Congratulations to all our 2014 winners - please click below to see the full citations
Dr Temel Kotil, President and chief executive, Turkish Airlines
In the nine years since he took the helm of Turkish Airlines, Temel Kotil has transformed the carrier from a bit-part player on the fringes of the aviation landscape to a major actor on the global airline stage.
In 2005, when Kotil became chief executive, Turkish Airlines carried just over 14 million passengers, generating revenues of a little over $2 billion using a fleet of some 90 aircraft.
Ben Baldanza, President and chief executive, Spirit Airlines
Asked what he had learnt at Spirit Airlines that he could not have learnt at the legacy carriers he has worked for, Spirit chief executive Ben Baldanza once said with a hearty laugh: “How to be profitable!”
And profitable Spirit has been, raking in $1.6 billion in revenues in 2013, up 26% from the year before. The Miramar, Floridabased carrier posted a 2013 operating profit of $282 million and a 17.1% operating margin.
Mark Dunkerley, President and chief executive, Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines evolved from a niche leisure carrier to a regional powerhouse – with a network spanning three continents – under the leadership of Mark Dunkerley.
In less than a decade he built the Honolulu-based carrier into a formidable player in the AsiaPacific, while expanding its revenue base and producing strong margins.
Adel Ali, Group chief executive, Air Arabia
In 2003, Adel Ali brought the low-cost airline model to the Middle East when he set up Air Arabia in the UAE. In the decade since its launch, the airline has gone from strength to strength, despite generating its fair share of local impersonators.
Air Arabia broke even during its first year, and has been profitable in every successive one.
British Airways managing director of brands and customer experience Frank van der Post recalls that when he joined the airline back in 2011 “it was clear that we needed to win back the hearts of our customers”.
And that is what BA has spent the last three years doing, spearheaded by an advertisement campaign in which BA told the world its purpose: “To fly. To serve.”
There are few airline markets in Europe more savagely cut-throat than Scandinavia, where the necessity of air transport has to be finely balanced against a sparse population.
Such is the fierce competition that even the trinational flag carrier, Scandinavian Airlines, has been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy, its long-established position as the primary Nordic airline threatened by emerging budget operators and an inexorable shift to low-cost services.
Alaska Air Group decided more than five years ago to focus its efforts on significantly reducing its emissions and becoming an environmental leader among US airlines. These efforts grew out of a grass-roots level “need to do something” from employees, says the group’s director of environmental affairs, Carol Sim.