Southwest Airlines canceled another 2,500 flights on Wednesday after a chaotic Christmas holiday weekend that left thousands of travelers stranded at airports.
Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan issued an apology Tuesday evening and explained the airline’s goal of being “back on track” before next week.
“We’re doing everything we can to return to a normal operation. Please also hear that I’m truly sorry,” Jordan said in a video posted on Twitter.
Jordan said the “large numbers of scheduled flights simultaneously froze as record bitter cold brought challenges for all airlines,” creating a “giant puzzle” to solve.
“Our network is highly complex, and the operation of the airline counts on all the pieces, especially aircraft and crews, remaining in motion to where they’re planned to go,” Jordan said. “With our large fleet of airplanes and flight crews out of position in dozens of locations, and after days of trying to operate as much of our full schedule across the busy holiday weekend, we reached a decision point to significantly reduce our flying to catch up.”
“We’re focused on safely getting all of the pieces back into position to end this rolling struggle,” he continued, adding, “Our plan for the next few days is to fly a reduced schedule and reposition our people and planes. We’re making headway and we’re optimistic to be back on track before next week. We have some real work to do in making this right. For now, I want you to know that we’re committed to that.”
This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.