As of December 2010, Texas-based Southwest Airlines is the largest U.S. domestic passenger carrier. Incorporated in Texas in 1967 by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher as Air Southwest, the company's goal was to provide service between the state hubs of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. After three years of litigation while competitors attempted to block the company's certificate with the Texas Aeronautics Commission, the first flight finally took off on June 18, 1971 under the new name of Southwest Airlines Co.
The company still maintains its headquarters in Dallas, Texas in the Love Field neighborhood. In the 1970s, Southwest played off the name and marketed itself as the "LUV airline," featuring a series of racy hostess uniforms (including some with hot pants) and the LUV stock ticker symbol. By 1979, in addition to the original routes, the airline offered flights between El Paso, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Lubbock, and Midland/Odessa, and launched its out-of-state service with flights to New Orleans. The airline continued to expand, ultimately adding destinations to 37 states and acquiring Muse Air/TranStar Airlines (1985), Morris Air (1993), ATA Airlines (2008) and AirTran Airways (2011). Southwest was also one of the first major airlines to launch a website and offer ticketless travel, both in 1995.