Alaska Airlines Wins ATW Airline Of The Year Accolade

Credit: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines has been named the 2022 Air Transport World Airline of the Year. 

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines was selected by an independent board of ATW and Aviation Week Network editors and analysts. In making their decision, they cited the company’s excellent leadership under CEO Ben Minicucci. They noted the company’s strong 2021 financial and operational performances despite the on-going challenges of the pandemic. The airline also joined the oneworld global alliance, expanding its international network.

Alaska Airlines has continued to innovate, launching the Ascend Pilot Academy for aspiring pilots that provides a simpler, more financially accessible path to becoming a commercial pilot at regional affiliate Horizon Air and eventually Alaska. And it became the world’s first airline to launch a subscription service, Flight Pass, that allows up to 24 roundtrips for a fixed monthly fee.

On top of that, Alaska is highly committed to environmental and carbon emission reductions initiatives that include collaborative research and development efforts for sustainable aviation fuels and a hydrogen-electric regional aircraft, a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040, the replacement of plastic water bottles and plastic cups with 100% recyclable Boxed Water, and a partnership with a Hawaiian organization that connects travelers with sustainable volunteer projects in Hawaii. The airline was also the first to implement network optimization software, Flyways, using artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize air traffic and enable more fuel-efficient flight paths for aggregate savings of fuel, carbon emissions and time.

“We have our incredible employees to thank for this honor. They are the heart and soul of our airline, taking care of each other and creating meaningful connections with our guests on every flight, every day,” Minicucci said. “It’s gratifying to receive this recognition during a time that has tested us all. It’s a testament to how we’ve stuck with our business plan and delivered on our safety promise, while keeping caring as our north star of all that we do.”

ATW Editor-in-Chief Karen Walker said, “The Alaska Airlines team is always at the top of its game with friendly customer service and a true dedication to its colleagues, community and the planet. To have stayed on top and continued to invest in its future through such challenging times shows the remarkable strength and adaptability of Alaska Airlines and we sincerely congratulate them.”

The award to Alaska and the other 2022 winners, which will be announced shortly, will be presented at the 48th Annual ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards at an in-person gala dinner on June 21 following the closing of the 78th IATA AGM and World Air Transport Summit.