Southwest Airlines (LUV) is reportedly urging employees to take extra shifts in early July 2021 by offering double overtime pay. The move comes as the airline tries to avoid flight disruptions amid labor shortages.

 

Southwest Airlines (LUV) executive vice president of daily operations Alan Kasher wrote a staff letter entitled “We Need Your Help This Holiday Travel Week”.

“We have heard from many of you who are frustrated with our network reliability and irregular operations created by summer storms across many parts of the country,” read the letter, first seen by CNBC on June 29, 2021. “To address the situation for the short term, we will be incentivizing our Ops Employees during this busy holiday travel week by increasing overtime pay from July 1 through July 7.”

Earlier in June 2021, the Dallas-based airline had to cancel hundreds of flights due to a combination of bad weather conditions and technical glitches. In order to avoid a recurrence of operational disruptions before the Independence Day holiday, the air carrier said that flight attendants, pilots, ground-handling, and cargo operation staff would be eligible for double overtime pay when working extra shifts in early July 2021. 

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Around half of all Southwest Airlines flights were delayed after the air carrier had to temporarily halt operations due to a computer glitch.
 

Southwest Airlines (LUV) has seen a quick ramp up in air travel demand as the COVID-19 vaccination rates in the United States and across the globe increased and certain travel restrictions were lifted. The push to staff up quickly shows how air carriers across the US are struggling to handle summer travel rebound.

Earlier in June 2021, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) said it would cut 1% of July 2021 operations ahead of the summer schedule peak. 

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American Airlines is reportedly planning to cut 1% of July 2021 operations capacity amid a labor shortage.