Southwest Airlines shares tumble after mass flight cancellations, carrier weighs more cuts

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  • Southwest has canceled more than 2,000 flights since Saturday.
  • The airline blamed air traffic control issues, bad weather and a lack of its own staff.
  • Angry customers complained of long hold times to change flights.

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Shares of Southwest Airlines fell more than 3% in premarket trading on Monday after canceling more than 2,000 flights since Saturday, disrupting travel plans for thousands.

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According to flight-tracking site FlightAware, Southwest canceled 347 flights on Monday, down from 1,124 on Sunday, which was 30% of its schedule.

The airline has already said it will cut its fall schedule to avoid cancellations and delays that affected its operations during the summer. Now the airline is weighing whether it needs to cut further.

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Mike Van de Ven, president of the Dallas-based airline, told employees late Sunday that Southwest still has staff shortages and that “we will have to continue to adjust our schedules as this environment develops.”

In a recorded message to staff reviewed by CNBC, van de Ven said, “We have already made significant cuts ahead of the previously published November and December schedules, and will be able to do more if we feel we need to. So we will.”

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