Southwest Airlines’ (LUV) operations continue to suffer as the airline cancelled a further 360 flights on October 11, 2021. This follows a worrying weekend (October 9-10, 2021), which saw more than 1,000 flights cancelled.
In addition to the 360 cancelled flights, which accounts for 10% of the carrier’s daily flight numbers, more than 800 flights were delayed, according to FlightAware, a site that tracks commercial flights.
To date, more than 2,200 flights have been cancelled by the airline and approximately 2,800 have been delayed.
There has been much speculation across social media with some members of the public suggesting that operations were disrupted due to employees protesting against the airline’s recent vaccination mandate. However, Southwest Airlines (LUV) continues to stand by its official statement that operational disruptions were “primarily created by weather and other external constraints”.
On October 11, 2021, the airline issued a public apology and an official statement.
“Southwest Airlines (LUV) extends a tremendous apology to our Customers and Employees for the flight cancellations and delays which occurred over the weekend and on Monday.
“On Friday evening, the airline ended the day with numerous cancellations, primarily created by weather and other external constraints, which left aircraft and Crews out of pre-planned positions to operate our schedule on Saturday. Unfortunately, the out of place aircraft and continued strain on our Crew resources created additional cancelations across our point-to-point network that cascaded throughout the weekend and into Monday.
“Southwest Teams have been working diligently to restore stability to the network, and we are experiencing less disruptions on Monday. We hope to restore our full schedule as soon as possible. As a note, the operational challenges were not a result of Southwest Employee demonstrations.”
It has been a tumultuous quarter for Southwest Airlines (LUV). In August 2021, the airline announced that it will reduce daily flights in September and October 2021 in order to fix operational issues that caused flight delays and cancellations during the summer.
In September 2021, the pilots union of Southwest Airlines (LUV) sued the carrier over changes in work conditions that occurred during the pandemic.