Will American’s New York To Doha Route Survive?

Will American’s New York To Doha Route Survive?

98

This is purely speculation on my part, but I’d like to go on the record as predicting that American’s New York to Doha route will be cut sooner rather than later…

The basics of American’s New York to Doha route

In June 2022, American Airlines launched a new route between New York (JFK) and Doha (DOH). The route is operated daily using a Boeing 777-300ER (though we have seen some aircraft variations in the past). At over 6,700 miles, this is one of American’s longest flights, as the airline really doesn’t do a lot of ultra long haul flying anymore.

Presumably this route was motivated by a few factors:

  • The World Cup was being hosted in Qatar in late 2022, so at least for some amount of time, there would be significant demand for this service
  • In 2020, American and Qatar Airways launched a new strategic partnership, whereby we’d see more cooperation between the two airlines
  • While I’m happy to see US and Gulf carriers cooperating more closely, this service seems to be part of American’s bigger problem of not having a very cohesive route planning strategy, and just kind of trying different things in different places

While American is the world’s largest airline, American is just a massive domestic and short haul international airline, when it comes down to it. For long haul service, American does well with London year-round, seasonally does well with additional Europe flying in summer (as all airlines do), and has historically been strong in Latin America (but now isn’t as strong as in the past), but that’s about it. American’s global route network pales in comparison to United’s.

American flies a Boeing 777-300ER to Doha

American’s New York to Doha route can’t be performing well

Ultra long haul flying relies on premium demand to be profitable, and that’s an area where this route seems to be performing particularly poorly. For the past few months (admittedly Ramadan is a quiet period for travel to the Middle East, but also before and after that) I’ve been keeping a close eye on loads on this route, by checking American’s upgrade lists on the route almost daily.

OMG these flights are consistently empty in first and business class. Until the day of departure, first class often doesn’t have a single person booked in it, while it’s not unusual to see business class under half full, and that’s after all upgrades have cleared. So if you’re looking to upgrade, the good news is that this route is a near guarantee, regardless of your status.

That’s not a good sign for the success of this route, especially when you consider the other factors at play:

  • No one in their right mind who has the choice would choose to book American business class over Qatar Airways business class, given the stark difference in the quality of products
  • The economics of ultra long haul flying are challenging to begin with, and will be even tougher for American once the new pilot contract is ratified, where pilots will be making a lot more than before (it’s disproportionately costly on ultra long haul flights, where you have four pilots getting paid for the entire flight)
  • American doesn’t actually have a robust domestic network to & from New York, but rather that’s mostly served by JetBlue; so for those not originating in New York, you’re much better connecting to Qatar Airways at another gateway

Now, in fairness, economy is typically quite full on this route, but that’s not exactly high yielding traffic. These are almost entirely passengers connecting beyond Doha on Qatar Airways, and that makes per-segment revenue even lower.

It’s possible my read on the situation is wrong, or that cargo is somehow incredibly lucrative on this route, or that demand will pick up, but everything I see points to this route not exactly being a success. It’s not a good sign when a flight is basically a guaranteed upgrade, and often goes out with dozens of empty first and business class seats… especially on a long haul route.

I can’t imagine why people aren’t paying for American first class!

Bottom line

In 2022, American launched a new route between New York and Doha, which marked an exciting new level of cooperating with Qatar Airways. Unfortunately this route hasn’t proven to be terribly popular in terms of premium demand, and this has to be American’s most consistently empty flight in premium cabins.

For ultra long haul flights, there’s usually an inverse correlation between how easy an upgrade is on a route and how profitable it is, and that’s not a good sign for this route. Maybe things will improve, but my money is on this route being cut before the end of 2023.

What do you think — will American’s New York to Doha route survive?

Conversations (98)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Hammer New Member

    … Aaaaand it’s being cut as of Oct 29 per Aeroroutes

  2. Jake Guest

    Hopefully it will survive flew on American last week from doha to raleigh Via new york JFK and my flight from doha to new york is completely full by all means all classes some people couldn’t fly due to overbooking in the flight it’s self

  3. iamhere Guest

    Exactly what I was thinking in that about the huge difference in hard and soft product delivered. If American was far cheaper than Gulf carriers then this may be diffeent, but I don't think this is the case.

  4. Brianair Guest

    Yes. I predict AA will cut Doha. I think they wanted to increase traffic there due to the World Cup last year, but now that it’s over, it doesn’t matter much anymore. As long as AA is still run by idiots that are trying to turn it back into America West or US Airways, expect even more cuts on international routes.

  5. Maurício Guest

    American carriers, with their awful passenger services and cheap products, cannot compete with the gulf carriers and their great onboard services and top products!

  6. chuck Guest

    Before you talk about dropping this route, you should think of why it started to begin with...

    When AA announced this route, it was in the middle of the Pandemic when they needed routes AND QR was preparing for the biggest event in the country's history - the FIFA World cup - and it was short about 25+ A350s (grounded) due to the pissing contest it was in with Airbus

    i am sure that AA...

    Before you talk about dropping this route, you should think of why it started to begin with...

    When AA announced this route, it was in the middle of the Pandemic when they needed routes AND QR was preparing for the biggest event in the country's history - the FIFA World cup - and it was short about 25+ A350s (grounded) due to the pissing contest it was in with Airbus

    i am sure that AA was offered incredible incentives over and above the code share revenue to start this route but now....

    honestly, if you were a paying passenger, would you choose a Q suite over AA?? i don't think so

    i did take it once since i was able to get an 95K FIRST CLASS seat and it was worth it until i got to DOH and had to buy a continuing ticket

    FYI - in the F/C cabin was me (on points), a CK who upgraded and the balance of the cabin was employees.....

    Enough said!!

  7. Nico Guest

    I took this flight from JFK to Doha when I was working at the World Cup. I was surprised how much packed the flight was - they even had passengers on standby which they didn't manage to get on. Most of the pax where connecting in Doha to other destinations. I was surprised they were operating 772 and not 773 (which they did at somepoint). J was packed. Service was fine - nothing to rave or complain about. It would be sad to see AA cancelling this route.

  8. Jake Guest

    American is *not* the world's largest airline, Delta is. Delta revenues have been higher than AA in all of 2022 and this continued on in 1Q23.

    Please get the facts right!!

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      AA is STILL the world's largest airline by multiple metrics, including the ones that the industry at large uses. Delta can have few quarters of high revenue, United can have the same with seat miles because of long flights, AA is and will stay the largest airline in the world for the foreseeable future.

    2. Gravelly Point Guy Guest

      No it’s not Ben, I feel sorry for you, but it’s actually United Airlines, AND, not only is it the world’s biggest already, but the spread will continue to grow bigger and bigger!!

    3. Brianair Guest

      Is this Tim Dunn’s burner account?

    4. Eskimo Guest

      Can we stop with the superficial measuring contest.

      The largest doesn't always satisfy.

  9. Azamaraal Diamond

    For all the talk about how wonderful Qatar is, there is a sad reality. Qatar has no customer service and when things go wrong they just point a finger and disappear.
    Still fighting a denied boarding event in MLE where Qatar changed planes, changed my ticket issued by AA (Q suite award), and then screwed up my ticket number (but not the other party on the PNR) and refused to do anything about it....

    For all the talk about how wonderful Qatar is, there is a sad reality. Qatar has no customer service and when things go wrong they just point a finger and disappear.
    Still fighting a denied boarding event in MLE where Qatar changed planes, changed my ticket issued by AA (Q suite award), and then screwed up my ticket number (but not the other party on the PNR) and refused to do anything about it. Had to buy replacement Y fare just to fly on same airplane as wife in J. Qatar refuses to refund the cost of the exorbitant last minute fare or discuss compensation. After a year!

    So if you fly on AA to DOH at least you know that Qatar won't screw up your ticket and that you will be able to board the aircraft. That's way more important than half-decent Champagne and weird menus.

  10. Alex Guest

    I flew both JFK-DOH on AA in Business and DOH-IAD in Qsuites.

    I wouldn't say that AA is so "inferior" in comparison - both are 1-2-1 and both provide a nice quality sleep.

    I would always prioritize schedule/availability over a particular 1-2-1 product.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Stephen

      If you’re a frequent flyer and judging the comparison solely on catching sleep ; the seat dimensions on the AA First suite is decent. Quite roomy and spacious. 2 inches more makes a difference on an ultra long haul flight.

      But overall I agree of course there is no comparison to Q Suites vs AA F.

    2. Amy Guest

      Yes, and the quality of the carpet in the aisle is slightly better on AA than on QR.

      Just a.point to illustrate how meaningless the point is.

  11. KuBear Guest

    I have this flight coming up on a weekday in September 2023 and so far, 19 business seats have been reserved. I hope AA don't cancel this route because I used AA SWUs. If they do, I hope they put me in Qsuite as a replacement :)

  12. Franklin Guest

    This route drives my crazy. I have never managed to take it due to pricing.

    I WANT to take it becuase I NEED to fly through Qatar often, and I also have a lot of upgrades. This would be an easy route to clear on, and clearly good value for my SWU.

    BUT I have never managed to take this flight. Even when I'm just transiting Doha, it is priced upwards of 1k...

    This route drives my crazy. I have never managed to take it due to pricing.

    I WANT to take it becuase I NEED to fly through Qatar often, and I also have a lot of upgrades. This would be an easy route to clear on, and clearly good value for my SWU.

    BUT I have never managed to take this flight. Even when I'm just transiting Doha, it is priced upwards of 1k more than on the QR flight. A few times I've found comparable prices, but when I try to click through, the price rises on the page.

    At the rates they are charging for this, a non-government employee who isn't reqiured to fly American just isn't going to pull the trigger on this.

  13. Josh Guest

    The problem with AA is the layer after layer after layer of management staff making 6 figure incomes while doing nothing! AA is the absolute WORST airline in the United States!! Should just go bankrupt and let other airlines take small pieces from the wreckage!! Miserable and entitled employees and management that has absolutely no clue how to operate a lemonade stand!

    Good RIDANCE!!!

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Josh

      American has went bankrupt before. They would never go out of business ; they are the largest airline in the world by fleet size ……. That’s a lot of hate you’re bringing for a Sunday morning. Yes American gets many things wrong but they have done some things well.

      They have huge Latin American presence out of MIA. …..

  14. David Guest

    This route is subsidized by QR. It's a strategic (and geopolitical) priority to get as many OW and other airlines to fly into DOH as possible, even if the service competes with QR itself.

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Someone finally said it!

  15. Lee Guest

    AA needs to get rid of Brian Znotins, its head of network planning. He has said on the record that AA is a better domestic carrier than an international carrier. He has said that AA works best when it delivers passengers to its international partners at key way-points. Fine. Stick with the plan. But, instead, it has been: let's try this . . . no, let's not . . . now, let's try that. Let's...

    AA needs to get rid of Brian Znotins, its head of network planning. He has said on the record that AA is a better domestic carrier than an international carrier. He has said that AA works best when it delivers passengers to its international partners at key way-points. Fine. Stick with the plan. But, instead, it has been: let's try this . . . no, let's not . . . now, let's try that. Let's do AUK from LAX. Let's not. Oh, let's try LAX again. Let's do SEA to LHR. Let's not. Let's do SEA to Bangalore. Let's not. Maybe we should try Singapore.

    The fundamental problem is that AA's customers can't plan their travel. They can't rely on the network and schedule. They can't be certain that the flight they book will still be there. So, they move to a carrier with a stable network and schedule. They don't want uncertainty. This is exactly what happened to me. One of my primary AA domestic routes went on again, off again. As a practical matter, I've had to move that business to another carrier. But, they've alienated me.

    Over the past few years, I've talked with a number of other CKs. This weighs upon them as well. The other comment that I also hear from them is about the secular decline in overall quality and in customer service.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      don't forget that Vasu has been reincarnated under a half dozen AA admins. I'm not sure who ultimately is responsible for AA's scattered network plans but there are multiple people's fingerprints on it.

      The only thing that AA knows what to do is fly to partner hubs. Whether QR gives it enough revenue to make AA's JFK-DOH flight work is unknown but Ben's observations are likely indicative that AA is holding onto a promise that will never be delivered.

    2. MaxPower Guest

      ... because AKL, AMS, CDG, FRA, BCN, LIS, VCE, MXP, FCO, GIG, SCL, EZE, UIO, GYE, BOG, PVG, PEK, ICN, MEX, HAV, PTY, YYZ, YVR, (and the rest of interior Mexico that Delta can't even make work with AM as a JV partner), among MANY others are partner hubs of AA... Of course not, because saying AA only knows how to fly to partner hubs is ignorant. But especially ironic from a Delta fanboy when...

      ... because AKL, AMS, CDG, FRA, BCN, LIS, VCE, MXP, FCO, GIG, SCL, EZE, UIO, GYE, BOG, PVG, PEK, ICN, MEX, HAV, PTY, YYZ, YVR, (and the rest of interior Mexico that Delta can't even make work with AM as a JV partner), among MANY others are partner hubs of AA... Of course not, because saying AA only knows how to fly to partner hubs is ignorant. But especially ironic from a Delta fanboy when Delta is the biggest proponent of routing as much traffic as they can through partner hubs whether ICN or AMS.

      Every airline has strengths. Delta won't be able to fly to those small European dots either once their 763s go away since Delta has nothing to replace that flying with unlike AA & UA.
      When AA had the depreciated 767s, they were flown to a lot of small dots too from Croatia to PRG as well. AA has been pretty honest they have a temporary widebody shortage. Not sure why it surprises people that there's a change in international flying until the new 787s come in along with the XLRs.

    3. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Agreed! Can't wait until Boeing & Airbus get their act together and start delivering Wide-bodies to AA. The route network will slingshot past others.

    4. ludovicomezze Guest

      What misinformed, moronic nonsense.

      And as for SEA and AA, the writing was on the wall with that one, once the pandemic hit. Pretty obvious AA wasn't going to hold onto building a long haul network there just to carry through a plan it conceived pre-pandemic. Delta is lapped by AS at SEA many times over, network wise and market share wise. The DL network to Asia performs rather poorly ex-Seattle and largely always...

      What misinformed, moronic nonsense.

      And as for SEA and AA, the writing was on the wall with that one, once the pandemic hit. Pretty obvious AA wasn't going to hold onto building a long haul network there just to carry through a plan it conceived pre-pandemic. Delta is lapped by AS at SEA many times over, network wise and market share wise. The DL network to Asia performs rather poorly ex-Seattle and largely always has. It never had a chance to mature and likely, it won't.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      AS flies to precisely ZERO cities in Asia. ZERO.

      When you have data that shows that Delta does worse from Seattle than any other carrier does from their Asian then please post it.

      AA's SEA gateway brainfart failed because they thought they would do what they have not achieved anywhere else - which is to deliver international revenues on par or superior to DL or UA in a market other than LHR or GRU

    6. crosscourt Guest

      "the secular decline in overall quality and in customer service." When was there any?

  16. Vin Guest

    I had some expiring systemic upgrade awards I gifted to two friends who went to the WC in November. Even at that time, they easily cleared both ways

  17. Marie Collins Guest

    3/2023 Terrible experience and Customer service From Doha two weeks ago. American is out of it’s league, they fail In this region.

  18. Alex77W Guest

    AA may have a contract with US government to fly to Middle East. For leisure destination DOH provides one-stop connection to Maldives, Bali, and Thailand.

    1. David Guest

      This route is subsidized by QR. It's a strategic (and geopolitical) priority to get as many OW and other airlines to fly into DOH as possible, even if the service competes with QR itself.

    2. ATP Guest

      Yes, falls in the same line as BA's LGW-DOH imo

  19. Bgriff Guest

    If I have a business class award ticket booked on this route, going only to Doha, in October, what do you think happens if the flight gets scrapped before then? (I suspect the answer is "nothing good"...)

  20. Jeffrey Carswell Guest

    It will only survive if they lift their quality of service significantly

  21. Dn10 Guest

    AA should have flights from PHX and CLT to DOH.

    1. Josh Guest

      Lol!!! The flight attendants who work in Phoenix don’t actually want to perform any work!!! Phoenix hub is going to close sooner or later. Stand by

    2. dander Guest

      you might be right, but I enjoy the PHX FA's. I use to work as a pre board screener, (pre TSA) and often a FA and I recognize each other. I did hear no transfers to PHX anymore from a FA not too long ago. They always treat me good and I'm always in coach.

  22. Dn10 Guest

    Only benefit of this route is that it’s easier to get award tickets on this vs the Qatar flight using AA miles (but at the same time more expensive).

    1. W Gold

      And because of the AA flight, AAdvantage almost never has award availability on the JFK-DOH leg on QR flights. I haven't seen one seat available on Qatar since AA launched that route. Also, many tickets from the U.S. to Asia with connections in JFK and DOH have the JFK-DOH leg operated by AA for the same price that used to be offered when that leg would have been on Qatar before AA's flight launched. Now, you have to pay more to fly Qatar on that route.

    2. Dn10 Guest

      Yeah that’s the major issue. Before this flight I used to see more Qatar award space. Not sure if it’s because of this flight or a post COVID boom in international travel but it’s much harder to get QR availability on this route now.

  23. ECR12 Guest

    This route certainly makes it more frustrating to search for JFK-DOH availability on Qatar....

  24. AaronP Guest

    I have this itinerary booked in the October in hopes of using 2of the 4 SWUs I earned after achieving LP status. Fingers crossed...

  25. Bob101 New Member

    Very timely article Ben! I'm an EP who has been looking to fly AA on this route by buying coach and upgrading with systemwide upgrades. They are never shown on my searches. It makes no sense - why wouldn't AA make these available if the premium cabins are empty? Any ideas?

    1. Randy Diamond

      If AA has thoughts of killing the route, then they don't want have to buy a ticket on another airline for an upgraded ticket.

  26. Tim Dunn Diamond

    You are absolutely right, Ben. The likelihood of success on this route was always low. Remember that AA gave away hundreds of AA employee jobs to JetBlue and in return AA would fly these new routes. Just like in Seattle, the JFK long haul routes will fall one by one

    1. thurstontravel Guest

      Naturally, and DL will never lose money and be the most profitable airline in the history of aviation. Not since Aeroflot's creation has the world seen such a marvel of business. What an idiot you are.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      You clearly aren’t one of the AA employees that have watched their domestic flying handed over to Alaska and JetBlue

    3. KS Guest

      And in the meanwhile DL runs empty flights on their SEA flights and print money? Lol..

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Do they? We would love to see your evidence for either statement. Maybe you can get Ben to monitor the premium cabins on Delta flights and the two of you combined will come up w the answer

      If you are convinced this isn’t a problem fir AA, why don’t you tell Ben instead of me? You do realize he just ran an accurate article about the coming end of long haul Seattle flights, don’t you?

    5. MaxPower Guest

      Tim, do you just wake up alone every day in your delta pajamas and monitor comments sections of a blog and think of something dumb and inaccurate to say about aa and ua?
      Please tell me you have more of a life than it appears from your incessant and ignorant posts.
      AA may be gone from Seattle for long haul but not for long… there’s just not much reason to keep rotating widebody...

      Tim, do you just wake up alone every day in your delta pajamas and monitor comments sections of a blog and think of something dumb and inaccurate to say about aa and ua?
      Please tell me you have more of a life than it appears from your incessant and ignorant posts.
      AA may be gone from Seattle for long haul but not for long… there’s just not much reason to keep rotating widebody aircraft there while Asia is down and BA can easily handle any incremental volume to London as can JL to Asia. Delta would probably love to have the ability to do that but they’d lose ground against AS, something aa doesn’t need to worry about.
      You don’t seem to have any grasp of the current Asian travel demand much less how a joint venture works. Or, if you do, you actively choose to just be a troll and post ignorant things to make your life at home seem ever so slightly more entertaining to yourself.

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      step back from the cliff.
      Once again, Ben and Ben alone made the observation about the premium cabin on AA's flights - just as it did about AA pulling out of SEA longhaul international.

      Why don't you trash him?

      The reality is that you don't like anything factually negative about AA but will take your frustration on whoever you think you can get by with.

      You do realize your childish immaturity is a pretty big target all by itself.

    7. MaxPower Guest

      I don’t care about aa
      Delta, American, and United didn’t fire me. Unlike you. Your weird objectivity to an airline that didn’t value you is unique to say the least.
      Work on objectivity
      But live your life.

    8. Tim Dunn Diamond

      for someone that boast about objectivity, you wrap your life around narratives that are created solely in your own disturbed head and nowhere else.

      If I were fired from Delta, why would I spend so much time in your mind defending them? You can't even create logical lies.

    9. ImmortalSynn Guest

      "Please tell me you have more of a life"

      It'd take a detective to find a single post of yours doing anything here besides obsessively responding to one single commenter, but you're criticizing someone ELSE for needing a life???

  27. shoeguy Guest

    Some inaccuracies as usual in this article. AA remains quite strong to Latin America broadly, and cited a surprising acceleration of demand and profit in their Q1-2023 results this past week. Frequencies are being added back on some key routes.

    AA recently returned the 77W to JFK-DOH (it was operating on the 772 for a time over the winter and early spring). I don't see this route lasting unless QR decides it does not...

    Some inaccuracies as usual in this article. AA remains quite strong to Latin America broadly, and cited a surprising acceleration of demand and profit in their Q1-2023 results this past week. Frequencies are being added back on some key routes.

    AA recently returned the 77W to JFK-DOH (it was operating on the 772 for a time over the winter and early spring). I don't see this route lasting unless QR decides it does not want to or can't return a 3rd frequency on JFK-DOH.

    The route I think is likely to be cut though is JFK-DEL. The extra long flight routing due to Russian airspace closures must be adding costs and though diversions to BGR were less frequent, that and the extended long stage length would suggest the route is not optimal, but then again, there is not a lot of nonstop competition out of JFK to DEL, with just AI, which offers a terrible product and an even worse reputation. Time will tell, I guess.

    As to connections, it is doubtful AA is requiring or seeing much connectivity at JFK onto the JFK-DOH flight. The itineraries probably originate in NY and are to destinations beyond DOH.

    1. Dn10 Guest

      I flew JFK to DEL the other week and business was quite full. Options for flying there are taking the direct AA or a Middle East stopover. There’s something good about the direct flight. Wish there was more onward connectivity in India but still a good route.

    2. DaBluBoi Guest

      Don't they have a partnership with the largest airline in India tho? Or is the codeshare agreement between AA and 6E very minimal?

      Given their success with the DEL route, I wouldn't be surprised if they launch JFK to BOM if the DOH flight ends up being canceled

  28. Jason Guest

    Check the pm I sent you. That’s the reason

  29. John Ebert Guest

    Bad for the A/L, good for UPGs

  30. Lepo Guest

    It seems this route was also started due to lack of aircraft by Qatar Airways since they had issues with Airbus and Boeing was not delivering the 787s at the time, so American stepped in and helped QR on this route. It actually happened in many other routes with other carriers since QR had a significant capacity issue with all the 350s grounded and no new 787s.

    Now that the grounded 350s are gradually returning...

    It seems this route was also started due to lack of aircraft by Qatar Airways since they had issues with Airbus and Boeing was not delivering the 787s at the time, so American stepped in and helped QR on this route. It actually happened in many other routes with other carriers since QR had a significant capacity issue with all the 350s grounded and no new 787s.

    Now that the grounded 350s are gradually returning to flight (and also 787s are being delivered) I believe QR will take over this flight from AA at some point within the next 12 months.

    1. W Gold

      QR used to operate a flight around the same timings AA's flights are operating (they had 3x JFK flights a day before AA launched their flight and it went down to 2x daily). QR launched that flight during Covid, and I loved the flight timings for that flight.

  31. ZEPHYR Guest

    In the US,
    when it comes to robust domestic network, Delta tops followed by American and United.
    For long haul network, United tops followed by Delta and then American.

    1. lavanderialarry Guest

      AA is the largest domestic carrier in the US, and by a wide margin over DL. The order is AA, DL, and UA.

    2. Robert Fahr Guest

      At one point in time, AA dominated international at JFK. Of course today it is all about DFW. Looking backward and forward, was this the best move?

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      AA is the largest domestic carrier in the US, and by a wide margin over DL.

      Um, no... you seem to have misspelled "Southwest," as they're far and away the largest domestic carrier in the USA.

      And AA and DL aren't that far apart at all.

  32. Steve Guest

    I’m an American Expat working in the ME and flew this route round trip in Business in the Summer of 2022.

    I was at first shocked that American even had this route and attributed it to the upcoming World Cup.

    My experience on the flights was lacking at best and nowhere near what I expected for a carrier that is in partnership with Qatar Airways.

    I sent a complaint to American detailing my dissatisfaction, and...

    I’m an American Expat working in the ME and flew this route round trip in Business in the Summer of 2022.

    I was at first shocked that American even had this route and attributed it to the upcoming World Cup.

    My experience on the flights was lacking at best and nowhere near what I expected for a carrier that is in partnership with Qatar Airways.

    I sent a complaint to American detailing my dissatisfaction, and am still waiting for a response or acknowledgment.

    I’m going to flew back to the states again in August, but bypassed American and booked my flights on Qatar Airways.

    If American drops this route, I’m not going to miss it.

    1. JB Guest

      Every time I fly this route, I purposely book away from the AA operated flight and go for the AA codeshare on Qatar. The difference in quality and service is just too great.

  33. AJ Guest

    Al Udeid air base houses 10k+ service members + large army of contractors. They must travel US based courier whenever possible.

    1. ted poco Guest

      They won’t be flying first or business class.

    2. Bagoly Guest

      So that explains why Economy is full.
      What level of fares does the Pentagon pay for such flights?
      If full fare economy then it may make money.
      Taking some current prices for June (and ignoring PE)
      AA: 212 seats in Economy at $2k = $414k
      Qatar would take up front 48 * $7k = $315k + 150 * $1k = $485k
      Economy works for the airline if they can charge enough for it!

    3. W Gold

      AA definetly will not fill those seats at 2K per seat for Economy! Most of the passengers on that flight are connecting beyond Doha on Qatar Airways, a majority of which are flying to South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.). Fares from the U.S. to South Asia are around $1,200 r/t in Economy most of the year on AA/QR. That means $600 one way, which will involve the AA JFK-DOH flight, a QR onward...

      AA definetly will not fill those seats at 2K per seat for Economy! Most of the passengers on that flight are connecting beyond Doha on Qatar Airways, a majority of which are flying to South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.). Fares from the U.S. to South Asia are around $1,200 r/t in Economy most of the year on AA/QR. That means $600 one way, which will involve the AA JFK-DOH flight, a QR onward flight, and maybe a connecting flight to JFK on AA metal. That means AA will likely only get $450 max for the JFK-DOH economy seat. That is what QR charges, because they make money flying Business Class passengers.
      And AA can't charge more than QR since they don't have a superior product and no one would fly them if they aren't cheaper.

    4. OneAlphaTwo Gold

      True, there are thousands of Gov/Mil personnel traveling to/from Qatar, however Gov/Mil personnel ARE authorized to fly foreign carriers if booked as a codeshare under a US airline. (This is common on Lufthansa to FRA).

      Also, I can't see that many Gov personnel utilizing this flight considering AA's very weak feed into JFK. A much more likely flight would be originating at IAD for local O&D traffic or feed through DFW, ORD or even...

      True, there are thousands of Gov/Mil personnel traveling to/from Qatar, however Gov/Mil personnel ARE authorized to fly foreign carriers if booked as a codeshare under a US airline. (This is common on Lufthansa to FRA).

      Also, I can't see that many Gov personnel utilizing this flight considering AA's very weak feed into JFK. A much more likely flight would be originating at IAD for local O&D traffic or feed through DFW, ORD or even PHL.

      And yes, as already stated, these folks will not be sitting in J or F unless they pay out of pocket to upgrade.

    5. XPL Diamond

      My wife books US Department of Defense international travel for service members so she sees what they pay. They pretty much always pay full fare unrestricted economy at inflated last minute fares that can cost nearly as much as business class had a few weeks prior. While it is true that in general economy passengers are only chipping for gas money, DoD travelers in economy are paying far more. If JFK-DOA has enough such travelers...

      My wife books US Department of Defense international travel for service members so she sees what they pay. They pretty much always pay full fare unrestricted economy at inflated last minute fares that can cost nearly as much as business class had a few weeks prior. While it is true that in general economy passengers are only chipping for gas money, DoD travelers in economy are paying far more. If JFK-DOA has enough such travelers (hello Al Udeld) then AA might not need to fill the front of the plane.

    6. OneAlphaTwo Gold

      That’s a good point that I should have mentioned as well, but to tack on to what you said about high fare, last minute bookings, those fares are contractually high because they can also cancel (or change) at the last minute with no penalties to the Gov.

      But I still just don’t know how many Gov/DOD personnel would be on THAT specific flight vs the other originating or connecting cities I mentioned.

  34. Paul Guest

    It will last as long as Malaysia's KUL - DOH flights, Finnair's ARN, CPH, & HEL - DOH flights. These routes only exist because Qatar were short of aircraft due to A350 problems and 787 delays. For sure most of the tickets are sold via Qatar Airways and they'll be paying AA for their service. As they eventually receive deliveries and reactivate stored A350s, these routes will stop. Cathay and Oman Air's leased aircraft will return home eventually too

    1. Daniel from Finland Guest

      Yeah, I presume this JFK service is practically a wet-lease to QR just like the Finnair flights are. Finnair has a set quota of a few dozen seats (that stay mostly empty) and QR pays good money for the rest of the plane, so it is profitable for the operator.

    2. Max Guest

      With Finnair it’s a bit different though than with the others: Due to the closure of russian airspace to EU airlines, Finnair had to cancel several Asia routes and now does have surplus aircraft. So they essentially made Doha their Asia hub in cooperation with Qatar Airways

    3. Daniel from Finland Guest

      Finnair has not made Doha its Asia hub. They still fly to key destinations in Asia. They have very few pax of their own on those Doha flights, so while it is possible to buy a Finnair ticket to Asia via Doha, few people seem to do so.

      (Interestingly, Finnair has a set quota of certain assigned seats on board, so it is easy to know whether pax are on QR or AY tickets when you walk through the cabin. Eg. 2L is a Finnair seat, 5L is a Qatar seat)

    4. Dn10 Guest

      I like the first class product on the Cathay leased planes.

  35. Maitreya Bhattacharya Guest

    I don't know whether this route will survive or not but American certainly has better options to use their 777-300ERs on. They can fly more to India as it is a much more high-yielding market.

  36. Julia Guest

    So why is American Airlines so weak in Asia?

    1. Nelson Diamond

      Because the competitors offer a better soft and hard product.

    2. DFWFlyer Guest

      Lol, no. UA only recently started having business class with all direct aisle access seating. Partnerships are the reason why AA is small in Asia. UA + ANA JV is probably a significantly bigger network than AA + JAL. DL is in a funny position where they don’t have a Japanese partner so they fly more to make up for that (and also legacy NWA operations and things like the auto industry drive more flights).

    3. Bagoly Guest

      @DFWFlyer
      I think Nelson was meaning Asian competitors, not UA and DL!

    4. Nelson Diamond

      @ Bagoly
      Thanks! Correct.

    5. Joe Jones Guest

      I think it has a lot to do with history. DL and UA both inherited full-fledged Tokyo hubs from NW and PA, respectively, and those had been the biggest transpacific operations in the world as far back as the late 40s, so both carriers had decades upon decades of a strong transpacific customer base, whereas AA didn't fly to Asia at all until it got Tokyo rights in the mid-80s, and it didn't fly to...

      I think it has a lot to do with history. DL and UA both inherited full-fledged Tokyo hubs from NW and PA, respectively, and those had been the biggest transpacific operations in the world as far back as the late 40s, so both carriers had decades upon decades of a strong transpacific customer base, whereas AA didn't fly to Asia at all until it got Tokyo rights in the mid-80s, and it didn't fly to any other Asian countries until the 2000s. (I am disregarding their short-lived South Pacific foray in the 70s)

      CO was also historically big in the region due to their Guam operation, which ended up being part of UA.

      It also didn't help that AA decided to rely on JAL for feed, and JAL then went through a bankruptcy restructuring and got shafted for Haneda slots relative to ANA.

      And (perhaps most importantly) AA's fortress hubs are not really fortresses of Asia traffic, with the exception of DFW. MIA/CLT/PHL don't have a great deal of Asia traffic, and AA in general tends to be a relatively weak option for people flying out of non-fortress hubs (NYC/LAX/CHI).

  37. Joe Jones Guest

    American's international strength has always been Latin America, much moreso than Asia or Europe. Their key long-haul destinations would include GRU/GIG/EZE/SCL.

    1. AG Guest

      This. In fact, I have been told many South Americans call the airline "Aerolineas Americanas" due to their strength across all the Americas.

  38. johnny Guest

    it will if more people get food poisoning in jordan and they miss the RJ flight like me

    1. Gabe Guest

      I agree the same exact situation happened to me.

  39. The Muslim Pax Guest

    Qatar use to operate 3x daily on the JFK-DOH route, only now AA is operating one of those rotations while QR does the other 2.

    I would much rather take Qatar over American but to say the two are that different is a big of an exaggeration especially for Economy class. Both airlines have the 3-4-3 product on their 77W Y class, and the difference really comes down to the finer details, but at...

    Qatar use to operate 3x daily on the JFK-DOH route, only now AA is operating one of those rotations while QR does the other 2.

    I would much rather take Qatar over American but to say the two are that different is a big of an exaggeration especially for Economy class. Both airlines have the 3-4-3 product on their 77W Y class, and the difference really comes down to the finer details, but at the end of the day, both are full service air carriers. It's not like Scoot vs Singapore on that route.

    Also AA still has a chance due to the fact that pax can easily transfer between OneWorld and JetBlue.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ The Muslim Pax -- As I noted in the post, American has no trouble filling economy on the route. It's often even oversold. It's premium cabins where the airline is struggling to sell seats, and I'm sure you'd agree that there's a major difference between American business and Qatar business.

    2. JW Guest

      It could also be QR paying AA to do the flying so that they can redeploy whatever precious aircraft they have available to other routes. If you look into it in detail you can find the same arrangement between QR and MH where MH has taken over 2 of QRs daily DOH-KUL flights. MH will never make money out of this route just like AA but they continue to fly it thanks to QR. this is no coincidence.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Azamaraal Diamond

For all the talk about how wonderful Qatar is, there is a sad reality. Qatar has no customer service and when things go wrong they just point a finger and disappear. Still fighting a denied boarding event in MLE where Qatar changed planes, changed my ticket issued by AA (Q suite award), and then screwed up my ticket number (but not the other party on the PNR) and refused to do anything about it. Had to buy replacement Y fare just to fly on same airplane as wife in J. Qatar refuses to refund the cost of the exorbitant last minute fare or discuss compensation. After a year! So if you fly on AA to DOH at least you know that Qatar won't screw up your ticket and that you will be able to board the aircraft. That's way more important than half-decent Champagne and weird menus.

5
Lee Guest

AA needs to get rid of Brian Znotins, its head of network planning. He has said on the record that AA is a better domestic carrier than an international carrier. He has said that AA works best when it delivers passengers to its international partners at key way-points. Fine. Stick with the plan. But, instead, it has been: let's try this . . . no, let's not . . . now, let's try that. Let's do AUK from LAX. Let's not. Oh, let's try LAX again. Let's do SEA to LHR. Let's not. Let's do SEA to Bangalore. Let's not. Maybe we should try Singapore. The fundamental problem is that AA's customers can't plan their travel. They can't rely on the network and schedule. They can't be certain that the flight they book will still be there. So, they move to a carrier with a stable network and schedule. They don't want uncertainty. This is exactly what happened to me. One of my primary AA domestic routes went on again, off again. As a practical matter, I've had to move that business to another carrier. But, they've alienated me. Over the past few years, I've talked with a number of other CKs. This weighs upon them as well. The other comment that I also hear from them is about the secular decline in overall quality and in customer service.

4
David Guest

This route is subsidized by QR. It's a strategic (and geopolitical) priority to get as many OW and other airlines to fly into DOH as possible, even if the service competes with QR itself.

3
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
5,163,247 Miles Traveled

32,614,600 Words Written

35,045 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT