There is no evidence from Southwest Airlines, its pilot union, or federal regulators that mass cancellations of passengers in the last four days depend on the company’s recently announced vaccine authority.
“To be clear: Southwest, none of the data from its pilot union or the FAA this weekend show that the cancellation is related to vaccines,” the agency said. wrote Monday night.
The world’s largest low-cost airline saw disruptions over the weekend, forcing more than 25 percent of flights to stop and another 10 percent on Monday.
After the airline announced last week that it would require all employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the timing of the mass cancellation raised speculation that the violation was mandated.
Employees must be vaccinated or fired by December 8th. The airline, based in Dallas, Texas, employs about 56,000 people.
And on Friday, before the cancellation began, a union representing Southwest pilots asked the court to temporarily suspend the company’s vaccination powers, further fueling speculation about the so-called “sick” protest.
But the FAA is now joining the company and the union, and the nationwide cancellations and delays are linked to Florida weather problems, surrounding air traffic control issues, triggering a chain reaction of cancellations by the end of the week. ‘atdi. and Monday.
“The difficulties on the weekend were not the result of staff demonstrations,” a Southwest spokesman said Monday that weather problems in Florida caused “displaced crews and planes”.
The spokesman added in an email to Acesparks that assumptions about the link between revocation and vaccination authority were “uncertain.”
“There are a lot of unfounded rumors and rumors spreading,” the company said.
In addition, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, a union representing the airline’s pilots, said the problems were not related to vaccination and were instead due to “poorly planned” management.
“It is safe to say that our pilots are not involved in any formal or informal business activities,” the union said in a statement.
Still, the timing of the repeal has led tourism industry insiders and politicians to speculate that the mandate could exacerbate problems at the airline.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Henry H. Harteveldt, president of the Atmospheric Research Group, said southwestern issues could be a sickly protest against the airline’s authority.
But Harteveldt also noted that the airline has been planning more flights since June.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz directly blamed Biden’s vaccine mandate.
“Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine is at work!” he tweeted on Sunday. “Suddenly, we’re running out of pilots and air traffic controllers.”