Southwest Airlines Co LUV.N is leading airline cancellations on US flights as the low-cost airline struggles to recover from harsh winter weather. According to tracking site FlightAware, shares of the Dallas-based airline were down 3.4% at $34.90 after canceling 2,503 flights Tuesday at 5:50 a.m. ET and another 2,474 for Wednesday.
Why Southwest Cancels Thousands of Flights?
The Arctic boom and a massive winter storm dubbed Elliott hit much of the United States ahead of the Christmas holiday weekend, forcing Southwest to cancel more than 12,000 flights since Friday. Other airlines also canceled flights, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Southwest derives most of its profits from flying domestically and unlike other major US airlines, it relies more heavily on point-to-point services rather than operating in large hubs. That leaves its staff vulnerable to being stranded in the event of a breakdown.
Not only this time, Southwest Airlines has repeatedly canceled thousands of flights. The existence of a severe winter storm in America caused Southwest Airlines’ operational system to be uniquely affected
In a statement, Southwest said the weather disruptions began at the Florida airport early in the weekend, and were compounded by unexpected air traffic control issues that triggered delays and prompted significant schedule cancellations.
Southwest said it was continuing to work over the weekend to reorganize operations with a focus on repositioning aircraft and crew to serve its customers
Additionally, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) sought to refute speculation that some of Southwest’s pilots or other staff participated in the slowdown as a way of expressing opposition to the company’s decision to require its employees to be vaccinated against Covid-1
Cancel 70 Percent of Flight Schedules, This Airline is Under Investigation
The US Department of Transportation, or USDOT, will examine Southwest Airlines who canceled and delayed most flights in recent days to determine whether they committed a violation.
USDOT said it is concerned about Southwest Airlines’ disproportionate and unacceptable levels of cancellations and delays and its failure to properly support customers experiencing cancellations or delays. Therefore the Agency will carefully check that cancellations are controlled and Southwest complies with the customer service plan and all related safety rules
Southwest declined to comment on the USDOT statement but pointed to a previously issued statement of “sincere apologies” and said “several consecutive days of extreme winter weather across our network, continued challenges are impacting our customers and employees in significant ways.” not acceptable.”
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