United States – Southwest admits canceling flights due to limited staff
– Southwest admits canceled flights due to limited staff
The American company Southwest canceled nearly 2,000 flights this weekend, initially blaming the weather and a shortage of air traffic controllers.
The American company Southwest, which initially attributed more than 2,000 flight cancellations to the weather and air traffic control problems, admitted on Monday that the situation had been worsened by limited manpower.
The problems began Friday evening with cancellations “mainly related to weather and other external constraints”, not allowing planes and crews to operate according to the schedule on Saturday, the company said in a statement.
“The fact that the planes were not where they were supposed to be”, combined with “the continued pressure on manpower”, created additional cancellations “which reverberated throughout the weekend and until Monday. Southwest added.
According to CNBC, Southwest’s director of operations also indicated in a message to employees that the company “was not yet” where it wanted to be in terms of personnel, “in particular on flight crews.” The company has already reduced the number of flights scheduled by the end of the year and could cancel more, also said Mike Van de Ven.
Like other US airlines, Southwest let many employees leave at the start of the pandemic, when air traffic suddenly plummeted, but has faced renewed activity since the spring and is rushing to recruit. The airline company had earlier in the weekend claimed that the flight cancellations were mostly related to inclement weather and unexpected air traffic control problems.
Unusually, the US aviation regulator (FAA) noted in a tweet on Sunday that “no shortage of air traffic controllers (had) been reported since Friday.” “Some airlines continue to experience scheduling problems due to the lack of planes and crews,” the FAA added.
Southwest canceled a total of more than 800 flights on Saturday, 1,124 on Sunday and another 326 on Monday, according to the specialist site Flight Aware. That is more than the other American companies. “We hope to be able to fully restore our flight plan as quickly as possible,” Southwest said Monday evening.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) on Sunday refuted rumors that some pilots or company employees were participating in a downturn in protest against the company’s decision to force its employees to shut down. get vaccinated against Covid-19. The operational problems “are not the result of protests by Southwest employees,” the company said Monday.