a half-century ago, but: In the sixties, a luxury to fly. All of that changed, as in the United States, a certain Herb Kelleher co-founded with his business partner, Rollin King, the company Southwest Airlines (SWA), the first cheap flight line in the world. In the decades thereafter, the concept revolutionised the flight business. On Friday, now it became known that the aviation pioneer, passed away at the age of 87 years.

Originally, he was a lawyer in San Antonio, as his client Rollin King in 1967 came up with the idea of a cheap airline to him that should fly between San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. At the time, flights with opulent meals, entertainment program and the state regulatory authorities, approved flight prices only for a few affordable. With its inception, Southwest’s Kelleher had to overcome a thicket of legal obstacles, which other Airlines of the new competitors wanted to get rid of in 1971, then launched the operation.

SWA flew initially with the Boeing 737, to keep maintenance easier and cheaper; in the Jets, there were no assigned seats, and as a meal just peanuts is today, this type of cheap flying Standard. Michael O’leary, Chairman of Ryanair, has led this concept to its style Fort and is well aware of, in whose he footsteps is entered. “Herb was the great master Yoda of low-cost airlines,” wrote O’leary after learning of the death message. And: “Without the bitter, there would be no Ryanair.”

in 2011, said Kelleher in an Interview, most proud of have made him always that he is in an industry with drastic job losses never got Put together.

Kelleher is not only for the establishment and management of the SWA known – particularly his eccentric behaviour makes him the face of the airline: He appeared publicly in the Elvis costume in a TV show, he wore a paper bag on the head.

Herb Kelleher 1998

his preference for good Whiskey, and Smoking were well known. In the case of a price war with the Airline Braniff Kelleher offered to all who bought a SWA Ticket at full price, a bottle of alcohol. In 1999, I was diagnosed with Kelleher prostate cancer. Until his full withdrawal in 2008, he worked.

The airline said after his death: “Herb was a pioneer, a Maverick and an inventor. His Vision revolutionized the commercial air travel and democratized the sky.”


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.