Southwest cancels 200 flights as maintenance issues persist

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Flickr/Jonathan Payne

Feb. 20 (UPI) — Southwest Airlines extended its “operational emergency” to a fifth day Tuesday as more than double the daily average of planes were grounded due to maintenance issues, the Dallas-based carrier said.

The company said in a statement it had to cancel about 100 flights Tuesday due to weather and mechanical issues.

“Today, the percentage of out-of-service aircraft, in our available fleet of approximately 750 aircraft, has more than doubled the daily average with no common theme among the reported items,” it said in the statement.

Flight tracking website FlightAware showed that the airline canceled 191 flights by the end of the day Tuesday.

The statement says that its mechanics will continue to work under operational emergency enacted last week, meaning that they could face termination if they don’t comply with company protocol such as bringing a doctor’s note to work for calling in sick, CNBC News reported.

“We are requiring all-hands-on-deck to address maintenance items so that we may promptly return aircraft to service and take care of our customers,” the statement said.


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