Southwest Airlines shares plummeted after large-scale flight cancellations

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Passengers line up at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter at Eppley Airport in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, October 10, 2021.

David Zarubovsky | Associated Press

Since Saturday, Southwest Airlines has cancelled more than 2,000 flights, disrupting the travel plans of thousands of people. In pre-market trading on Monday, Southwest Airlines’ stock price plummeted by more than 3%.

According to flight tracking website FlightAware, Southwest Airlines cancelled 347 flights on Monday, down from 1,124 on Sunday, and accounted for 30% of its plan.

The airline has said it will cut its autumn flight schedule to avoid cancellations and delays that plague its operations during the summer. Now the airline is weighing whether it needs to cut more.

Mike Van de Ven, the president of the Dallas-based airline, told employees on Sunday night that Southwest Airlines is still understaffed, “As the environment develops, we need to continue to adjust our flight schedules.

“We have significantly reduced from the previously announced timetable for November and December, and if we think we need to do more, we will do so,” Van Dewen said in a recorded message to employees, CNBC reviewed the news.

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