And the Nominees for the 2023 Cranky Network Awards are…

Cranky Network Awards

We are just a little over one month away from the 2023 Cranky Network Awards presented by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport where we award the best in US/Canada airline network planning, and that means it’s time to announce the nominees!

It was a very different kind of year than last year as the recovery moves more into a forward-looking growth plan for most. We’ve changed some categories compared to last year because of that reality.

Once again, we’ve put together a video announcing the nominees, but we aren’t breaking it up into two posts this time. We’re just announcing everything all at once. There’s no reason to make you wait.

If you don’t like my slick video editing skills, or you can’t listen to the CNA theme music without getting overexcited for the main event on Feb 23, here are the nominees in print.

Sexiest New Route – Short-Haul

  • Miami – Tortola on American
  • Nashville – Steamboat Springs on Southwest
  • New York/JFK – Pereira on Avianca
  • Palm Springs – Santa Rosa on Avelo
  • London (Ontario) – Tucson on Flair

Sexiest New Route – Long-Haul

  • Atlanta – Cape Town on Delta
  • DFW – Melbourne on Qantas
  • Honolulu – Raratonga on Hawaiian
  • Seattle – Papeete on Air Tahiti Nui
  • Newark – Malaga on United

Calculated Risk Award presented by Embraer

  • JetBlue acquisition of Spirit
  • Sun Country refocuses on Minneapolis
  • Allegiant slows expansion
  • Porter’s E2 move
  • American and Mesa break up

Most Clever Flight Number

  • United 163 Dubai – Newark
  • United 769 Chicago/O’Hare – Barcelona
  • Flair 1849 Vancouver – San Francisco
  • Sun Country 1818 Omaha – Minneapolis
  • Qantas 22 DFW – Melbourne

Best Aircraft-Enabled Opportunity

  • Sacramento – Toronto on Air Canada
  • Westchester – Los Angeles on Breeze
  • Miami – Ocho Rios on American
  • Newark – Göteborg on SAS
  • Detroit – Keflavik on Icelandair

Most Promising New Partnership presented by Pittsburgh International Airport

  • United and Emirates
  • WestJet and Government of Alberta
  • Flair and Tucson
  • JetBlue and Spirit
  • Alaska and Air Tahiti Nui

Best Airport Partner

  • Louisville International Airport
  • San Diego International Airport
  • Tulsa International Airport
  • Asheville Regional Airport
  • Edmonton International Airport

Regional Apocalypse Survivor Award presented by Landline

  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • United Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Air Canada

Most Improved Network presented by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

  • Sun Country (Minneapolis moves)
  • WestJet (Refocusing on Calgary)
  • Breeze (A220 network rollout)
  • Frontier (Shift into bigger markets)
  • Spirit (Adding small market breadth)

There are four more categories that do not have nominees but rather have a pre-ordained winner. In the past, we’ve announced what was winning for each of those categories, but we aren’t doing that this year. The winners have already been notified, but we thought it’d add a little more excitement into the awards if we held that back. Those categories are:

  • Kingsford Smith Southern Cross Award presented by Oakland International Airport – honoring achievement over the Pacific
  • Matchmaker Award – honoring the best catalyst for a new partnership
  • Route Victory Award – honoring a single route’s success
  • Network Victory Award presented by Boeing – honoring a larger successful network achievement

Curious what some of these categories mean exactly? Wondering what some of those flight numbers are? We’ll talk about it more on a Cranky Talk podcast coming later this week.

5 comments on “And the Nominees for the 2023 Cranky Network Awards are…

    1. Matthew – We talk about it in great detail on Cranky Talk which should be live tomorrow. But basically 163 is the number of stories at the Burj Khalifa while 769 is the last 3 digits in the second row of the magic square at Sagrada Familia. It goes deep.

  1. When the SMF-YYZ flight was announced, my old school self pictured a widebody and I was trying to justify the demand, but then I remembered that A220’s were invented for this exact reason.

  2. I have to make a couple of predictions:

    Calculated Risk Award: Porter – the Raccoon is betting the maple syrup farm here on Canada being able to support all these airlines

    Best Aircraft-Enabled Opportunity – Westchester-LA on Breeze, but if it succeeds I wouldn’t be surprised to see B6 use an A220 to take them on

    Sexiest New Route (Short) – don’t know, but it won’t be YXU-TUS, the words “sexy” and “Tucson” aren’t compatible

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