American Airlines has unveiled a substantial change to its long-haul flight strategy, revealing its plan to discontinue the New York JFK – Doha route after October 28th. This strategic shift reflects the airline’s ongoing network reassessments, with the Doha service relocating to the airline’s Philadelphia hub on October 29th.
Old route from JFK
The New York JFK – Doha route had been an important one for American in facilitating passenger connections to Lahore, Islamabad, and Dhaka via a partnership with Qatar Airways. View from the Wing highlights that the Qatar Airways codeshare program had experienced notable growth, with nearly 20% of inbound Qatar passengers transitioning to American Airlines flights. This dynamic connectivity has facilitated over 175,000 transfers from American Airlines to Qatar Airways.
Operational considerations in New York led to this significant move. The Northeast Alliance, a collaboration between American Airlines and JetBlue, had initially influenced American’s decision to retain the JFK – Doha route, as JetBlue functioned as a sort of feeder into JFK for American transatlantic flights. However, the dissolution of this alliance has granted American Airlines the flexibility to adjust its New York capacity.
Move to Philadelphia
American Airlines’ new nonstop service from Philadelphia (PHL) to Doha (DOH) strategically capitalizes on Philadelphia’s role as American’s primary transatlantic hub. The change aims to provide improved travel options. American’s partnership with Qatar Airways will continue, offering seamless onward connections to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
According to an American Airlines statement, the move is ultimately a matter of network optimization.
“As part of a continuous evaluation of our network, American Airlines will shift its Doha service from New York to Philadelphia starting Oct. 29. This new nonstop PHL-DOH service will offer connections from more than 80 destinations across North America to Doha. As part of American’s partnership with Qatar Airways, customers can connect in Doha to destinations across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. We’re proactively reaching out to customers affected by the change to offer alternate travel arrangements.”
American Airlines’ JFK-DOH route was not long lived. Bolstered by its previous relationship with JetBlue that involved special focus on JFK, the route originally launched on June 4th, 2022. It deployed its Boeing 777-300ER for the route.
Overlap with Qatar Airways
This shift to Philadelphia also sparks speculation about presently unannounced aircraft selection for the Philadelphia-Doha route and possible responses from Qatar Airways. American’s new route comes in addition the existing daily Qatar Airways flights between Philadelphia and Doha, expanding choices for U.S.-Qatar travel.
Qatar Airways and American Airlines reestablished their codeshare relationship in 2020, but that came following several years of tense relations during the two years prior. American contended that the gulf carrier benefited from unfair subsidies.
As American Airlines reroutes its Doha flights through Philadelphia following the end of its relationship with JetBlue, passengers can anticipate more seamless travel to and from the rest of the US than might now be possible through JFK, given Philadelphia’s status as American’s primary transatlantic hub.
Do you think that American Airlines’ decision to move its Doha route from JFK to Philadelphia will provide better travel and connection options for travelers? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: View from the Wing
American Airlines has not had the slam dunk it was hoping for as Bangalore’s first connection to the US in 2020. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, New York JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Robert Isom
- United States