How Old is Southwest Airlines?

How Old is Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines has been a top flier in the aviation industry so, it’ll be natural to want to know how old is Southwest Airlines. Since its inception in 1971, Southwest Airlines has been soaring the skies, connecting people across the United States.

How Old is Southwest Airlines?

Southwest has served its passengers for 56 years with exceptional customer service, and affordable fares.

With its humble beginnings and commitment to exceptional customer service, Southwest has truly carved its place in the hearts of travelers, standing as a symbol of reliability and innovation.

Southwest has earned a place in the hearts of travelers with its humble beginnings and commitment to great service.

How Old is Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines burst onto the aviation scene in the early 1970s, with a fresh and innovative approach to air travel. Let’s take a closer look at the birth and early days of this legendary carrier- Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines was founded in 1967 by a maverick entrepreneur named Herb Kelleher and his business partner, Rollin King

Their vision was to create an affordable airline that could serve Texas with affordable and reliable air travel.

After overcoming legal challenges and securing financing, Southwest Airlines’ first official flight was on June 18, 1971. 

And with just three Boeing 737 aircraft, the airline initially offered flights between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

Southwest Rapid Expansion and Innovations

Southwest Airlines quickly gained popularity and started expanding its routes beyond Texas. 

Southwest Airlines spread to Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana by the mid-1970s. In 1973, Southwest Airlines celebrated its first profitable year, marking a significant achievement in the competitive airline industry.

In a bid to stand out, Southwest Airlines introduced a unique culture onboard- the LUV Attitude.

The crew’s fun-loving, personable nature became one of the airline’s defining characteristics, earning them loyal customers and the famous nickname “The Love Airline.”

The “10-Minute Turn”

Southwest Airlines revolutionized the industry with their efficient operations.

They perfected a quick turnaround strategy, known as the “10-Minute Turn,” allowing them to minimize downtime at airports and increase the number of flights per day.


Evolution of Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has proved itself as a major player in the aviation industry. Let’s see how this iconic airline has evolved over the years.

Expanding Reach and Fleet

During the 1990s and 2000s, Southwest Airlines continued its expansion, adding new destinations and acquiring more modern aircraft. 

Southwest Airlines expanded its network to cover destinations nationwide. The airline added the Boeing 737-300 and 737-700, known for their fuel efficiency and passenger comfort, to support its expansion.

Embracing Digital Era and International Reach

The past years have had Southwest Airlines focused on adapting to the digital age and expanding its international presence through digital innovations and sustainable initiatives. 

Southwest Airlines improved their travel experience with digital innovations such as mobile check-in, in-flight Wi-Fi, and a user-friendly website and app.

Southwest Airlines launched international flights to the Caribbean in 2014. This marked a new chapter in the airline’s history, bringing their renowned service to international travelers.

Southwest Airlines embraced sustainability initiatives to address environmental concerns, such as investing in fuel-efficient aircraft, implementing recycling programs, and supporting renewable energy projects.


Southwest Airlines, with over five decades of operation, has become an iconic and beloved airline known for its affordability, friendly service, and operational efficiency. 

From its humble beginnings in Texas to its current nationwide and international reach, Southwest Airlines has consistently pushed the boundaries of air travel. 

So, next time you board a Southwest flight, remember the rich history behind this trailblazing airline. Safe travels!

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