Southwest weighs schedule changes, apologizes to staff after complaints

A Southwest Airways Boeing 737-7H4 jet taxis to the gate after touchdown at Halfway Worldwide Airport in Chicago, Illinois, on April 6, 2021.

Kamil Krzaczynski | AFP | Getty Photographs

Southwest Airlines on Friday apologized to workers after their unions complained about grueling schedules this summer season and mentioned it was weighing scheduling modifications for later this yr.

The provider added extra flights again to its schedule in contrast with a few of its opponents, an effort to capitalize on a surge in journey demand.

The rise in bookings was a welcome change in comparison with “a yr in the past, however we have now to be sincere with ourselves: it is also taken a toll on our operation and put a major pressure on all of you. And for that, I’m sincerely sorry,” wrote COO Mike Van de Ven in a workers observe, which was seen by CNBC.

Van de Ven mentioned the provider is “persevering with to guage our fourth quarter flight schedules, and we’re taking a critical have a look at flight ranges to make sure that our flying aligns with the staffing wanted to function inside this extra sophisticated COVID atmosphere.”

Southwest pilots’ union on Thursday mentioned it was considering pickets at U.S. airports over Thanksgiving and Christmas to protest tightly packed schedules, a scarcity of motels and meals choices, and different points. Flight attendants this week raised related points.

“We is not going to be following our conventional staffing fashions as we reevaluate the place we’re in October, November, and December,” he wrote. “You come first.

Southwest declined to remark additional. The airline mentioned earlier this week it was struggling to rent new workers and provided bonuses value about $300 for employee referrals.

Earlier this month, the corporate cut its revenue forecast, blaming the fast-spreading Covid-19 delta variant fora decline in bookings and improve in cancellations.

This week, Spirit Airways mentioned it might trim a few of its schedule for the remainder of the third quarter after greater than 2,800 cancellations price the corporate some $50 million.

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