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Southwest Airlines cancels thousands of flights nationwide, cites weather, ATC issues

FAA says no air traffic staffing shortages reported
Southwest Pilots Lawsuit
Posted at 11:04 AM, Oct 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 07:03:33-04

DENVER — Southwest Airlines, Denver International Airport’s second-biggest airline, canceled hundreds of flights overnight following more than 1,000 cancelations nationwide on Sunday.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, 40 Southwest flights going in or out of DIA were canceled and 53 were delayed, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. Nationwide, 355 flights had been canceled as of 8 a.m.

More than 100 Southwest flights were canceled out of Denver on Sunday.

On Saturday, 50% of Southwest flights out of DIA were either canceled or delayed after the airline grounded more than 800 flights nationwide.

The Dallas-based airline said the disruptions were due to air traffic control issues and weather.

“We’re working diligently to accommodate affected Southwest Customers as quickly as possible. We’re asking our Customers whose travel is affected to explore our self-service rebooking options and to check their flight status on,” an airline spokesperson wrote in Facebook post.

Denver7 reached out to the Federal Aviation Administration for additional information.

Steve Kulm, an FAA spokesperson, said there were no air traffic staffing shortages reported.

"No FAA air traffic staffing shortages have been reported since Friday. 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. Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place. Please contact the airlines for details about current flight schedules," Kulm wrote in a statement.

Social media speculation surrounding the disruption centered on possible labor action taken by Southwest employees due to the recent vaccine mandate imposed by the airline.

However, the union representing Southwest pilots told our partners at The Denver Post that its members were not participating in any type of strike.

Sunday's cancelations account for 28% of the airline's schedule and marks the highest rate by far of the major U.S. airlines.