Southwest cancels many flights, blames weather and air traffic control issues

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A Southwest Airline Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane lands at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California, U.S., March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Oct 10 (Reuters) – Southwest Airways Co cancelled a minimum of 30% of its scheduled flights on Sunday, a second straight day of heavy cancellations, knowledge from confirmed.

Southwest declined to substantiate the variety of cancelled flights, saying solely it had a major quantity over the weekend as a result of unfavorable climate in Florida that was compounded by air site visitors management points in the identical area.

“With fewer frequencies between cities in our present schedule, recovering throughout operational challenges is harder and extended,” the airline stated in a emailed assertion.

In keeping with the flight monitoring website, the airline has cancelled 1,103 flights to date on Sunday, which comes on prime of 808 or 24% of scheduled flights on Saturday. The cancellation price was a lot larger than these of different airways.

Southwest Airways’ pilots union denied hypothesis on social media that the cancellations had been as a result of union motion. The union had stated on Oct. 5 it might file a brief restraining order to cease Southwest complying with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, which incorporates main airways, that has been set by President Joe Biden.

The union, SWAPA, put out a on Saturday saying it was “conscious of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airways” however that its pilots had been “not collaborating in any official or unofficial job actions.”

Alan Kasher, Southwest’s government vp of every day operations, instructed workers earlier on Sunday that whereas the airline was staffed for the weekend, it didn’t anticipate the scale of the disruptions.

“And as we’ve seen earlier than, an surprising variety of delays in the end results in a staffing scarcity, and at instances, obligatory time beyond regulation due to the longer working day. Though we’ve made schedule changes main into the autumn, our route system has not absolutely recovered—that may take time,” he wrote on the corporate’s intranet.

The Federal Aviation Authority stated no air site visitors staffing shortages had been reported since Friday however that some airways had been experiencing scheduling challenges as a result of plane and crews being misplaced.

Reporting by Sinéad Carew and David Shepardson; Enhancing by Edwina Gibbs


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