TAMPA — Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines, won the 2017 Tony Jannus Award.
The award was announced at Tampa International Airport Tuesday morning.
Parker was not in attendance at the announcement. Parker was previously the chairman and CEO of U.S. Airways. Before the merger of U.S. Airways and America West Airlines in 2005, he was chairman, president and chief executive officer of America West. Parker was chosen as this year's recipient because of the "financial and operational" milestones the company hit this year, including integrating U.S. Airways.
"Doug Parker knows aviation and has worked with and led some of the top airlines in North America," said Paul Piro, chair of the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society. "Today American Airlines is emblematic of the transformation that's occurred in the airline industry."
Jeannie Driscoll, a general manager at American Airlines, said the company added 10,000 jobs over the past few years and increased employees' salary by about 40 percent.
"Doug would say 'it's only because of the phenomenal efforts of the American Airlines team,'" she said.
The Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society has presented the award for 54 years to individuals who show excellence in commercial aviation. The award is named after the pilot credited with the first scheduled airline flight, on New Year's Day in 1914 between St. Petersburg and Tampa. Last year's recipient was Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly. Prior winners include Donald W. Douglas Sr., founder of Douglas Aircraft Co.; William Powell Lear, inventor and founder of Lear Jet Corp.; and Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Co.
Parker will be presented with the award at ceremony on Dec. 1 at the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel in St. Petersburg.