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Allied Pilots Association Lauds Southwest Founder Herb Kelleher for “Putting Employees First”

FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 4, 2019) — The Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, issued the following statement in response to the death of Southwest Airlines founder and Chairman Emeritus Herb Kelleher:

“Herb Kelleher understood how putting employees first can be the key to success,” said APA President Capt. Dan Carey. “When you put employees first, they’re motivated to make your customers happy. And when your customers are happy, most likely your shareholders are too. The result is a virtuous cycle that benefits everyone involved.

“It’s a disarmingly simple leadership style that has proven tremendously effective,” he said. “In an industry that’s had its share of colorful characters over the years, Herb always stood out, and the legacy he leaves — a thriving Southwest Airlines — will no doubt endure for many years to come.

“We will miss him and express our heartfelt condolences to Herb’s family and friends.”

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association — the largest independent pilots union in the United States — is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s website is AlliedPilots.org. American Airlines is the world’s largest passenger airline.

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