Dallas-based Southwest Airlines continued its streak of cancelations through Monday after already nixing thousands of flights over the weekend.
According to data from Flight Aware, a program used to track flights, Southwest on Monday canceled a total of 435 flights – 12% of flights scheduled – and delayed 1,521 flights. Other major airlines, such as American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines, have a total combination of 107 cancelations.
Alan Kasher, Southwest’s executive vice president of daily operations, early on Monday issued a memo to employees apologizing for “the struggles” they face as virtually 2,000 flights were canceled over the weekend, according to USA Today.
“I’m sorry for the struggles that you and our customers are experiencing, once again,” Kasher said.
Following the massive cancelation and delays, Southwest blamed “ATC issues and disruptive weather” as the reason for “high volume of cancellations.”
However, many have speculated that flights are being canceled because pilots are conducting a strike in protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccines after the union for pilots pleaded with a federal court to halt the requirement.
Nonetheless, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association denied the allegations, saying “we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions,” the Daily Wire reported.
“[The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association] is aware of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines today due to a number of issues, but we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions,” said the association.
However, the group has not explained why it was only Southwest, and not other airlines experiencing weather issues or other difficulties affecting thousands of flights.