An internal message from Southwest CEO Bob Jordan and COO Andrew Watterson details what caused the airline’s problems this week and how they’re working to fix them.
Dallas — Medium massive flight cancellationsthe announcement that their airline will be the only It will run at “about a third” of its capacity “for the next few days” A Commitment from the Federal Government Thoroughly “investigate” what led to this fiascoSouthwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan and Chief Operating Officer Andrew Watterson issued an internal message to employees on Monday night.
WFAA has obtained a transcribed copy of the company-wide message.
Read in full, Jordan and Watterson’s messages provide the most detailed explanation of what’s causing the problems Southwest is facing this week. It also sheds light on the procedure.
This communication Opaque, public-facing updates the company has shared in recent days — It’s business ironic Its “transparency” slogan It’s a play on the word “transparency”.
You can read a joint message from Jordan (who After retiring in February, he took over the Southwest’s top role from the company’s longtime CEO, Gary Kelly.) and Watterson’s full text below.
(All capitalization, grammar, and style choices are Southwest’s. The transcript below appears verbatim as it appears in the internal SWA documentation.)
An internal statement from Southwest CEO Bob Jordan and COO Andrew Watterson to SWA employees:
Jordan: “Hi Southwest Airlines. Here is Bob Jordan. I know I sent you an update last night and Andrew here has been updating you many times. But , wanted to give you more information about our situation today.Operations has had another very tough day.And maybe there are a few more days ahead of us.
“Andrew will tell you more about how and why we got here. I know you’re working hard.The situation is very difficult.The impact on our customers is very difficult.I don’t think some things you’re seeing make much sense. I know. For example, there’s a missing crew member here who could be piloting the plane or hijacking the plane. Long hold times to spot and crew scheduling. We’ll tell you why, but know that you know all these things and are part of considering a solution.
“We have to stay safe. We have to work on a solution. This is what we are doing next. Dramatically reduce our schedule over the next few days. Today. It’s going to be a bridge from to tomorrow, you can get it, but you’ll have the best way to reset your network and reset your crew – just take the pressure off the system. It will have an even greater impact on our customers.But we have to get out of this situation.We will get to where we can trust and get customers, crew, aircraft, everything back on track. I have to carry it.
“Last year we talked a little bit about the need to modernize and invest in operations, and this is why: we are unable to scale and reach, we lack tools. But Andrew, just a few things about how we got here and why this might be different for us than for someone else. Could you talk for a minute?”
Watterson: “Yes, it put a lot of pressure on ground operations, starting with Elliot in the winter storm. The frigid weather forced us to limit the amount of time ground operations staff were exposed. It froze, the fuel solidified, and as a result, the network had to be changed, sometimes taking the Crew base out of operation for some time.
“And we got past that part. And the crew network is a delicate one because it’s governed by some strict regulations, and we have a complex network of crew members moving through it. When the winter storms ended, we found ourselves with crews in places where most of the time we couldn’t relocate them to the network. So, we had legitimate people. There were aircraft available, but the process of matching those crews and aircraft was beyond our ability to handle. In our preferred state, we have solvers that can. .
“As a result, we have asked the crew scheduler to do this manually, which is very difficult. They have to make sure you are legal. They have to go through everyone’s boards” It’s a tedious and long process. And we’re trying to fix the crew network every day. They’re going to make great progress. Then Other chaos will unfold and their work will be unleashed. We were a little closer to solving the problem, so we had to reset. I had a terrible, terrible day today.
“We now rotate multiple days of lower level activity, which means we have enough crew resources to handle that amount of activity. It’s hard to assign but when they get through migration for reassignment it takes days to put people in place to reopen the original lines etc. So the need to get back there There is… so these few days are a way to transition to that.”
Jordan: “Okay Andrew. Thank you. As you can see, it’s complicated. Let’s leave a few things out. No. 1: Nothing beats safety. You have to be safe.” No. 2: Realize it’s complicated, but we all have a hands-on deck.
“There’s an army of people working on the solution. The detailed tasks that Andrew discussed. So it’s all a hands-on deck to solve this. Then we take more drastic action.” This is this shortening of the schedule that will especially affect our customers. So you will see it but we will get out of this.
“Southwest is a great company. There is no question that this is a place we have never been before. We’ll get you back, get you back, and ensure reliability and stability.
“Finally, we hope you know that we appreciate you even in difficult times. . Thank you.
https://www.wfaa.com/article/travel/internal-southwest-airlines-message-mass-cancellations-ceo-bob-jordan-coo-andrew-watterson/287-6dbb0665-ea67-4237-98bc-7bd90d44bdc4 A leaked Southwest internal message suggests looking into the company’s issues