Starting 4th June 2022, American Airlines (AA) will fly directly between New York JFK and Doha, Qatar. The flight will be operated by a mix of Boeing 777-200 and -300, with the following schedule:
AA120 JFK-DOH 01:00-20:30 daily (flight time 12h30)
AA121 DOH-JFK 01:35-08:30 daily (flight time 13h55)
American ‘s flight will complement the existing twice-daily operation of its Oneworld fellow partner Qatar Airways, deepening the partnership between the two carriers, which already have an extensive codeshare agreement from both sides. Also, Qatar Airways flies to all of American ‘s hubs in the United States, with the exception of Charlotte and Phoenix.
OneWorld partners are strengthening their partnership by adding many exciting new routes, mostly connecting partner airlines’ hubs (see here, for example, Finnair launching Helsinki to Dallas flights).
Doha is American ‘s third Asian destination out of JFK, after Tel Aviv (launched in May 2021) and Delhi (launched in October 2021). The demand for these flights is also supported by American’s partnership with JetBlue, which has its biggest hub in JFK, guaranteeing optimal connections all over the United States.
Brian Znotins, American’s Vice President of Network Planning, stated:
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.
One route addition, more than one route suspension
Despite the announcement of this new route, American has also announced that its international network will also see some cuts for next summer, with many routes being suspended or significantly reduced.
Among the European destinations leaving American’s network, we find Edinburgh (EDI), Shannon (SNN), Berlin (BER), Reykjavik (KEF), Budapest (BUD), and, as reported by EX-YU Aviation, also Dubrovnik (DBV) and Prague (PRG) will not be served.
American will be “temporarily, but significantly” reducing service to several cities in the Asia-Pacific region, including Shanghai (PVG), Beijing (PEK), Sydney (SYD). The carrier will also be pushing back the launch of a new service to Bangalore (BLR) from Seattle and will not restart operations to Hong Kong (HKG). With most of the Asian countries still having very tight restrictions on international travel, American will not return to these markets until it will become economically viable to operate on them.
What are the reasons behind such cuts?
First of all, American is blaming a shortage of planes. American has stated that it was expected to receive 13 Boeing 787 Dremaliner, whose delivery has been delayed. “Without these widebodies, we simply won’t be able to fly as much internationally as we had planned next summer, or as we did in summer 2019”, Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja said in a staff memo. The Dremaliners’ deliveries are expected to resume by April 1 at the earliest, Also, with American having retired its 757s, 767s, and A330s during the pandemic, the airline simply does not have enough wide-body aircraft to support more operations.
American cutting, but the market is strong
As mentioned above, seven European destinations will not be served by American.
However, the Europe-US market will see in Summer 2022 a strong rebound, with competitors from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean adding capacity and routes, in order to meet the demand, which during Summer usually reaches its peak.
Among the several announcements of the last months, here are some of the highlights of the Europe-US market for next Summer:
- United Airlines is significantly boosting capacity, with brand new points on its network (such as Bergen in Norway or Palma de Mallorca in Spain), along with a reinforcement of the most popular destinations, such as Milan, Berlin and Dublin.
- Delta Airlines is opening services between New York JFK and Prague, Copenhagen, Zurich, Brussels, Edinburgh and the recently announced Stockholm. Additionally, Boston and Atlanta hubs will also get more capacity to Europe
- Finnair is launching flights to Dallas and Seattle from Helsinki, along with more flights between Stockholm, New York JFK and Los Angeles.
- Turkish Airlines is going big on the US market, with its biggest schedule ever to the country: more than 130 weekly flights to 11 destinations, 6 of which are served on a more than daily basis.
- Aer Lingus will be flying to the US out of its Dublin hub, its newly established base in Manchester, and will restart transatlantic operations out of Shannon.
What do you make of American’s new route to Doha and its cuts for the summer? What does the future hold for American’s transatlantic operations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.