FlyingTypers Logo
   Vol. 18 No. 2
Monday January 7, 2019

Celebrating Herm Kelleher
Herb Kelleher

     “Too bad he is gone.
     “We need more like him in both private and public life.
     “A man of courage, ambition, ability and integrity who made a real contribution to the industry,” said Robert Crandall, legendary former president and chairman of American Airlines.
     Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines, died last Thursday January 3 at the age of 87.
     Mr. Kelleher was a "pioneer, a maverick, and an innovator," Southwest Airlines said, adding:
     “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 Bag Man

Herb Kelleher Bag Ad     “I knew nothing about airlines, which I think made me eminently qualified to start one because what we tried to do at Southwest was get away from the traditional way that airlines had done business.
     “I think that was very helpful." Herb Kelleher said.
     Herb was also often up front promoting the carrier. He was pictured handing out peanuts on board flights as Southwest’s innovative low cost, no frills service gained attention.
     When a rival carrier claimed that people might be embarrassed to be seen flying “no frills,” Herb delivered the Southwest message in a TV commercial with a bag over his head.
     “We will give you this bag for all the money you save!” he laughed.
     Mr. Kelleher served as Southwest's executive chairman from March 1978 until May 2008 and as president and CEO from September 1981 through June 2001.
     He served as chairman emeritus at the time of his death.

Kelly Views

     “His vision for making air travel affordable for all revolutionized the industry," Southwest chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said.
     “But his legacy extends far beyond our industry and far beyond the world of entrepreneurship.
     “He inspired people; he motivated people; he challenged people—and, he kept us laughing all the way."

Parker Rolls

     American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said Kelleher's vision "brought the freedom of travel to hundreds of millions of people, and his appetite for taking on any real or perceived battle was unmatched.
     “His style presents the ultimate case study for airlines or any service company whereby if you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers, which will take care of your shareholders," Mr. Parker said.
     Often clad in jeans and a plaid shirt, Southwest Airlines during the Kelleher era was a place where every day was dress-down day.
     Southwest, it should be remembered, began in 1971 as a tiny commuter serving three Texas cities with four planes and 190 employees.
     Today the carrier moves more passengers annually in the United States, than any other airline.

Cargoman Boesch

     I recall that when Bill Boesch retired as President of American Airlines Cargo, and we all gathered in Dallas to salute the air cargo industry great, Mr. Kelleher entered the ballroom and stood in the back of the gathering talking to Robert Crandall.
     Herb spoke in deep resonate tones, probably driven in no small part by his love for bourbon and cigarettes, so even when he talked in a whisper, you could hear him from a distance.
     In any case, just after Jan Meurer offered some kind words and a giant bouquet of tulips to Bill, Herb also got up and rocked the room.
     We asked Bill to share some thoughts about Herb Kelleher.
     “When a great heads-of-state dies, we have massive state funerals and flags at half mast.
     “But in the airline industry when the great pioneers pass, the ones that have developed our heritage, their passing goes almost unnoticed, except maybe by family members and in this case a few people at Southwest.
     “Herb Kelleher was one of the greatest.
     “He was a man of integrity and strong will who viewed his employees as his most important asset.
     “So it is my hope that those employees will do something special to honor him for years to come.
     “And if they do something I hope they reach out to me to contribute in any way I can. “This industry will miss Herb and his genius. When you were around him you couldn't help but smile and feel good for weeks afterwards.
     “Herb, my friend, may God appreciate you the way our industry did, and if there is a airline in heaven, I hope you are running it!”

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Access complete issue by clicking on issue icon or
Access specific articles by clicking on article title

Vol. 17 No. 89
A Tree Grows In Hollis
Chuckles for December 24, 2018
Kelly's Christmas Playlist

Vol. 17 No. 90
True Confessions:
Oliver Evans
Jim Butler
Dan Muscatello

FT010419Vol. 18 No. 1
Air Cargo 2018 In Pictures

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend •
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

fblogoSend comments and news to geoffrey@aircargonews.com
Opinions and comments expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher but remain solely those of the author(s).
Air Cargo News FlyingTypers reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and content. All photos and written material submitted to this publication become the property of All Cargo Media.
All Cargo Media, Publishers of Air Cargo News Digital and FlyingTypers. Copyright ©2018 ACM, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
More@ www.aircargonews.com

recycle100% Green