(WAND) - Southwest Airlines blamed weather and "unexpected air traffic control issues" for cancellations and delays affecting thousands of flights over the weekend and into Monday, Oct. 11.
In a weekend of major service disruptions, Southwest saw 1,900 canceled flights on Saturday and Sunday. By the middle of Monday morning, it had canceled about 360 as over 600 others saw delays, per FlightAware data in a story from NBC Chicago.
As of 2:35 p.m. Monday, Southwest cancellations and delays were affecting multiple flights at Midway International Airport in Chicago.
"We experienced weather challenges in our Florida airports at the beginning of the weekend, challenges that were compounded by unexpected air traffic control issues in the same region, triggering delays and prompting significant cancellations for us beginning Friday evening," a statement from an airline spokesperson said. "We’ve continued diligent work throughout the weekend to reset our operation with a focus on getting aircraft and crews repositioned to take care of our customers."
The company's explanation saw pushback from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Southwest has seen delays and cancellations pile up over the summer of 2021. It said in August it would trim the September schedule by 27 flights per day (less than 1 percent of the schedule), and would have more trimming of 162 flights a day (4.5 of the schedule) from early October to Nov. 5.
Southwest is requiring workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8.