This weekend got a bit longer for the customers of the largest low-cost carrier, Southwest Airlines when they have canceled more than 2000 flights from Friday till Sunday.
According to FlightAware, an Aviation tracking website has revealed that Southwest Airlines canceled 3 of every 10 departures which they had scheduled on Sunday and this process continued till Monday which was a federal holiday.
So far, 337 flights have been canceled causing disruptions in the flight schedules. The company blamed few conditions such as weather issues, air traffic control problems, and limited staffing in Florida because of which the flights had to be canceled.
The sources reveal that the company will require more time to make the operations back to normal because of staffing reductions made amid the COVID-19 situation.
“We’ve continued diligent work throughout the weekend to reset our operation with a focus on getting aircraft and crews repositioned to take care of our customers,” the airline said in a statement.
However, the statement released by the Federal Aviation Administration said that there have been no air traffic-related cancellations since Friday. The agency added that due to crews and reduction in air staff, the airlines are facing delays.
“Flight delays and cancellations occurred for a few hours Friday afternoon due to widespread severe weather, military training and limited staffing in one area of the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center,” the FAA said.
Interestingly, other airlines do not seem to be heavily influenced by such issues. However, on Sunday, American Airlines canceled their 2% of flights along with some of the other low-cost airlines as per FlightAware.
The problem initiated in June when Southwest Airlines scheduled more flights than it can handle. “All of this is happening as people are in the midst of booking their Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year holiday travel,” said President of the Air Travel Industry Analyst Henry H. Harteveldt.