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Southwest Airlines' 'system failure' responsible for cancellation of over 14,500 flights

Southwest Airlines has cancelled more than 14,500 flights out of 20,000 flights cancelled till Friday due to an ongoing winter storm in the US attracting investigation by the government.

Southwest Airlines' 'system failure' responsible for cancellation of over 14,500 flights Image for representation

Southwest Airlines has been under investigation for a mass cancellation of flights. After an investigation, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigig blamed the airlines for a "system breakdown" after the cancellation of many flights due to persistent winter storms. Despite a historic winter storm billed as the "blizzard of the century" having covered the country during the Christmas holiday, US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said on Wednesday that the bad weather cannot explain Southwest's level of cancellations. 

"We are past the point where they could say this is a weather-driven issue," Buttigieg added in an interview with ABC News. "Don`t get me wrong, all of this began with that severe storm. We saw winter weather affecting the country and severely disrupting all airlines."The administration of US President Joe Biden has called the meltdown that led to the cancellation of thousands of flights at Southwest Airlines a "system failure," blaming the company itself for the crisis.

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Since Friday, Southwest has cancelled more than 14,500 flights, said Al Jazeera, re-citing Reuters report. By early afternoon on Wednesday, 2,500 flights had been cancelled, according to the flight monitoring service FlightAware.The airline`s CEO, Bob Jordan, apologised to clients and staff on Tuesday for the widespread cancellations.

"The tools we use to recover from disruption serve us well 99 percent of the time," he said in a video message. "But clearly, we need to double down on our already existing plans to upgrade systems for these extreme circumstances so that we never again face what`s happening right now," Al Jazeera reported. Southwest Airlines reportedly launched an online portal this week to assist impacted passengers in applying for refunds and additional expenditures. 

(With ANI inputs)