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2008.04.07 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

Air Tran takes top AQR spot, industry score falls to new low

Washington, D.C. - Air Tran has taken the top spot in the 18th annual national Airline Quality Ratings (AQR) study. Last year, Air Tran ranked third in the AQR. The study, ranking the largest U.S. airlines, was announced today, Monday, April 7, at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

An electronic version of the full report, with details on each airline, is available athttp://aqr.aero. Following Air Tran in the top five of the AQR were Jet Blue, Southwest, Northwest and Frontier. As far as an overall rating for the industry, this is the worst AQR score ever, according to the AQR researchers. The second worst was for calendar year 2000.

There are similarities between 2000 and 2007, specifically:

-During both 2000 and 2007 there was talk of the United States heading into a recession;

-The airlines were making money after a nonprofitable period; and

-Demand for air travel was strong.

The AQR is a summary of month-by-month quality ratings for the largest domestic U.S. airlines operating during 2007. Co-researchers Brent Bowen, professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Aviation Institute/School of Public Administration, and Dean Headley, associate professor and chair of marketing at Wichita State University (WSU), used 15 elements important to consumers when judging the quality of airline service. Read more.

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