And the new US-Africa/India nonstops that make the ME3 redundant are gonna make the blow even worse
Why would nonstop flights mean the end for connecting flights? From Amsterdam I can take KLM nonstop to many destinations. But probably half the time I select Lufthansa, Swiss or another airline. Because the price is usually lower and the equipment more interesting. Also I believe a lot of people travel (or used to travel, I should say now unfortunately) on the ME3, because they prefer their service levels over that of US airlines.
Premium traffic prefers a non-stop which reduces yield for connecting flights. The above listed buying preferences prove that.
A non-stop SFO to India will be preferred over any connection. However, I would expect much of the plane to be connecting traffic, which won't pay a premium over another connections.
For the ME3, including QR, I worry more about IST increasing connections. While India is an interesting market, the mid-East, North Africa, SE Asia, Europe, Australia, and China are also big markets.
While Israel is the new interesting growth market, it is but one or two airports onto the ME3 routemap. I would like to see more India to Israel flights bypassing the hubs.
Until business travel returns, QR is going to lack revenue.
Winter is coming.