Co-founder of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, dies at 87

Business | Fri 4 Jan | Author – Business & Finance
Ireland Day NYSE 2016
Ian Hyland, President, Ireland INC; Herb Kelleher, former CEO and co-founder, Southwest Airlines; John Tuttle, COO at New York Stock Exchange at Ireland Day New York 2016

Aviation pinoeer Herb Kelleher was honoured at Ireland Day New York 2016

Ireland Day NYSE 2016

Ireland Day NYSE 2016 with Herb Kelleher, co-founder Southwest Airlines (centre)

Aviation pioneer and co-founder of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, has passed away age 87. Southwest Airlines, founded to connect the Texas Triangle with low-cost air service. Under Kelleher’s leadership Southwest succeeded by offering low fares, eliminating unnecessary services and building traffic in secondary airports instead of main hubs.

In 2007, Kelleher stepped down as Chairman of Southwest Airlines and resign from the board of directors. In July 2010 Kelleher was appointed Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas board of directors for 2011.

Mr Kelleher was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2008.

Mr Kelleher was honoured at the 2016 Ireland Day at the New York Stock Exchange, hosted by Ireland INC.

Herb Kelleher

Herb Kelleher at Ireland Day 2016 at the New York Stock Exchange

Tributes to Herb Kelleher

Ian Hyland, President of Ireland INC, said on the news of Mr Kelleher’s passing,

Herb was a pioneer in the truest sense. He and Southwest Airlines changed the global Aviation sector and how we travel is due in the main to his chutzpah and that of his team. Herb was a very proud member of the global Irish family and we were honoured to recognise him and have him lead the opening bell at the NYSE as part of Ireland Day. RIP to a true legend.

Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, credits the creation of Southwest Airlines with paving the way for companies such as Ryanair. Speaking today he said,

Herb was the Grand Master Yoda of the low fare airlines. He was the leader, the visionary, and the teacher: without Herb there would be no Ryanair, and no low fare airlines anywhere.