Southwest cancels hundreds of flights after computer-related stoppage

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Southwest Airlines cancelled nearly 300 flights on Wednesday (June 16) and delayed more than 500 a day after it was forced to temporarily halt operations over a computer glitch.

The Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday it had issued a temporary nationwide groundstop at the request of Southwest Airlines to resolve a computer reservation issue.

“While our technology issues from Tuesday have been resolved, we are still experiencing a small number of cancellations and delays across our network as we continue working to resume normal operations,” airline spokesman Dan Landson said.

Tuesday’s groundstop lasted about 45 minutes, and ended at 2.30pm EDT on Tuesday (2.30am on Wednesday), the FAA said., a flight tracking website said Southwest had cancelled 315 flights on Wednesday through 2pm EDT, or 8 per cent of those scheduled, and delayed a further 562.

Southwest said it had cancelled about 500 flights on Tuesday and delayed hundreds of others after the stoppage, which it said was the result of “intermittent performance issues with our network connectivity.”

Southwest delayed nearly 1,300 flights on Tuesday, or 37 per cent of its flights.

Earlier, Southwest reported a separate issue that required a groundstop on Monday after its “third-party weather data provider experienced intermittent performance issues… preventing transmission of weather information that is required to safely operate our aircraft.”

The airline said that issue affected several hundred flights and was resolved after 11pm CDT on Monday.