Southwest cancels many flights on weather and air traffic control issues

Southwest Airlines

Data from flighaware.com show that
Southwest Airlines Co cancelled at least 30% of its scheduled flights on Sunday, a second straight day of heavy cancellations.

Southwest declined to confirm the number of cancelled flights.

Southwest say it had a significant amount of cancelled flights over the weekend due to unfavorable weather in Florida that was compounded by air traffic control issues in the same region.

According to the flight tracking site, the airline has cancelled 1,103 flights so far on Sunday, which comes on top of 808 or 24% of scheduled flights on Saturday.

The cancellation rate was much greater than those of other airlines.

Southwest Airlines’ pilots union denied speculation on social media that the cancellations were due to union action. The union had said on Oct. 5 it would file a temporary restraining order to stop Southwest complying with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, which includes major airlines, that has been set by President Joe Biden.

The union, SWAPA, put out a statement here on Saturday saying it was “aware of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines” but that its pilots were “not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.”

The Federal Aviation Authority said no air traffic staffing shortages had been reported since Friday but that some airlines were experiencing scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place.

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