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Southwest Airlines stops all departures over ‘technology issues’

Firefighters spray a Southwest Airlines plane with a damaged engine at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pa., on April 17, 2018. The plane made an emergency landing. There was one fatality. (David Maialetti/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)
April 18, 2023

Hundreds of Southwest Airlines flights were ground stopped Tuesday morning due to “technology issues,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The airline said it does “not have a time frame for when this will be resolved.”

“Southwest Airlines requested the FAA pause the airline’s departures,” the FAA told CNN in a statement.

According to FlightAware, nearly 2,500 Southwest flights were delayed Tuesday morning.

Southwest replied to multiple social media posts about the delays, writing, “Technical errors are unexpected and inconvenient for all, and you have our sincere apologies. We appreciate your feedback and assure you the appropriate Team has been made aware. Thanks for hanging in there with us, Beau. -V.”

In another post, the airline wrote, “Good morning, Abby. As a result of the intermittent technology issues that we experienced, we should hopefully be resuming our operation as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we’re hoping to get everyone going ASAP. -Jeni”

The delays come months after Southwest Airlines canceled thousands of flights following a chaotic Christmas holiday weekend that left hordes of travelers stranded at airports.

Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan issued an apology at the time and explained the airline’s goal of being “back on track” as quickly as possible.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Southwest plane fills with smoke after ‘big explosion,’ makes emergency landing

“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.

“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.”

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.