According to a news story in the Wall Street Journal, American Airlines wants to operate a new route between New York JFK and Doha in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar next year.
The route’s inauguration coincides with the airline’s promise, made shortly before the epidemic, to assist Qatar Airways to repair its relationship.
Since February 2020, when the Dallas Fort Worth-based carrier, and Qatar Airways put their disagreements aside and chose to embark on a new strategic alliance, an American Airlines flight to Doha has been on the cards.
Despite the fact that both airlines are members of the Oneworld alliance, the two carriers had been at odds for several years.
Animosity had grown as a result of allegations that Qatar Airways was getting government subsidies that threatened the very viability of American carriers — accusations that American had helped to spread.
Qatar Airways threatened to leave the Oneworld alliance after American Airlines funded a high-profile campaign against the Doha-based airline. In 2017, American Airlines turned down a bid by Qatar Airways to buy a 10% interest in the airline, further deteriorating relations.
All of that changed in February 2020, when the two sides revived their friendship and resumed their codeshare agreement, which had been terminated since 2018. As part of the groundbreaking agreement, American also stated that it would investigate launching a direct flight to Doha.
American Airlines has committed to launching nonstop service between New York JFK and Doha in 2022, in time for Qatar’s staging of the FIFA World Cup next year. On June 7, 2022, service will commence.
It is hoped by network planners that it would function as more than just a trophy route. American Airlines will be able to make use of Qatar’s presence in Southeast Asian countries where direct flights are now unavailable.
“We continue to creatively find ways to build a network that gets customers where they want to go when they are ready to travel,” commented Brian Znotins, American’s Vice President of Network Planning on Thursday.
“Adding Doha to our expansive global network and resuming a significant portion of our European routes provides our customers with more choices as they plan next year’s vacations.”
The goal is that American Airlines can rapidly turn this route viable, as the airline is planning to decrease service to a number of long-haul destinations next year due to problems with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner program.