The legendary founder of Southwest Airlines has died

  • Southwest Airlines cofounder Herb Kelleher died on Thursday at the age of 87.
  • Kelleher, along with business partner Rollin King, founded Southwest Airlines in 1967.
  • He served as Southwest president and CEO from 1978 to 2001.

Southwest Airlines cofounder Herb Kelleher died on Thursday at the age of 87. The Dallas-based airline confirmed Kelleher's death to Business Insider via email.

In a statement, Southwest Airlines said:

"We are deeply saddened to share that Southwest Airlines Founder and Chairman Emeritus Herbert D. Kelleher passed away today at the age of 87.

"Herb was a pioneer, a maverick, and an innovator. His vision revolutionized commercial aviation and democratized the skies. Herb's passion, zest for life, and insatiable investment in relationships made lasting and immeasurable impressions on all who knew him and will forever be the bedrock and esprit de corps of Southwest Airlines.

"The entire Southwest Family extends our deepest sympathies to Herb's wife, Joan, and his entire family."

Kelleher, along with business partner Rollin King, founded Southwest Airlines in 1967. The low-cost airline commenced service in 1971 with three Boeing 737s serving the Texas cities of Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.

RELATED: Take a look at the cheapest airline in the world:

Cheapest airline in the world
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Cheapest airline in the world

Tigerair Australia was recently named the cheapest airline in the world in a report by travel search company Rome2rio, with flights costing on average $0.06 per km (US).

Source: Rome2Rio 

Business Insider looked at what it's like to fly with the low-cost domestic airline that serves 13 destinations in the country.

Tigerair was once branded Australia's 'worst airline' but since it was bought by Virgin Australia Group in 2014, Rome2rio says the airline seems to have 'turned its fortunes around.'

Rome2rio said said in its report: "Following years of bad press (it was voted Australia’s worst airline three years in a row), it was bought by Virgin in 2014 who seem to have turned its fortunes around. It’s not often we say this, but sometimes cheapest can be best!"

You'll be welcomed aboard by its smiling fight attendants, if the airline's Instagram is anything to go by.
The cabin crew look pretty glamorous for a budget airline.

You'll just as often find suits commuting to business meetings on a Tigerair flight as you will sandal-wearing holiday-goers — as well as the odd local celebrity.

Above, Today Show hosts Richard Wilkins and Karl Stefanovic pose with cabin crew onboard a Sydney-bound flight.

Source: Escape

Melbourne Storm rugby players have been spotted travelling with the airline, too.

And by the looks of things, passengers have even been known to serenade the entire aircraft.

Tigerair said it recently installed slimline leather seats on its fleet which have adjustable headrests, additional storage pockets, and built-in tablet/phone holders.
It has also introduced a new 'Tigerbites' food market-inspired winter menu, that includes snacks such as a hot mac and cheese bake, bitesize chicken and chips, and a cinnabun for those with a sweet tooth...
...As well as Onyx espresso martinis (not pictured).
The crew definitely like a selfie.

So if you're ever in the country and looking for a cheap internal flight, you may want to give the carrier a go.


Read more: These are the 9 best airlines in America.

Kelleher served as Southwest's president and CEO from 1978 to 2001. The charismatic former lawyer served as the airline's chairman until 2008.

In the years since its founding, Southwest Airlines has developed into the world's largest low-cost airline with a fleet of more than 700 Boeing 737 jets, operating 4,000 flights a day.

Southwest is also renowned if its industry-leading customer service and friendly demeanor. The airline is also one of the most profitable airlines in the world with 46 consecutive years of profitability. It's one of the only major airlines in the US to have never filed for bankruptcy.

Kelleher is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the New York University Law School.

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