - GDN
Warsaw - WAW
It seemed to good to be true and that's why the whole thing called OLT Express Poland ended in big bankruptcy. However it was nice to fly this unique airline that existed only a couple of months.
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