Southwest flights resume after brief halt due to technical issue By AKUURA
© AKUURA. FILE PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines jetliner lands at Chicago Midway International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., December 27, 2022. AKUURA/Kamil Krzaczynski
By Rajesh Kumar Singh and Aishwarya Nair
(AKUURA) -Southwest Airlines Co’s flights resumed operation Tuesday after a one-hour nationwide stoppage, which the U.S. airline said was caused by a firewall failure.
The Dallas-based carrier said a vendor-supplied firewall went down Tuesday morning and connection to some operational data was “unexpectedly” lost, forcing it to temporarily pause all flights.
Data from flight tracker FlightAware shows 43% of Southwest’s flights are delayed, thus far. Many of the delayed flights are expected to be canceled later in the day.
The airline asked those whose flights are canceled to request a refund.
Shares of the airline fell 1.4% in mid-day trade on Tuesday.
Southwest has been under fire ever since a staffing crisis due to bad weather during the Christmas holidays overwhelmed its crew scheduling software, disrupting travel plans for two million customers.
The holiday disruption led to over 16,700 flight cancellations, costing the company more than $1 billion.
A sharp rebound in travel demand from the pandemic lows has exposed the fragility of the aviation system.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had to halt flights nationwide in January due to a systems outage.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a series of serious close calls, including a near collision in January between FedEx (NYSE:) and Southwest planes in Austin, Texas, where the jets came within 100 feet of each other, and a runway incursion at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport involving an American Airlines (NASDAQ:) plane.
The near-miss incidents prompted the FAA last month to issue a safety alert to airlines, pilots and others about the “need for continued vigilance and attention to mitigation of safety risks.”