Coming off a weekend of cascading flight cancellations and delays, the woes continue for Southwest Airlines for a third straight day. The airlines still denies the systemic issues are not caused by the highly speculated ‘sickout’ over the company’s employee vaccine mandate.
At the end of the day Sunday, Southwest cancelled a total of 1,124 flights, which accounted for 30% of their flights and tallied 1,221 delays, or 33% according to FlightAware’s flight-tracker. By mid-day Monday, the totals began creeping up again. 363 flights or 10% were cancelled and 1,096 or 31% were delayed.
Despite the claims of bad weather and air traffic control issues still being used by Southwest Airlines as their explanation for its systemic flight issues, no other major U.S. airline was experiencing anything close to the number of cancellations with Delta at 0% of flights, American and United at 1%.
Of the 40 major airline hubs tracked for flight delay information the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Commission’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center tracks, only 3 were experiencing mild “taxi delays” and/or “airborne holding delays” (LAX, LAS, and ORD)
Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. briefly fell more than 4% before a partial recovery to around 3% by afternoon.
Over the weekend, FAA spokesperson Steve Kulm said there were no staffing shortages reported.
“No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday,” Kulm said in a statement to KMGH. “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.