Southwest Airlines announces appointment of Rakesh Gangwal to board of directors

image credit: Southwest Airlines

The Board of Directors of Southwest Airlines Co. has appointed Rakesh Gangwal as a member of the Board, effective July 7.

Gangwal has deep and extensive airline industry experience and is the co-founder of India’s largest airline by fleet size and passengers carried, InterGlobe Aviation, known as IndiGo.

Before co-founding IndiGo in 2006, Gangwal served as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Worldspan Technologies, a provider of technology and information services to the travel and transportation industry.

Prior to his time at Worldspan, Gangwal served as President and Chief Executive Officer of US Airways Group, and previously as its Chief Operating Officer.

Gangwal previously served in executive roles at Air France and United Airlines.

Gary Kelly, Executive Chairman of the Board said: “I am delighted to welcome Rakesh, who brings to our Board decades of valuable experience as an executive and entrepreneur at some of the world’s leading airlines.

“Having co-founded IndiGo and grown it into India’s largest airline, Rakesh knows the importance of building a business that has both a distinct culture and enduring profitability.”

Gangwal said: “I have long admired Southwest Airlines and am honored to join the Board.

“Together with the rest of the Board, I look forward to supporting the Company’s strategic direction and building on its well-earned reputation as one of the world’s most admired and respected airlines.”

“Rakesh’s expertise in travel technology will be valuable as we continue to make investments that support our operations and strategic initiatives,” added Kelly.

“We look forward to working with Rakesh and benefitting from his insights to best serve our Customers, do right by our Employees, and drive long-term Shareholder value.”

In addition to having served on the board of InterGlobe Aviation, Gangwal has also served on several other public company Boards, including US Airways Group, CarMax, Office Depot, OfficeMax, and PetSmart. Gangwal earned a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.