On top of today’s announcement that American Airlines and Qatar Airways would launch a codeshare agreement, American also announced that it was exploring options for adding flights to Qatar Airways’ hub in Doha. What should passengers expect from this announcement?
American is exploring Doha flights
Launching a long-haul flight is something that requires careful planning. Currently, American is exploring launching flights to Doha’s Hamad Airport. This means that the airline is at the beginning stages of putting together a flight to Doha.
American can make the business case for this flight. On both ends, there are connections available across the United States on American and through Africa and Asia on Qatar Airways.
However, do not expect American to launch any flights soon. The airline has not given a firm launch date for flights to Doha. However, American confirmed to Simple Flying that flights would likely commence in 2021 at the soonest. But, as of now, nothing has been confirmed.
Where could American fly to Doha from?
Hubs are likely the strongest candidate for American flights to Doha. These include cities like Charlotte, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Although, minus Charlotte, all of these cities see service to Doha on Qatar Airways.
However, another option could be Seattle from where American will be flying to Bangalore, India, from this October. As Alaska Airlines intends to join oneworld, this would help foster greater connectivity to another destination that does not have nonstop service to Doha. Not to mention, it would give the Pacific Northwestern United States greater access to one-stop flights to other destinations in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
American’s other Middle Eastern destinations
The Middle East is a bit of a white space for the airline. Aside from flights to Tel Aviv that will launch this fall, American does not operate any other flights to the Middle East. Currently, to get to the Middle East, passengers will have to connect through Europe on other airlines like British Airways.
Will the Qatar blockade affect American?
American confirmed to Simple Flying that it does not expect the ongoing Qatari blockade to impact the airline’s operations should it launch flights to Qatar. Although, Iranian airspace is off-limits for American Airlines.
What aircraft could American use?
The 787 is one of the likely contenders for the route. This aircraft is fuel-efficient and works well for long-range routes. And, hopefully, American will have a new 787 that have business class seats with doors on it.
American could also use Boeing 777 aircraft. Although, that would not offer the same operating economics as the 787 which is more fuel-efficient.
Greater connectivity is great news for passengers. And, it is good to see American and Qatar bury the hatchet in a way that still benefits passengers.
American is exploring launching flights to Doha, Qatar. However, nothing has been confirmed yet. For now, passengers should wait and see how American and Qatar leverage this partnership.
Do you want American to launch flights to Doha? Let us know in the comments!