Air Transport World

Industry gathers to celebrate excellence. (Awards).(Alaska Airlines Inc., Southwest Airlines Co., ExpressJet, LanChile, Korea Air Cargo, Emirates receive ATW awards)

The celebration of the six airlines selected to receive ATW honors at the annual gala dinner in Washington, D.C., ultimately was a celebration of the employees of those airlines.

Jim Parker, CEO and vice chairman of ATW's Airline of the Year for 2003, Southwest Airlines, summed up the force behind the award: "The 34,000 people of Southwest Airlines whose hard work, many sacrifices and selfless commitment to the single-minded goal of providing America with the freedom to fly, and making it affordable and fun, made this award possible."

Parker also recognized Southwest's suppliers, "starting with Boeing, who in 1971 made three white-tails available to a pissant little airline trying to start service in Texas. …

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