Full Details: American Airlines Launching New York To Doha Flight

Full Details: American Airlines Launching New York To Doha Flight

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A few days ago we learned how American Airlines plans to launch service to Qatar in 2022. The flight is now on sale, so I wanted to provide an update with all of the details, including the schedule, the aircraft that will be used, etc.

Details of American’s route to Doha, Qatar

American Airlines plans to launch a new flight between New York (JFK) and Doha (DOH) as of June 4, 2022. The flight will be operated daily with the following schedule:

AA120 New York to Doha departing 1:00AM arriving 8:30PM
AA121 Doha to New York departing 1:35AM arriving 8:30AM

The 6,703-mile flight is blocked at 12hr30min eastbound and 13hr55min westbound.

As of now American is showing a 777-300ER in the schedule between June 4 and September 6, and then a 777-200ER in the schedule starting September 7. While I get there will potentially be quite a bit of summer demand for travel (beyond Doha), that seems bizarre to me, given that the World Cup will be taking place in Doha in November 2022. Personally I suspect the aircraft type is highly subject to change here, and that the route will likely maintain the 777-300ER.

American will fly a 777-300ER to Doha

American’s Boeing 777-300ERs feature a total of 304 seats. This includes eight first class seats, 52 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 188 economy seats. The 777-300ER is the only long haul aircraft to feature an international first class cabin, so this is typically used for American’s most important routes (though admittedly there are fewer of those than in the past, with Asia continuing to largely remain closed).

American’s 777-300ER first class

While the flight is already bookable, as of now there’s not much in the way of premium cabin saver award space. One-way business class awards currently start at 125,000 miles, and one-way first class awards at 160,000 miles. For that matter, award availability on this route shouldn’t matter — if you have AAdvantage miles and want to travel to Doha, fly Qatar Airways!

I’ll take it a step further — I’d choose Qatar Airways’ A350 Qsuites business class over American’s 777 first class any day of the week.

American will launch flights to Doha, Qatar

What’s the logic for American flying to Qatar?

Since the start of 2020, American Airlines has taken a new strategy, trying to leverage partner airlines to create a more cohesive route network. We’ve seen American Airlines launch and expand partnerships, including with Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Qatar Airways.

While American and Qatar Airways have both long been in the oneworld alliance, the airlines didn’t cooperate very much for many years. That finally changed in early 2020, when the two airlines announced a new strategic partnership. In addition to a new codeshare agreement, there were discussions about American exploring the possibility of launching flights to Doha.

American & Qatar Airways have a close partnership

That’s now finally becoming a reality. There had been discussions about which hub American could fly to Doha out of, given that Qatar Airways already flies to all American hubs, with the exception of Charlotte and Phoenix.

I guess it’s not surprising to see American pick New York, given that the carrier is expanding its long haul service out of New York, with new routes to destinations like Delhi and Tel Aviv.

I’m still not sure I totally get the logic of American launching flights to Doha, though:

  • Qatar Airways already flies 2-3x daily between New York and Doha and codeshares with American Airlines; Qatar Airways offers a significantly better product
  • Presumably this route wouldn’t be so much about the New York to Doha market as such, but rather about connecting into Qatar Airways’ huge route network to the Middle East, India, Africa, etc.
  • There are of course some advantages to being able to fly American, like the ability to use systemwide upgrades on these flights, but that won’t exactly make this flight a money-maker
  • I suspect the logic comes down to American wanting to build a global presence in New York, and offering a flight to Doha gives passengers a one-stop routing to just about anywhere in the world, with the long haul flight on American
  • If there is a time to start flights to Doha, this is it, given that Qatar will host the World Cup in November 2022
  • There just aren’t that many profitable long haul destinations to fly to at the moment, so I suspect this comes down to Doha being better than other options, so American might as well share less revenue with Qatar Airways and transport more passengers on its own metal (though Qatar Airways will benefit with more people connecting to its network)
American Airlines’ 777-200 business class

American has a shortage of 777s & 787s

Ironically this new service is being announced as part of a bigger story about how American has a shortage of long haul aircraft. The airline is having to reduce long haul international flying due to issues with new Boeing 787 deliveries. With American having retired its 757s, 767s, and A330s during the pandemic, the airline doesn’t have enough wide body aircraft.

Most of the cuts were to be expected anyway, given how much of Asia continues to remain closed (including mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, etc.). American has formally said that it’s pulled out of Hong Kong for the time being, with no date for when the service will be resumed. Furthermore, it has also been announced that American won’t fly to Edinburgh or Shannon in the summer of 2022.

American has a wide body aircraft shortage

Bottom line

American Airlines plans to launch a daily flight between New York and Doha as of June 2022, using a Boeing 777. There had been discussions about American flying to Qatar back when the new strategic partnership was announced in early 2020, but we haven’t heard much since. I’m curious to see with what frequency, schedule, and aircraft this route will be operated.

As far as the logic of this route goes, I suppose there’s value to American being able to offer one-stop service from New York to many points around the globe. But that was already possible via codeshare on Qatar Airways, with a much better inflight experience. I couldn’t imagine choosing American over Qatar Airways. If there is a time to launch flights to Doha, this is at least it, with the World Cup planned for Qatar in 2022.

What do you make of American Airlines launching flights to Doha?

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  1. EdSparks58 Guest

    Nice article, Gary. Very well written and the photos help. A couple of points:
    First, I have flown AA internationally (always in Business or First Class) on their 777-200ER (a real "woof woof" of a plane) and 777-300ER, the 787-8 and 787-9, and in the old days their 767s (mercifully they are all retired now ...). Whoever designed the new interiors (gray, with tan - have you no flair or imagination???) should be designing...

    Nice article, Gary. Very well written and the photos help. A couple of points:
    First, I have flown AA internationally (always in Business or First Class) on their 777-200ER (a real "woof woof" of a plane) and 777-300ER, the 787-8 and 787-9, and in the old days their 767s (mercifully they are all retired now ...). Whoever designed the new interiors (gray, with tan - have you no flair or imagination???) should be designing caskets and funeral home interiors. Enough said on that. And then when you couple that with really poor quality food and beverages (for about 3 years, I flew DFW to HKG about every 6 weeks, mostly in First Class, about every 6-8 weeks, so I know about their food and beverages) are really second rate. For goodness sake, hire an international chef from another airline with good food and give him/her the decision authority. Maybe look at EVA Air, or Cathay Pacific, or Singapore Air, or even some lowlier choices. You gotta do better, American.
    Second, the schedule is DREADFUL. Who chose those hours??? In a couple of weeks, I fly DFW to DOH (again, just flew it recently, too) and leave DFW at around 6:30 pm, and get into DOH at 6:00 pm to connect to my onward flight (arriving at my destination at 6:30 am). Excellent excellent hours.
    And third, the Qatar Airways product is simply second to none. It is "top tier", like EVA Air, and Singapore Air, and Cathay Pacific, and a host of others who make the experience more than simply going from Point A to Point B. Qatar is truly an enjoyable experience. Plus I get there at a great hour, rested from being in a Q-Suite, and ready to go on my business. Why on Earth would I choose AA over that?
    EdSparks

  2. SR Guest

    The schedule looks weird. What connectivity is AA looking with this schedule.. most flights to India depart Doha between 5-9pm. All other flights to India and Asia leave early morning (2-4 am).

  3. Sam Guest

    Using DOH Over LHR To reach Africa or the Middle East from the The U.S makes a better sense.
    AA has canceled a previously announced plans recently. We will wait and see if this route will materialize in Jun.2021.

  4. Crosscourt Guest

    Qatar is streets ahead of AA for service etc but I find the Q Suite claustrophobic. The table is badly positioned under the TV and you knock into it when sleeping, the blanket gets tangled in the narrow legs tunnel of the bed. Space is cramped. I'm feeling claustrophobic writing this.

  5. Steven E Guest

    So let’s way this up - AA versus QR.. should I continue ? All those poor employees now forced to fly on AA.. enjoy the ride -:)

  6. Levi New Member

    It will be interesting to see if JetBlue is most affected by this. Perhaps there's a clause in the AA-B6 agreement that prevents B6 from codesharing on flights which duplicate AA's, so B6 has to feed traffic to DOH through AA not QR (can still connect to QR through BOS).

  7. D3kingg Guest

    There’s no way a Q Suite has more sleeping room than a flagship first suite.

  8. shoeguy Guest

    AA will switch to the 777-200ER on JFK-DOH from September 2022. The new schedules were downloaded last night.

    Some other notables:
    JFK-CDG going 77W for several months.
    JFK-LHR going 3 x 77W and 1 77E
    JFK-GRU down gauged from 77W to 77E
    MIA-EZE down gauged from 77W to 1 daily 77E and 3 weekly 789
    MIA-CDG cut
    JFK-DEL remains 77W (was supposed to switch to the 77E)

  9. Le Guest

    AA and DL are essentially swapping roles. As a oneword airline it was obligated. BA and their hub will lose valuable critical mass due to Brexit . Besides unbeatable connection to India, I'm guessing they will use Doha to serve Perth or Colombo?

  10. Tim Guest

    My wife and I flew on Qatar to Doha this fall, they have a much superior business class than American. Check out the qsuite that Qatar offers and you will see why.

  11. Flyingforfun Guest

    Let's take other side of equation
    Qatar and AA can take revenue share out of Etihad and Emirates for pax flying to south asian and also other far east countries
    JFK-DOH-BKK
    JFK-DOH-SIN
    JFK-DOH-KUL
    JFK-DOH- CGK
    JFK-DOH-DPS
    and also india, pakistan, Bangladesh and Srilanka
    United giving 1 stop option via Delhi or Mumbai to many indian cities with layover at both airport around 5 to 8 hours to...

    Let's take other side of equation
    Qatar and AA can take revenue share out of Etihad and Emirates for pax flying to south asian and also other far east countries
    JFK-DOH-BKK
    JFK-DOH-SIN
    JFK-DOH-KUL
    JFK-DOH- CGK
    JFK-DOH-DPS
    and also india, pakistan, Bangladesh and Srilanka
    United giving 1 stop option via Delhi or Mumbai to many indian cities with layover at both airport around 5 to 8 hours to secondary indian cities, creating journey of 20 to 24 hrs
    AA and Qatar cut that to 18 to 20hr and not going through mumbai and Delhi
    So here are few possibilities
    JFK-DOH-AMD
    JFK-DOH-BLR
    JFK-DOH-HYD
    JFK-DOH-MAA
    JFK-DOH-KOCHI
    JFK-DOH-CALCUTTA

  12. Jason Guest

    Really
    The only reason is the 222 soccer World Cup
    I thought everyone would know this

  13. Walter Sunder Singh Guest

    The proposed New York / Doha airlink by American Airlines would be more beneficial to the passengers from India and Sri Lanka. Flying out of Colombo or Madras to Doha, they can conveniently connect to America at the Hamad International Airport

    1. Luke Guest

      And what makes this better or more convenient than just flying qatar airways from CMB/MAA onto USA?

  14. dn10 Guest

    Surprised this wasn't out of PHX or CLT. AA hubs that don't get QR direct flights. But makes sense for the World Cup I suppose.

  15. paco Guest

    This is 100% due to the base in Qatar, and American being able to become the contract carrier to Doha. They will be able to fill these seats with Military on gov fares.

  16. Talent Hacker Guest

    LMAO! Insane ... No reason why to even bother this route...

  17. Ross Fischler Guest

    American Airlines can even be diverse on domestic flights in the United States. How do they expect to fly to the Middle East with all the different rituals that they have for praying. American Airlines has a lack of management and skilled employees.!

  18. Gamal Guest

    Flying to Doha makes sense. Would also like to see a leg added to Cairo

  19. JBR Guest

    Although hardly a great product for international first class, if AA uses a 777-300ER for the route, at least it would have first class, which no QR plane flying to the U.S. has (unless QR starts flying an A380 to the U.S.). If AA doesn't use the 777-300ER for the route, then I have absolutely no idea why AA would put a plane on the route, nor would I understand why someone would choose AA over QR.

  20. Frank Guest

    I would rather fly Qatar in economy than AA in business.

  21. AA FA Guest

    This is exclusively about proving to the DOJ that the B6 partnership is good for US carriers. AA is now “competing” with QR on this route. The US gov’t has a vendetta against the ME3 and AA is leveraging that to make their case for the B6 alliance.

    If they have to “waste” a wide body flying to DOH to buffer their other JFK flying, this makes more sense.

    1. Al Guest

      The DOJ complaint against AA/B6 reads more like a Qanon conspiracy theory than an actual antitrust case. While I am sure they are taking it seriously, it's hard to imagine AA would launch a route to help win that case. I think American can win the case without launching a new route to Doha.

  22. Alonzo Guest

    Could this be a cut to the 70k AA miles amount for Q suites? Hopefully not.

  23. Franklin Guest

    No matter how nice QR may be, people on government funding/buiness travel will be required by law (Fly America act) to travel on AA and then connect to a QR flight in Qatar. All these people will be stuck on American now ...and they say the ME3 have unfair government support...ha.

    1. Justin Guest

      Not… 100% true.
      The Fly America Act requires us to fly on any flight operated with a U.S. carrier’s flight number. Codeshares operated by QR metal count.
      Also the contract to DOH is on B6 now, but it may go back to QR.

    2. Expresswayvisual Guest

      It's B6 coded but QR operated

    3. JAXBA New Member

      Well, the contract couldn't go to QR, but it can go to AA (incl. operated by QR) - or stick with B6 (op by QR).

      AA might be more likely to win that route since they'll actually be operating it.

    4. Ryan Guest

      Not necessarily. Government travelers are permitted to take a QR flight to the U.S. as long as the flight is ticketed under AA’s code for the flight departing/entering the U.S. I took several Etihad flights to/from the U.S. on American’s code for official travel.

  24. Hobbs Guest

    But still no Al Mourjan access for AA Platinums…

  25. Lars Guest

    When you have 2 of the BEST AIRLINES IN THE BUSINESS Flying this route, then add the European lines, who in their right mind would step foot in t AA ?

  26. SAN_POA Guest

    Didn’t think of this till now, but American got a decent amount of the GSA City Pair Awards to DOH and beyond legs can be flown by QR if they have codeshare.

    https://cpsearch.fas.gsa.gov/cpsearch/mainList.do;jsessionid=KVx5xQmeSj3ebD5Z1NgZ8i-L8jjcM8BiZW3Wjt9V.citypairs64?originAPCode=&originCity=&destAPCode=&destCity=DOH&userAgreement=true&__checkbox_userAgreement=true&fiscalYear=Search+FY+22

  27. Bob Guest

    Would it be like the Air Canada DOH route - zero O/D - 100% based on funneling traffic to India/Pak

    You could ask yourself who in their right mind would fly AC (Y or J) to DOH, but they are making that route work.

    1. Al Guest

      Which airline is AC funneling passengers to?

    2. Bob Guest

      QR to all over the region - they even codeshare on YYZ-DOH.

      They do the same with their DXB flights where they manage to "compete" with far superior carriers (EK/EY) and still fill their flights by funneling people to Air India/PK/UL.

      There is virtually zero o/d traffic to DXB/DOH on AC, but flights are rammed.

      Imagine buying a QR ticket, with a QR flight number and having to fly AC. Thats even a bigger downgrade than QR->AA!

    3. Indopithecus Guest

      Flying YYZ - DOH there is no choice other than going on AC unless you want to go via the US (which many do not want to do owing to the hassles). YYZ - YUL - DOH is also possible but logistically problematic and costlier.

  28. BenjaminNYC Guest

    "There are of course some advantages to being able to fly American, like the ability to use systemwide upgrades on these flights, but that won’t exactly make this flight a money-maker"

    You say "some advantages," but you've named literally the only advantage. And by definition, this advantage is a low yield one.

    It's laughable that AA thinks this makes sense.

    1. ChrisNYC Guest

      I often choose American in Y over a partner so that I can choose better seats for free (I'm PLAT) -- that often does not work well on partner flights, or they have fewer better seats, or I don't know the plane well enough and can't be bothered to research, etc. Usually, it is all about the seat.

  29. Ron Adam Guest

    The benefit of airline revenue sharing agreements (pool agreement, code-sharing, etc) where only one carrier operates on the route is economic. The partner carrier without services gets a share of route profits without the costs of flight operations. Qatar and most other Middle East carriers have long participated in such commercial agreements that focus on co-operation versus competition. Qatar Airways has a comprehensive route structure, a world class home airport and reliable operations. During the...

    The benefit of airline revenue sharing agreements (pool agreement, code-sharing, etc) where only one carrier operates on the route is economic. The partner carrier without services gets a share of route profits without the costs of flight operations. Qatar and most other Middle East carriers have long participated in such commercial agreements that focus on co-operation versus competition. Qatar Airways has a comprehensive route structure, a world class home airport and reliable operations. During the Pandemic they continued global flight services despite substantial operating losses. AA route planners probably see connecting to Qatar’s “beyond” Doha route structure will generate both World Cup and connection traffic gains, especially since AA simply doesn’t have competitive in-flight service compared to that offered on Qatar Airways.

  30. RTBones Member

    If I had to guess, this is two-fold:
    1) Take advantage of the World Cup
    2) Getting a better slice of revenue on the route than a simple codeshare would bring.
    If this route makes anything, I would not be surprised if it is terminated post-World Cup

  31. sharon Guest

    wow, Americans grasping for salvation with their partners again.

    United route planning --> adds destinations to desired destinations

    American --> lets funnel passengers to partners

    American has no international business proposition except for South America & London

  32. Ghostrider5408 Guest

    Ok who in their right mind would fly AA over Qatar Airlines, other than a free ticket who? Disclaimer I have not flown AA in two years ( by choice ) but have enough sub par flights to know generally what to expect. One reason many of us long time flyers on AS are *^*&%^$ that we are forced onto AA metal from time to time.

    The other question is AA capable of providing...

    Ok who in their right mind would fly AA over Qatar Airlines, other than a free ticket who? Disclaimer I have not flown AA in two years ( by choice ) but have enough sub par flights to know generally what to expect. One reason many of us long time flyers on AS are *^*&%^$ that we are forced onto AA metal from time to time.

    The other question is AA capable of providing a real First/Biz class service? Not withstanding the hard working FA's and their ability it's the mindset of AA's management. I am happy to see Parker retiring and look forward to see if the direction of AA changes, I sincerely hope so for us AS flyers.

  33. SQ51 Guest

    Why would I pay AA's insane dynamic award prices when I can instead pay 70K for travel on QR and get a better business class seat? No thanks

  34. stogieguy7 Gold

    Who in their right mind would fly AA to Doha, when you could fly Qatar? Seriously? I recall being in Santiago de Chile and having an AA rep try to beg me to switch to their flight to MIA versus the LANChile one I was booked on. I declined. At the time, the AA and LAN check in desks were contiguous, so when I went to check in early for my LAN flight it was an AA rep who did it. Even then, I passed - and AA is a lot worse now.

  35. SAN_POA Guest

    Maybe the route is launching in anticipation of November 2022 demand for the World Cup there?

  36. chromiony Guest

    Maybe taking advantage of the World Cup

  37. Luke Guest

    They should first fix their blunders with the recently launched JFK-DEL route which is unnecessarily long due to lack of Russian airspace access before making new mistakes!

    Haha why I'd pick even AA first class over QR q-suites.

  38. Jason Guest

    American keeps the revenue when it flies its own metal to Doha. It keeps little to none when it simply uses a codeshare on the QR-operated flight. That's really all there is to it. With a lot of their network inaccessible as you point out (China, Asia, etc), why not try to earn some money on a route that will probably be full?

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Franklin Guest

No matter how nice QR may be, people on government funding/buiness travel will be required by law (Fly America act) to travel on AA and then connect to a QR flight in Qatar. All these people will be stuck on American now ...and they say the ME3 have unfair government support...ha.

1
Ghostrider5408 Guest

Ok who in their right mind would fly AA over Qatar Airlines, other than a free ticket who? Disclaimer I have not flown AA in two years ( by choice ) but have enough sub par flights to know generally what to expect. One reason many of us long time flyers on AS are *^*&%^$ that we are forced onto AA metal from time to time. The other question is AA capable of providing a real First/Biz class service? Not withstanding the hard working FA's and their ability it's the mindset of AA's management. I am happy to see Parker retiring and look forward to see if the direction of AA changes, I sincerely hope so for us AS flyers.

1
SQ51 Guest

Why would I pay AA's insane dynamic award prices when I can instead pay 70K for travel on QR and get a better business class seat? No thanks

1
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