Southwest Airlines flights temporarily grounded nationwide


Southwest Airlines temporarily asked the Federal Aviation Administration to “pause” all of its departures Tuesday morning as the airline worked to resolve an issue with one of their internal systems, the FAA said. 

Around 11:10 a.m. Eastern, the FAA said the pause has since been lifted and Southwest’s service has resumed.

This comes as the airline said on social media that it was dealing with “intermittent technology issues.” 

“Technical errors are unexpected and inconvenient for all, and you have our sincere apologies,” the airline’s official Twitter account responded in a tweet about the nationwide ground stop. 

According to flight tracking website FlightAware, more than 1,500 Southwest flights had been delayed nationwide, as of 11:05 a.m. Eastern. That accounts for 30% of Southwest’s schedule for Tuesday, according to the FlightAware. 

It’s not yet known what’s the cause of Tuesday’s technical issues and the airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Other airlines do not appear to be impacted. 

Back in December, Southwest Airlines suffered a massive breakdown that led to the cancelation of nearly 17,000 flights in 10 days before resuming a normal schedule. Last month,  Southwest’s CEO again pushed back against the view that those issues were caused by a failure to invest enough money in crew-scheduling technology, instead blaming extremely cold weather that forced it to stop flying at some airports.

Southwest said in a filing that it continues to expect to report a loss for the first quarter, with lingering fallout from the December crisis cutting revenue by up to $350 million. That is on top of an $800 million drop in fourth-quarter pretax income that Southwest attributed to the meltdown, which is being investigated by federal officials.

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