Business

Southwest Airlines Reduces Cancellations After Confusion Causes Traveler’s Anger

Southwest Airlines I canceled 87 flights on Tuesday, 2% of the schedule. It’s a sign that airlines are stabilizing their operations after weekend turmoil disrupts travel plans for tens of thousands of customers.

“It’s really hard to catch up when airlines lag behind,” Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said on CNBC.Squawk on the Street” on Tuesday.

Dallas-based airlines have been since Saturday Canceled nearly 2,400 flightsAccording to the flight tracking site FlightAware. The airline said bad weather in Florida and air traffic control issues caused the problem. The problem snowballed due to their lack of staff, especially for backup pilots and flight attendants to intervene in the event of a problem. Other airlines had relatively minor cancellations.

Southwest stocks rose 0.4% in trading on Tuesday morning after falling more than 4% on Monday.

The turmoil peaked on Sunday with more than 1,100 cancellations, as approximately 30% of Southwest Airlines flights were canceled due to an attempt at the largest schedule since April 2020.

“Southwest Airlines apologizes to our customers and employees for flight cancellations and delays that occurred on weekends and Mondays,” the airline said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

The airline said bad weather in Florida and air traffic control issues caused the problem, causing planes and crew to be out of place and snowballing hundreds of cancellations.

Casey Murray, chairman of the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association, which represents more than 9,000 airline pilots, told CNBC that the airline’s poor plans were the cause of the problem. The airline has already reduced its fall schedule due to turmoil during the summer following complaints from exhausted crew members.

Travelers will pass a Southwest Airlines plane by taxi from the gate of Baltimore Washington International Airport on October 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Kevin Deechu | Getty Images

Southwest Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ben, who was promoted to president last month, told staff on Sunday that he was trying to build a “staff cushion” that could further shorten the schedule. rice field.

The pilot union told members late Tuesday that Southwest Airlines flight 2,176 was canceled due to crew availability over the weekend.

Murray told CNBC that the pilot had picked up most of the open trips caused by the turmoil.

According to the union, October was the second worst pilot fatigue month since August, a record high of 633. The airline adjusted the schedule shortly thereafter.

It is also said that there are more sick calls than in October last year.

“But the last October has not been affected by chronic staffing issues and cumulative fatigue that have occurred since June,” the union wrote. “Looking at the 2021 data, the incidence of illness is slowly rising as the crew is exhausted from surgery. Fatigue data support that statistic.”

Southwest Airlines Reduces Cancellations After Confusion Causes Traveler’s Anger

Source link Southwest Airlines Reduces Cancellations After Confusion Causes Traveler’s Anger

Back to top button