Southwest apologizes as flight cancellations mount


Southwest Airlines apologized Monday for the disruptions caused after nearly 2,000 flights were canceled over the weekend.

"I'm sorry for the struggles that you and our customers are experiencing, once again,'' Alan Kasher, Southwest's executive vice president of daily operations, said in a memo to employees, according to USA Today.

"I know this is incredibly difficult for all of you, and our customers are not happy," Kasher added in the statement on Sunday.

The airline's new president, Mike Van de Ven, who previously served as its operations chief, also thanked employees for what he called "heroic efforts'' in a video, USA Today reported. 

He added that things "seem to be on track for a reset so that Monday is more normal.'' 

USA Today noted that Southwest had canceled 350 flights, or 10 percent of all scheduled flights, as of Monday morning.

Over the weekend, the Dallas-based airline canceled more than 800 flights on Saturday and 1,000 flights on Sunday. The airline attributed the problems to air traffic control issues and bad weather conditions in Florida. 

"We experienced weather challenges in our Florida airports at the beginning of the weekend, challenges that were compounded by unexpected air traffic control issues in the same region, triggering delays and prompting significant cancellations for us beginning Friday evening," the airline said in a statement over the weekend. "With fewer frequencies between cities in our current schedule, recovering during operational challenges is more difficult and prolonged."

Reports indicated that the weekend disruption seemed limited to only Southwest Airlines as other airline services saw cancellations of just 2 percent of all flights or less. 

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