Southwest said it is seeing ‘exponential improvement by the hour’ of the carrier
Southwest Airlines continued to cancel and delay a handful of flights on Tuesday, leaving more passengers stranded and marking the fifth day of operations for the carrier.
Texas-based airline 87. canceled flights According to flight tracker FlightAware, at 9 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, as per the data, more than 190 flights have already been delayed.
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However, the carrier told Granthshala Business that it is seeing “exponential improvement by the hour.”
That’s a far cry from the weekend, when the carrier canceled more than 1,000 flights on Sunday alone, or 29% of its schedule. On Saturday, the airline canceled 808 flights and delayed 1,187 flights.
Disruptions began to subside on Monday, with Southwest canceling 10% of its schedule. According to FlightAware, at least 1,400 other flights, or about 40%, were delayed.
Southwest said it had experienced weather challenges at its Florida airports at the beginning of the weekend, compounded by unforeseen air traffic control issues in the same area, causing delays and significant cancellations beginning Friday evening. inspired.
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“Weekend cancellations, bad weather and ATC issues in Florida, a major operation for us caused significant flight disruptions throughout our network on Friday night and we worked to recover from the high number of displaced crew and aircraft over the weekend.” The carrier told Granthshala Business in a statement.
The issues “were not the result of staff demonstrations, as some have reported,” the airline continued.
The disruption left passengers stranded and steamrolled from California to the East Coast, with many expressing their dismay on social media.
CEO Gary Kelly issued an apology to affected customers during an interview on “Good Morning America” Tuesday morning, saying, “It’s not what we want but unfortunately, it just takes a few days to get things back on track.” “
Southwest flight canceled, delays continue on Monday after disrupted weekend
The widespread disruption began soon after the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, representing 9,000 pilots, asked a federal court on Friday to block the airline’s order that all employees be vaccinated. The union argued that Southwest should negotiate the issue because it could include sick leave or disability if pilots have a reaction to the vaccine.
However, the association denied the claims that it had any connection with the cancellation and delay.
“SWAPA is aware of the operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines today due to a number of issues, but we can say with confidence that our pilots will not participate in any official or unofficial job action,” the organization said in a statement on Saturday. are.” “Our pilots will continue to overcome SWA management’s poor planning, as well as any external operational challenges, and remain the most productive pilots in the world.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged delays in parts of Florida on Friday, but pushed back against Southwest’s air traffic control clarification. The FAA said on Sunday that “some airlines” were experiencing problems with planes and crew being out of position. Southwest was the only airline to report such a large percentage of canceled and delayed flights over the weekend.
Kelly defended the airline, saying it was such a hard hit because more than half of its fleet touches the Sunshine State.
“We have a linear routing system. We’re just different.” Kelly went on to argue that “everybody was affected on Friday and everyone was affected in a very big way.”