The US carrier, Southwest, which initially attributed more than 2,000 flights to weather and air traffic control problems, admitted Monday, October 11, that the situation had been exacerbated by a limited workforce.
The problems started on Friday night with the cancellations “Mainly related to weather and other external restrictions”The company said in a statement that aircraft and crews will not be allowed to operate according to schedule on Saturday. “The fact that the planes weren’t where they were supposed to be”, sum ‘Continuous pressure on the workforce’Additional cancellations have been created “that frequented all weekend and into Monday”Southwest added.
According to CNBC, Southwest’s chief operating officer also noted in a letter to employees that the company “It wasn’t there yet” Where she wanted to be in terms of staff, “Especially on flight crews”. Mike van de Ven said the company has already reduced the number of scheduled flights by the end of the year and could cancel more.
Like other US airlines, Southwest allowed many employees to leave at the start of the pandemic, when air traffic abruptly plummeted, but it has faced renewed activity since the spring and is rushing to hire. The airline had claimed earlier in the weekend 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“There is no shortage of air traffic controllers (I did not have) It has been reported since Friday.” “Some airlines are still having schedule problems due to lack of aircraft and crew.”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 website Flight Aware. That’s more than other US companies. “Hopefully we will be able to restore our entire trip plan as quickly as possible.”, the Southwest newspaper reported Monday evening.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) on Sunday refuted rumors that some pilots or company employees were participating in the retreat in protest of the company’s decision to force its employees to close. Get vaccinated against Covid-19. Operational issues ‘Not the result of protests from Southwest employees’The company added Monday.
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