Southwest Airlines' Operational Emergency Stretches Into Fifth Day

Southwest Airlines Co.'s operational emergency stretched into a fifth day Tuesday, with double the normal number of planes taken out of service daily because of mechanical issues.The Dallas-based carrier notified workers Feb. 15 of the situation, saying maintenance employees risked being fired if they decline to take overtime assignments or fail to show up for work as scheduled, unless they have a doctor's note. Southwest has been in contract talks with the union representing mechanics for more than six years.Southwest has canceled 519 flights since the beginning of Feb. 15, according to, although the total includes flights grounded by weather and a breakdown by cause wasn't available.  Continue reading...

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