Mesaba Airlines has been named the winner of the 2005 Operational Excellence Award by AIG Aviation, the leading U.S. based underwriter of aviation insurance. The distinction, which has been awarded four times since its creation in 1998, recognizes clients that exhibit a strong commitment to building quality safety and loss prevention programs. Mesaba was the unanimous selection of the AIG Aviation awards committee from an entry pool of more than 650 companies. “This is a very important recognition of our safety culture at Mesaba,” said John Spanjers, Mesaba Airlines president and chief operating officer. “Being unanimously selected from a field of 650 competitors underscores the commitment of our employees to make our workplace and processes as safe as possible.”
“Two primary efforts elevated Mesaba above the rest,” said Lynn Weaver, AIG Aviation vice president. “First, their commitments, belief and promotion of safety, loss control and loss prevention from the most senior level of their organization on down and, secondly, a safety and a loss control department that recognizes and acts on the concept of operating a safe company. Congratulations to all the men and women of Mesaba.”
“Safety is the ultimate test of an airline’s ability to define and improve its processes,” said Paul Foley, president and chief executive officer of MAIR Holdings. “That’s why we started this program by focusing on safety and why we’re gratified to be recognized in this area. Mapping processes, measuring performance, and providing timely feedback in order to improve are fundamental to our success. This recognition is a tangible evidence of the improvements which have been made.”
Spanjers credited a strong partnership between the company, AIG and Aon Risk Services as a key component in the company’s performance in this area.
“We have great partners in AIG and Aon,” said Spanjers. “They offer us new ideas, new insight and perspectives drawn from the best practices worldwide. They also continually challenge us to do better; this is the kind of support and partnership we welcome.”
As an example of Mesaba’s commitment to safety, Weaver cited Mesaba’s role in organizing and facilitating the first Regional Airline Association Best Practices Safety Meeting held in 2004. Mesaba was the first airline to propose a forum for all regional airlines to participate in discussions concerning workers’ compensation and aircraft damage reduction. As part of their efforts in this area, last summer Mesaba hosted the first meeting of the group attended by representatives from airlines, insurance companies and brokers. The event was so successful that it will be repeated semi-annually under the RAA’s auspices.
The award was presented to Mesaba Airlines’ employees today in a ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Eagan, MN.