TAMPA — Delta Air Lines chief executive officer Richard Anderson picked up his trophy on Friday: the 2013 Tony Jannus Award.
The Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society, named after the pioneer of commercial aviation who made the first commercial flight in Tampa Bay in 1914, named Anderson as the recipient of its highest honor in April. Anderson collected his trophy at a ceremony Friday morning at Tampa International Airport
"The bottom line is, this is an airline which is unsurpassed in America and the world today," said Will Michaels, the co-chairman of the Jannus group.
Anderson started at Continental Airlines and then went to work for Northwest before taking over Delta in 2007, just as the Great Recession hit and the company was exiting bankruptcy. During his term as CEO, Delta bought its own oil refinery to reduce fuel costs and in 2012 became the world's largest airline (until the American Airlines-U.S. Airways merger was announced this year). Delta is on track to show a fourth straight year of annual profit, its best run in a decade.
Also honored on Friday was St. Petersburg Catholic High School junior Alexis Wolf, 16, who won the Tony Jannus essay contest.