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Southwest Airlines flight cancellations continue into Monday

Passengers are in line at airport ticketing counter.
Passengers queue at the Southwest Airlines ticketing counter at the airport Sunday in Omaha.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)
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Southwest Airlines canceled hundreds more flights Monday after a weekend of major service disruptions.

According to Flightaware, the carrier has canceled about 400 flights Monday and delayed many more.

The Dallas-based airline had blamed air-traffic control issues and weather for its weekend “operational challenges,” which saw more than 1,000 canceled flights on Sunday alone. Southwest Airlines was the only airline to report the issues on that scale.

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Southwest has struggled all summer with high numbers of delayed and canceled flights. In August, it announced it was trimming its September schedule by 27 flights a day, or less than 1%, and 162 flights a day from early October through Nov. 5, or 4.5% of the schedule.

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Last week, Southwest became the latest airline to announce that it was imposing a vaccine mandate on its staff. The company said its workers must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8 in order to remain at the airline. Employees can seek approval to skip the shots for medical or religious reasons.

The Southwest Airlines pilots union said shortly afterward that, while it was not against vaccines, “this announcement and lack of detail only fuels a growing divide that continues to erode the already strained relationship between Southwest Airlines and its Pilots’ Union.”

One analyst said a possible reason for the weekend outages may be a work slowdown by pilots who oppose the mandate. The pilots union denied it was part of a job action.

Southwest shares fell more than 4% on Monday to $51.67.

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