Southwest Airlines this weekend was forced to cancel thousands of flights across the United States because of what Southwest is calling “weather and other external constraints.”
Close to 2,000 flights were canceled through the weekend with more expected on Monday, according to FlightAware,
Southwest, which denied rumors that the cancellation stemmed from an issue with the pilot’s union over vaccination requirements, said that weather, mostly in Florida, had a ripple effect that did not allow its fleet and its staff to be in the right place.
“Unfortunately, the out-of-place aircraft and continued strain on our Crew resources created additional cancelations across our point-to-point network that cascaded throughout the weekend and into Monday,” Southwest said in a statement.
“Southwest Teams have been working diligently to restore stability to the network, and we are experiencing fewer disruptions on Monday. We hope to restore our full schedule as soon as possible. As a note, the operational challenges were not a result of Southwest Employee demonstrations.”
Florida is one of Southwest’s most popular destinations—USA Today estimates that somewhere between 40% and 50% of planes fly through the state every day—and weather, coupled with Air Traffic Control issues, displaced crews and planes enough to cause a ripple effect that led to the cancellations.
While rumors did persist that the cancellations were caused by pilots protesting the vaccination requirement—the union had previously sued Southwest after the carrier issued the mandate for its crew members—both Southwest and the union have denied that it was the case.