Featured Map for 4 January 2019:
In Memoriam: Herb Kelleher


Herbert D. Kelleher, founder and chairman emeritus of Southwest Airlines, passed away yesterday at the age of 87. Herb will be remembered for how he changed commercial aviation, and for his personality (and love of Wild Turkey).

The genesis of Southwest Airlines came in 1967 when Rollin King hired Kelleher, then a New York-based lawyer, to handle the closure of a small charter airline. The two met in a bar in San Antonio and King proposed a new airline to connect the three largest metropolitan areas in Texas: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. Legend says that King sketched a route network on a cocktail napkin: a simple triangle. (King later said it wasn't quite true but was a "hell of a good story.")

Four years later, on 18 June 1971, Southwest commenced operations using three Boeing 737-200 aircraft flying six roundtrip flights between Dallas Love Field and San Antonio plus 12 roundtrips between Dallas and Houston Intercontinental. After receiving a fourth aircraft in September, Southwest increased frequencies slightly to 14 hourly flights to Houston and seven every-other-hour flights to San Antonio. On 14 November 1971 Southwest moved half of the Houston flights to Houston Hobby and completed the triangle by adding flights between San Antonio and Houston Hobby.

Today's Featured Map depicts the routes of that napkin, with the launch-day routes in blue and the completion of the triangle (and addition of Houston Hobby) in red.

References and additional information:


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