Southwest Airlines sees mostly normal operations Tuesday

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WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Businesshala) – Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) said it expects “more normal” operations on Tuesday after canceling more than 2,200 flights since Saturday.

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The US airline said that of the approximately 3,300 flights scheduled, about 90 were canceled on Tuesday.

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Shares of Southwest were up 1.3%.

The airline’s mass cancellations over the weekend were not tied to any pilot protests over Southwest’s decision last week to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all employees by December 8 under an executive order signed by President Joe Biden, Southwest chief executive Gary Kelly told CNBC. Tuesday.

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He added that the employee’s behavior was “all too normal… it just took days to catch on.”

In June, Southwest canceled hundreds of flights because of a computer reservation issue. Earlier in June, Southwest reported a separate issue that required a “groundstop after a weather data provider experienced intermittent performance issues.”

“It’s been a tough summer and I’m not giving any excuses,” Kelly told CNBC. “We certainly have some staffing challenges as well, so we’ve moderated our flight and accelerated our recruitment plans.”

“We were short-staffed over the weekend and that certainly didn’t help things,” Kelly said.

“Like many companies, we’re definitely going to face some hiring challenges. We’re about halfway through trying to hire 5,000 people by the end of this year,” Kelly said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said late Monday “To be clear: none of the information from Southwest, its pilots union, or the FAA indicates that this weekend’s cancellations were related to the vaccine mandate.”

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday barred all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state by any entity, including private employers, in response to what the Biden administration called “bullying.”

Southwest said Tuesday that it was aware of Abbott’s order, but added that “federal action does not affect the mandate or law of any state, and requires us as a federal contractor to comply with the President’s order.” would be expected.”

Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Nick Ziminsky and Marguerita Choy

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