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American Airlines wins “airline of the year” award, gives employees two free tickets

American Airlines rewarded its 120,000 employees with free plane tickets after the carrier was named the “Airline of the Year” on Tuesday.

The Fort Worth-based airline was given the award by industry publication Air Transport World. It has won the award twice before, in 1981 and 1988.

“The creation of the ‘New American’ has been a remarkable journey for employees, customers and investors,” Air Transport World editor-in-chief Karen Walker said in a release announcing the award. “American Airlines has never been in better shape to deliver more to all of its stakeholders and that is because of the leadership skills of American’s executive team and the dedication and hard work of its employees around the world.”

In a letter announcing the free tickets to employees, American chief executive Doug Parker said the award was recognition for the work performed by all of its employees at its mainline and regional carriers.

“I hope you enjoy a special trip, and the memories you’ll create with someone close to you, as appreciation for all you’ve done to set American on its path to greatness,” Parker said.

The two tickets will be upgradeable to First Class, depending on available space, and employees can begin using the tickets this summer through December 2018. These tickets are for confirmed seats unlike the ticket benefits that employees currently receive which can be used for stand-by.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk