Southwest Airlines Announces Steps To Avoid Mass Cancellations

Southwest Airlines (LUV) announced Tuesday that it would increase staffing and equipment in order to avoid another mass cancellations similar to that occurred during the holiday season.

"We understand the root causes that led to the holiday disruption, and we're validating our internal review with the third-party assessment. Now, we expect to mitigate the risk of an event of this magnitude ever happening again," said Bob Jordan, Southwest's President and Chief Executive Officer.

"Work is well underway implementing action items to prepare for next winter—with some items already completed. I want to thank our Employees and Customers for their patience and grace, and we're resolved to emerge an even stronger airline."

The airline blamed winter weather and staffing issues that led it to cancel over 16,000 flights during the last week of 2022. As a result, Southwest said that it expected a first-quarter loss of up to $350 million.

The airline said it is currently budgeted to spend more than $1.3 billion on investments, upgrades, and maintenance of information technology systems in 2023.

Challenges with infrastructure, winter equipment, and winter weather preparedness have been, or will be, addressed through various actions, including purchasing additional deicing trucks; securing additional deicing pads and deicing fluid capacity at key network locations; and purchasing more engine covers and engine heaters for cold weather operations.

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