Southwest Airlines resumed a normal flight schedule Friday morning after more than a week of canceled flights and disappointed travelers.
The boards at the airport showed 41 cancellations, all but two of which were planned, and there were no long lines. The only two cancellations on Friday morning were on arriving flights.
The company says it plans to provide almost 4,000 flights nationwide today.
Southwest CEO Bob Jordan told ABC’s Good Morning America Friday that the airline is “off to a great start,” and he is confident it will “operate a really tight operation today.” Jordan has not responded to interview requests from The Dallas Morning News.
After canceling more than 15,700 flights over an eight-day stretch since Dec. 22, the Dallas-based air carrier said Thursday that it had put pilots, flight attendants and aircraft in place to return to a normal schedule.
“This is impacting so many people, so many customers over the holidays. It’s impacted our employees, and I’m extremely sorry for that,” Jordan said. He added, “There will be a lot of lessons learned in terms of what we can do to make sure this never happens again.”
Leaders blamed the issues on bad weather and an “overmatched” crew rescheduling technology system that couldn’t keep up with the task of reassigning thousands of pilots and flight attendants after winter weather hit major bases in Denver and Chicago.
“Airlines count on the aircraft and the passengers and the crew members continuing to move and when all that shuts down in so many locations it becomes very, very tough,” Jordan said in the interview. “It really was the scope of the problems attempting to be solved, just to move crews around, keep the airline moving.”