AirTran Airways Chairman and CEO Receives 2006 Tony Jannus Award

Published: Mar 17, 2006 1:00:00 AM
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Source: AirTran Airways

ORLANDO, Fla., March 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AAI - News), announced today that the company's chairman and CEO, Joe Leonard, was honored as the 2006 Tony Jannus Award recipient by the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society. The announcement was made at Tampa International Airport yesterday, and Leonard will receive the award in October.

The Tony Jannus Award is named for the pilot recognized by the Smithsonian as the founder of the world's first scheduled airline. The airline, which began flights on New Year's Day, 1914, had only one plane, a single-engine Benoist flying boat that flew round trips daily between Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla.

"The 7,000 Crew Members of AirTran Airways congratulate Joe on this well- deserved recognition," said Robert L. Fornaro, AirTran Airways president and chief operating officer. "The current success of this company is a direct result of Joe's leadership and vision."

Leonard joined AirTran Airways in 1999 and has since established a seven- year streak of successful revenue earnings despite the downward trend of the airline industry. Under his leadership, the airline has succeeded in becoming a "major" carrier and was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as the nation's Best Low-Fare Airline.

A native of Augusta, Ga., Leonard received his bachelor's in aerospace engineering from Auburn University and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta's 191 Club, The Commerce Club, The Wings Club, and Walter Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WLT - News).

AirTran Airways, one of America's largest low-fare airlines with 7,000 friendly, professional Crew Members, operates over 600 daily flights to 50 destinations. The airline's hub is at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where it is the second largest carrier. AirTran Airways recently added the fuel-efficient Boeing 737-700 aircraft to create America's youngest all-Boeing fleet. The airline is also the first carrier to install XM Satellite Radio on a commercial aircraft and the only airline with Business Class and XM Satellite Radio on every flight.