Herb Kelleher, the co-founder of Southwest Airlines, has died aged 87.
Southwest Airlines tweeted news of his death, calling him ‘a pioneer, a maverick, and an innovator’.
The company said:’ ‘We already miss you, Herbie.’
The businessman is considered an industry pioneer after he helped to create cheaper air travel in the United States.
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 of Southwest Airlines.
‘The entire Southwest Family extends our deepest sympathies to Herb’s wife, Joan, and his entire family.’
The company was launched as Southwest in 1971 with a flight from Dallas Love Field to Houston and San Antonio.
It currently serves 99 cities in the US and abroad and has 742 aircraft.
Southwest became the country’s largest domestic airline after Herb and client Rollin King incorporated Air Southwest, Inc. in 1967.