Following this week’s operations that were severely hampered by a winter storm, Southwest Airlines got back to its regularly scheduled operations on Friday, Reuters reported.
During the bustling Christmas holiday rush, Dallas-based Southwest struggled to recover from a massive weekend storm, canceling at least 16,000 flights since last Friday and stranding customers as well as its own staff.
Flight data tagging service FlightAware said that the airline had canceled 41 flights on Friday, or 1% of all flights, a significant decrease from the almost 60% cancellations on prior days.
In addition to acknowledging a number of issues that contributed to the company’s decline, Chief Executive Bob Jordan expressed confidence that the airline will operate a very tight operation on Friday.
He said that due to factors such as the storm’s extensive reach, the shutdowns in so many places, and the record-low temperatures that froze runways, Southwest’s routine operations and tools were unable to meet the challenge of relocating employees and maintaining the airline.
The harsh weather was only a small portion of Southwest’s issue. The firm has acknowledged that the airline’s outdated technology failed to match employees to flights, and union members have claimed that its point-to-point operational structure caused scheduling disruption.
Along with offering ticket refunds, Southwest Airlines has agreed to cover travelers’ lodging and rental car costs, and it has acknowledged that this would result in a blow to its financial results.
Pete Buttigieg, the secretary of transportation, told Jordan in a letter on Thursday that the firm would be held responsible if it failed to honor agreements with consumers for “controllable delays and cancellations.”
They had a “wonderful talk,” according to the CEO of Southwest Airlines, and their objectives were compatible.