Why did Southwest cancel flights?

Southwest attributed the cancellation of over 1 000 flights this weekend due to the weather and precautionary measures, which is speculated to not be the entire truth. 

From Friday, 25 June 2021, until Sunday, 27 June 2021, Southwest, an American airline, is said to have cancelled an estimated 45 percent of the scheduled flights on its roster. In the shared daily details, the reports noted a cancellation of 254 to 307 flights, and 38 flights cancelled on each day respectively. Moreover, there were an estimated 1 575, 1 440 and 308 flights which were delayed on each day of the respective weekend.

In light of the continued flight delays and cancellations, the national air carrier garnered attention as the public demanded to know the reason for delays. According to the airline, “To proactively manage our operation, we implemented a scheduled reduction ahead of expected storms and probable air traffic control initiatives.”

However, the reason given did not sit well with the public and commentators on the matter. This was because the suggested reason for the delays and cancellations did not correlate with the industry. In a comparative look between Southwest and other carriers with similar routes, the other air carriers did not have as many delays and cancellations as Southwest.

Therefore, it is believed that the publicly shared response was given as a smokescreen for the internal troubles faced by the company. It is believed that Southwest is currently facing issues of being short-staffed, due to the pandemic. In light of vaccination and bans being lifted, air carriers are said to have experienced a surgeon demand for air travel. However, as much as the demand is encouraging, it does not mean that some air carriers can currently handle the increase in demand.

Southwest is believed to be one of the air carriers that are currently working on resolving the issue. This is despite the carrier’s official word on the matter.