NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) – Southwest Airlines said systems have been restored after the second disruption in a matter of hours forced the company to cancel or delay more than 1,400 flights.
The airline scrubbed about 14 per cent of its scheduled flights and delayed another 28 per cent, according to flight tracker FlightAware as of mid-afternoon on Tuesday (June 15).
Travellers took to Twitter to complain about long lines at airports and jetliners sitting on the tarmac, and the Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary ground stop in coordination with the carrier.
“Southwest is in the process of resuming normal operations after a brief pause in our flight activity resulting from intermittent performance issues with our network connectivity on Tuesday afternoon,” the company said in a statement.
“We’ve cancelled roughly 500 flights today. We also don’t have any reason to believe this is related to a cyber threat.”
An earlier glitch at a weather-data provider late on Monday forced the carrier to temporarily ground all operations and led to “a handful of cancellations and a small number of lingering delays,” the Dallas-based airline said.
It was not clear if the two disruptions were related.
Airports have been jammed with travellers since the Memorial Day holiday last month, as customers flock back to airlines after staying close to home for more than a year during the coronavirus pandemic.
Southwest’s planes were 84 per cent full on average in May, and the carrier has said it expects to hit 85 per cent this month and next. Commercial flights collapsed because of Covid-19 last year, and US business travel remains at only about a third of 2019 levels.