|Southwest Airlines Inc.
Founded in 1966 in Dallas, Texas, by Herbert D. Kelleher and other investors, Southwest started flying in 1971. In 1985, the discount airline began to serve Chicago's Midway Airport. Although it continued to call Texas home, Southwest became an important Chicago airline in the early 1990s, when it purchased many of the Midway Airport gates of the bankrupt Midway Airlines. By 1994, it employed about 1,200 people in the Chicago area. As the rest of the airline industry floundered in the early 2000s, Southwest remained profitable, substantially increasing its Chicago presence after Midway Airport added a new terminal.
The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago © 2005 Chicago Historical Society.
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