American Airlines has renewed its codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways, a fellow member of the oneworld alliance.
The move comes just over two years after the pair very publicly fell out in a row over government subsidies.
The new deal is seen as a first step in rebuilding a strategic partnership between the airlines.
Following restoration of the codeshare, American will begin exploring the addition of service from the United States to Doha.
“Our goal is to continue to expand and deepen our global partnerships to complement American’s network and create more choice for our customers,” said American chairman Doug Parker.
“The issues that led to the suspension of our partnership two years ago have been addressed, and we believe resuming our codeshare agreement will allow us to provide service to markets that our customers, team members and shareholders value, including new growth opportunities for American Airlines.
“We look forward to the renewed cooperation between our airlines and hope to build an even stronger relationship with Qatar Airways over time.”
Parker had previously been outspoken in his opposition to Qatar Airways, suggesting the Middle Eastern carrier was using state subsidies to undermine American carriers.
United States airline executives argued Middle Eastern carriers were expanding service to the country by operating flights between cities in Europe to destinations in America.
The recent demise of Air Italy may have played a role in the recent reconciliation.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are very pleased to secure this strategic partnership with American Airlines — an agreement between two successful and ambitious airlines with a shared common purpose to enhance the customer experience.
“The deal will bring together two of the world’s largest airline networks, increasing choices for millions of passengers and providing seamless connectivity to a significant number of new destinations, in line with Qatar Airways’ successful growth strategy.
“We have moved on from past issues and look forward to working closely with American Airlines to build a world-leading partnership for all our customers.
“This agreement will harness our complementary strengths and resources and enable more customers to experience Qatar Airways’ award-winning product quality.”
Qatar Airways previously failed to acquire a ten per cent stake in American, to go along with its holdings in IAG, LATAM, Cathay Pacific and others.
Pending government approvals, American will place its code on select Qatar Airways nonstop and connecting services to and from the United States and Qatar Airways’ hub in Doha.
Qatar Airways will place its code on select flights beyond American’s hubs in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX), as well as on American’s international flights to and from Europe, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.
In addition to American exploring the addition of service from the United States to Doha, both airlines will discuss new ways to further their partnership through expanded commercial cooperation that will enable long-haul growth for both airlines.
“This partnership with Qatar is another step to increase our connectivity, while providing more choice and making travel easier and more accessible for our customers,” said Vasu Raja, senior vice president of network strategy for American.
“As we look to build out a truly global network and create a strong presence in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the renewed codeshare with Qatar Airways will be one of the cornerstones of making that a reality.”
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