ATW's 50th Anniversary


A Year of Special Anniversaries

William A. Freeman, III  |  Group Publisher

There are a number of important benchmarks in the next 12 months beginning in January of 2014 when the industry will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first commercial airline flight that took place between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Fla.  This flight, by the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, was piloted by Tony Janus, and carried the first paying passenger, the former mayor of St. Petersburg. That first flight lasted 23 minutes and covered 21 miles. 

On Feb. 10, 2014 ATWwill host our 40th Airline Industry Achievement Awards ceremony in Singapore.  The Awards, which started as a small lunch held at the Plaza Hotel in New York, is now seen as the premier recognition that airlines around the world can receive.  Among the winners at the first Awards event were United Airlines (Airline of the Year), Delta Air Lines (Financial Management), Lufthansa (Cargo Airline of the Year), Eastern Air Lines, (Passenger Service) and Pilgrim Airlines (Regional Airline of the Year). Some of these airlines are still competing for ATWAwards today.

In May 2014, ATWenters its 50th year of publication. The first issue of the magazine published in 1964 included an exhaustive data supplement supplied by the Air Transport Association of America, which was celebrating the 50th anniversary of scheduled air transportation. How the world has changed since that first issue of ATWand the 50th benchmark for the first commercial flight. Any way you look at it, these past 50 years have seen both publishing and airlines deal with a more global, more complex and more technologically advanced world.  

Founding editor and publisher Joe Murphy’s first editorial introduced to readers “Your Air Transport World.”  Joe’s words in that issue still ring true today: “ …  the goals of Air Transport World—to contribute to both the advancement and expansion of world air transportation. The pace of progress in this industry … the many changes in equipment … in fleets … in management methods … and in people, demand a single medium by which the managements of air transport operations thought the world can keep abreast of these new developments …”

Throughout ATW’s history there have been only three other publishers and four other editors-in-chief, all of whom have held to the same high standards set by Joe. As much as we value the historical significance of being 50 years old, we continue to hold true to Joe’s initial words on the purpose of ATWrelative to the industry. In this next year, there will surely be some looking back, but this celebration will be focused more on what the future of this business will bring and, more importantly, what it means to you, our readers, in operating your businesses through the next 50 years.

A collection of stories celebrating ATW's 50th Anniversary

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    ATW: 50 Years Ago

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