Southwest canceled nearly 2,000 flights over the weekend, citing air traffic control (ATC) issues and weather conditions as the reasons for the cancellations.
The Dallas-based airline canceled more than 800 flights on Saturday and 1,000 flights on Sunday. These cancellations accounted for about a quarter of all scheduled flights on both days of the weekend, according to The New York Times.
“We experienced weather challenges in our Florida airports at the beginning of the weekend, challenges that were compounded by unexpected air traffic control issues in the same region, triggering delays and prompting significant cancellations for us beginning Friday evening,” the airline said in a statement to The Hill. “With fewer frequencies between cities in our current schedule, recovering during operational challenges is more difficult and prolonged.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said a brief staffing shortage occurred on Friday but was remedied before the weekend. The agency added in a tweet that “no FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday.”
No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday.
Flight delays & cancellations occurred for a few hours Friday PM due to widespread severe weather, military training, & limited staffing in one area of the Jacksonville en route center.
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) October 10, 2021
The FAA added in another tweet on Sunday that “some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place.”
The Times reported that the cancellations were seemingly limited to Southwest Airlines. American Airlines, which had the second-highest number of cancellations for the weekend, had only about 2 percent of all scheduled flights canceled on Sunday.
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