Last night during a fantastic networking evening hosted by the Ministry of Tourism El Salvador at the Tazumal Archaeological Site, Santa Ana, Tampa International Airport was announced as the winner of the first heat of the 2014 Routes Awards. Over 450 aviation professionals were gathered to witness the presentation of the awards and to take part in the 7th Routes Americas – the only route development event for the entire Americas.
Speaking to The HUB after collecting the award last night, Christopher Minner, vice president marketing, Tampa International Airport, said: "It feels great, and I will tell you what, the competition has never been stronger. This is a victory for our entire team, and our approach. We have got the best partners in the industry and we are so proud of all of the success that we have brought for our airlines this year. Thank you so much!"
The annual Routes awards are highly regarded as the most prestigious awards in the industry as they are voted for and judged by the airline network planning community. They provide the airline community with the chance to have their say as to which airport or tourism authority they think provides the best overall marketing services to them whether this relates to their particular relationship, effective results, provision of data and information or innovative techniques to establish new or maintain and develop existing routes.
As overall winner of this regional heat of the Routes Marketing Awards Tampa International Airport will be automatically shortlisted for the World Routes Awards which will take place at the event in Chicago, 20-23 September 2014.
Tampa International Airport was also named as the winner from the 4-20 million passengers category with George Bush Houston Intercontinental honoured in the over 20 million passengers category. From the under 4 million passengers category Lynden Pindling International Airport, Nassau was ranked top and the Destination Award went to Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority.
The shortlisted finalists were nominated by airlines and a respected panel of judges made up of senior members of the airline network planning community from the region then reviewed the lists and submissions from the nominated airports in order to determine the winners. The panel consisted of the following experts:
Darren Scott, Network Planning - Latin America and Caribbean, United Airlines
John Kirby, Senior Director, International, Southwest Airlines
John Checketts, Director, Route Planning, JetBlue Airways
Benjamin Brookman, Senior Analyst, Network Planning, Alaska Air
The full list of companies shortlisted under each award category were as follows:
Over 20 Million Passengers
• George Bush Houston Intercontinental Airport – Winner
• Orlando International Airport – Highly Commended
• Boston Logan International Airport
• Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
• São Paulo/Guarulhos–Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport
• Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
4 – 20 Million Passengers
• Tampa International Airport – Winner
• Pittsburgh International Airport – Highly Commended
• Oakland International Airport
• Portland International Airport
• Southwest Florida International Airport
Under 4 Million Passengers
• Lynden Pindling International Airport, Nassau – Winner
• Hato International Airport, Curacao – Highly Commended
• Akron Canton Airport
• Charleston International Airport
• Juana Azurduy de Padilla International Airport
• Sangster International Airport
• Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority – Winner
• Jamaica Tourist Board
• Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board