Southwest Airlines cancels nearly a third of its flights Sunday.
Southwest Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights over the weekend, blaming “disruptive weather” and air traffic control issues.
The airline said bad weather and “FAA-imposed air traffic management program” is what led to 1,018 cancelled Sunday flights.
Sunday’s cancellations were on top of 808 cancellations on Saturday.
“I know this is incredibly difficult for all of you, and our Customers are not happy” Alan Kasher executive vice president of daily flight operations told staff in a note on Sunday.
“Although we were staffed for the weekend, we could not anticipate the significant disruption that was created from unexpected ATC issues and bad weather across our Florida stations,” said Kasher.
The cancellations stranded Southwest passengers across the country, forcing them to find alternative ways home.
In a statement, Southwest Airlines said: “We experienced significant impact in the Florida airports yesterday (Friday) evening after an FAA-imposed air traffic management program was implemented due to weather and resulted in a large number of cancellations.
“We are working hard behind the scenes to minimize challenges and fully recover the operation as we take care of displaced crews and customers as quickly as possible. We will continue to reset our network today and hope to return to close to normal operations as we move into Sunday.”
Some analysts say the mass disruptions were in fact due to Southwest having to mandate vaccines because of new rules from the Biden administration requiring companies with federal contracts to have vaccinated staff.
Southwest Airlines carries out work for the government, including flying the military in emergencies and carrying mail for the US Postal Service.
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took to Twitter late Sunday to support this claim.
“Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate a work! Suddenly, we’re short on pilots & air traffic controllers,” he tweeted.