The world today will be full of blog posts, interviews and articles about Mr Kelleher, co-founder, CEO, and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines. I wanted to pay my own quick tribute.
Born March 12, 1931 Mr Kelleher died on January 3, 2019.
He was a lawyer and reportedly created the Southwest concept on a serviette with one of his law clients.
Southwest became known as an airline that was fun, friendly, low fares and operated direct low fare flights in opposition to its competitors of the “hub-and-spoke” scheduling systems. This successful airline stemmed from Mr Kelleher but he was also able to hand the airline over to new leadership without it faltering. Great testimony to his acumen.
I have been a huge fan of Southwest for many years and was continually blown away by them. They are my eighth most flown airline (out of the 103 I have flown). They would have had more business from me if they flew more international routes! I believed the success and customer service focus I experienced every time I flew them, came directly from Herb Kelleher. His mantra: The business of business is people; yesterday, today and forever” inspired me in my own business.
Herb’s impact on the aviation industry extended across continents.
RIP Herb Kelleher and thank you.