Aviation Industry: Southwest pilots union holds the airline responsible for December meltdown, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld

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The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) will tell a US Senate panel on Thursday the low-cost carrier’s “overconfidence” in planning and a “systemic failure to provide modern tools” are responsible for a December meltdown.

Exhausted Southwest travellers tried finding seats on other airlines or renting cars to get to their destination, but many remained stranded. The airline’s CEO said it could be next week before the flight schedule returns to normal. By early afternoon on the East Coast, about 90% of all canceled flights Wednesday in the U.S. were on Southwest.

SWAPA President Casey Murray will tell the Senate Commerce Committee that pilots “have been sounding the alarm about (Southwest’s) inadequate crew scheduling technology and outdated operational processes for years. Unfortunately, those warnings were summarily ignored,” he said. The Senate hearing is reviewing causes of recent air travel disruptions, especially the Southwest holiday operational woes that resulted in more than 16,000 flight cancellations.

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