By Maria-Jose Subiria
AirTran Airways' "Go Magazine" will be given an award of distinction when the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) recognizes it as being the best in-flight magazine in the industry, on May 11, during the association's annual conference, in Reno, Nev.
The association singled-out AirTran's publication for recognition earlier this year, during its 18th Annual NATJA Awards Competition.
"AirTran Airways is honored that 'Go Magazine' has been awarded best overall in-flight magazine in 2009 by the North American Travel Journalists Association," said Tad Hutcheson, vice president of marketing and sales at AirTran. "Each month, we work hard to ensure that every article in our magazine is interesting, entertaining and relevant to the destinations we serve. We are proud to know that our peers in the travel industry have recognized the tremendous commitment and dedication that go into every publication."
Helen Hernandez, CEO of NATJA, said the NATJA Awards Competition honors elite travel journalism, photography and promotion, submitted by travel journalists and magazines, as well as public relation agencies and destination marketing organizations, from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
"This was a banner year for excellence," said Hernandez, in a written statement. "Given the creativity, writing and vision of the submissions, the judges had a difficult time selecting the winners from the more than 500 entries."
According to Christopher White, director of public relations for AirTran Airways, the magazine serves as an in-flight entertainment option for approximately two million passengers a month. The monthly magazine is available in all of the airline's 138 aircraft, he added.
White said the airline upgraded its previous, small, in-flight publication, to "Go Magazine" approximately five years ago. "It is better, it is bigger, it features people that people want to read about," he said. "This is really a prominent magazine ... people love it."
Since January, celebrities, such as American media mogul Ted Turner, actress Reese Witherspoon and acto, Will Smith, have appeared on the cover of the magazine, according to AirTran officials.
The magazine also features its employees, and cities that are a part of it's route network, said White.
Company officials added that AirTran Airways, whose principal hub is located at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, has been ranked by the Airline Quality Rating study as the top low-cost carrier for the past two years, and has received the 2010 Market Leadership Award from Air Transport World magazine.