Southwest Airlines President Mike Van de Ve offered an explanation Thursday for the cancellation of thousands of flights over the weekend, which left passengers across the nation stranded.
Van de Ven stated in a statement that the operational disruption started on Friday. It was initially caused by weather and air traffic restrictions, which stalled our Florida operations over many hours.” statement. “As a consequence, our aircraft and crews were not in the positions they had planned to be operating our Saturday schedule. The out-of-place Crew and aircraft caused additional cancellations across our point to-point network. These cancellations continued into Monday and Tuesday. Although weather and air traffic restrictions were not an issue beyond Friday’s deadline, it took several days to restore our network after the initial difficulties.
Southwest’s claims were countered by the Federal Aviation Administration, who stated in a tweetThey have not received any reports of traffic problems since Friday.
The Associated Press reported that the delays occurred shortly after Southwest’s pilot’s union asked a federal court to block the airline’s order that all employees get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Southwest Airlines Pilots Association refuted the claims that they were protesting. They stated that they “can confidently state that our Pilots aren’t participating in any unofficial or official job actions.”
Van de Ven stated that cancelations were not caused due to “unusual Southwest employee activity.”
Van de Ven said, “And there simply isn’t anything in our data that indicates this particular reason.” “Our employees worked tirelessly in these adverse conditions. Many came in on weekends or flew extra trips to help the airline recover. Their tireless work and dedication to our customers is greatly appreciated by me.