Dallas (AP) – Southwest Airlines Hundreds more flights were canceled on Monday after major service disruptions.
Until late Monday morning, Southwest About 36,365 flights were canceled – 10 percent of its schedule – and more than 600 were delayed.
The Dallas-based airline blamed air traffic control problems and bad weather for “operational challenges” over the weekend, with 1,900 flights canceled on Saturday and Sunday.
The Federal Aviation Administration, which provides air traffic control services, took the unusual step of retreating against it. SouthwestExplain. Southwest Airlines It was the only airline to report such a large percentage of canceled and delayed flights over the weekend.
Shares Southwest Airlines Company It briefly fell more than 4% on Monday before partial recovery. They were down 2% until late in the morning.
Widespread disruptions began when the union asked a federal court for its pilots to block the airline’s order that all employees be vaccinated against code-19. The union said it did not oppose the vaccination, but argued in a filing Friday. Southwest This should be discussed before taking such a step.
As the scope of SouthwestThe operational glitch became apparent over the weekend, with the pilots’ union denying reports that pilots were ill or slow to protest the vaccine mandate. Of Southwest Airlines The Pilots’ Association said it had “not authorized any job operation, nor would it waive it.”
The union offered another explanation: it said. SouthwestDue to the company’s lack of cooperation, its operation has “broken down and suffered massive failures under minor pressure.” The union complained about the “already tense relationship” between itself and the company.
The White House has forced airlines to adopt a vaccine mandate because they are paid under federal contracts, subject to President Joe Biden’s order that federal contractors require vaccination of employees.
United Airlines was the first major American carrier to announce the need for vaccinations. Southwest He remained silent after Biden announced his order to federal contractors and large employers. Finally last week. Southwest Employees were told they should be fully vaccinated by December 8 to retain their jobs. Workers may be asked to drop shots for medical or religious reasons.
Sawanthi Seth, an airline analyst for Raymond James, said the problems would escalate over the weekend. SouthwestCosts and worsen the company’s strained relations with unions.
Southwest Struggled with a large number of delayed and canceled flights all summer. In August, it announced that it was reducing its September schedule from early October to November 5 by 27 flights a day, or less than 1%, and 162 flights, or 4.5% of the schedule.