After two years of delays, American Airlines is set to add Qatar to its destination map. The carrier will add flights from New York to Doha in June 2022, its second route to the Middle East. The new route marks the deepening relationship with oneworld partner Qatar Airways and the airline’s plans for next summer.
Welcome to Qatar
In a statement today, American Airlines announced a new destination on its 2022 summer map: Doha, Qatar. The carrier’s long-awaited route has been set back two years due to the pandemic, with the idea first floated in early 2020. However, with travel set to significantly rebound next summer, American is finally ready to take the leap.
American will operate between New York JFK and Doha from June 4th, 2022. The flight will operate daily, right alongside Qatar Airways’ A350 flights. American plans on deploying its largest aircraft, the 777-300ER, on the JFK-DOH.
In a statement about the airline’s second route into the Middle East (after Tel Aviv), American’s VP of Network Planning, Brian Znotins, said,
“We continue to creatively find ways to build a network that gets customers where they want to go when they are ready to travel. 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.”
American Airlines’ new route from Doha hasn’t come out of the blue, it’s a development in the airline’s partnership with Qatar Airways. After announcing a codeshare in February 2020, the US giant has been looking to further leverage the Middle East airline’s enviable network in Africa and Asia.
The new JFK-DOH service will run alongside Qatar Airways‘ thrice-daily A350 flights on the same route. While there is a small market for direct travel, connecting traffic is the main target for American Airlines here.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways is more than happy to bring in a partner at Doha, with CCO Thierry Antinori saying,
“We look forward to welcoming our oneworld partner and friends at American Airlines to our home airport in Doha, recently voted the World’s Best Airport, and offer connectivity to numerous business and leisure destinations across the region and beyond.”
Not so smooth
While the launch of a new route is exciting, it’s not all sunny in summer 2022. American Airlines has been forced to cancel planned flights to Edinburgh and Shannon next year due to the ongoing 787 delivery pause. With its A330s and 767s retired, the carrier had been relying on its 787 order to boost capacity in time for next summer.
However, with widebodies stretched thin, the airline has bumped up other seasonal routes. American will fly to Venice, Lisbon, Barcelona, and more cities in anticipation of pent-up demand. For now, the airline is hoping for a booming summer and a much-awaited recovery.
What do you think about American’s new route to Doha? Let us know in the comments!