Southwest Cancels Hundreds of Flights and Delays Hundreds More Wednesday Amid Operational Emergency

As inclement weather and a blame game between the nation's largest domestic airline and its mechanics union mar air travel, Southwest Airlines was forced to cancel 440 flights Wednesday and delay 522, according to FlightAware data.It couldn't be determined from the data how many were related to maintenance and how many resulted from a winter storm that disrupted travel along the East Coast. The storm grounded more than 1,000 flights in all.Disruptions to Southwest's service, however, numbered more than any other airline Wednesday and delays continued to rise through the afternoon. Cancellations accounted for 11 percent of Southwest's entire fleet and delays affected 13 percent.The 440 cancellations are up from 191 cancelled flights reported Tuesday.Dallas-based Southwest did not immediately respond to a request from The Dallas Morning News for comment.America's most popular airline is in the sixth day of its operational emergency as the airline experiences long delays and an unusual number of grounded flights. On Tuesday, Southwest Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven apologized to customers in a statement that also blamed the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association for the problems, saying they have "a history of work disruptions."  Continue reading...

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