Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) seemed to be taking the longest to leave a ground halt overnight on Wednesday. On Wednesday, 978 flights across carriers were canceled, and 5,854 planes were delayed, according to FlightAware. Only two hours after the ground hold was lifted, the data provider indicated that 1736 delays and 349 cancellations are attributable to Southwest.
45% of all Southwest (NYSE:LUV) flights for the day are delayed, or at a rate of delays. In contrast, at the same time, the daily schedules of Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL), and American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) had been delayed by 26%, 24%, and 28%, respectively.
LUV Stock and Other Airline Dilemmas
On Wednesday morning, air travelers awoke to grim news when the Federal Aviation Administration experienced an outage in a crucial safety system. Due to issues with the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system, the FAA was forced to temporarily suspend all domestic flight departures. This failure affected operations throughout American airspace.
The majority of the time, the news didn’t instantly cause airline stocks to decline. In premarket trade, shares of American Airlines Group and United Airlines Holdings both experienced declines of around half a percent. Southwest Airlines was hurt more severely, but the 1.5% decline wasn’t a big issue.
The news arrives at a bad time, especially for Southwest, which took a while to recover from December’s Christmas storms. Southwest had trouble transporting flights, pilots, and passengers to the correct place at the right time after the storms, which was partly due to the airline’s computer system. The failure of the FAA’s computer system may consequently hit home for sensitive Southwest customers as a reminder of how technical issues are beginning to degrade the experience of air travel.
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