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Airline CEO 'truly sorry' after cancelling nearly 15,000 flights in 5 days

Airline CEO 'truly sorry' after cancelling nearly 15,000 flights in 5 days

The CEO of Southwest Airlines has apologised after nearly 15,000 flights were cancelled by the carrier in just five days.

An airline CEO has issued a public apology after nearly 15,000 flights were cancelled in 5 days, causing chaos to many people's holiday seasons.

The so-called 'once-in-a-generation' storm has led to large parts of the US at standstill over Christmas, with large parts having dangerously cold temperatures.

Officials even warned people that temperatures of -45C that was predicted in some places could lead to people getting frostbite in just minutes if they were to venture outside.

An industry that has been greatly impacted by the extreme weather is of course the travel and aviation industry.

And the CEO of Southwest Airlines Bob Jordan has apologised for the disruption just hours after 2,500 flights were cancelled on Wednesday (28 December).

Bob Jordan has apologised to customers over travel disruption.
Soutwest Airlines/ Twitter

In a video address on Tuesday, Jordan said: "I’m truly sorry … we have some real work to do in making this right."

The apology comes after the federal government announced it would be investigating the company as to why it lagged behind its competitors in recovering from the disruption caused by the 'bomb cyclone'.

By midday in the US on Tuesday (27 December), 2,549 flights had been cancelled by Southwest, making up a large proportion of 2,950 flight cancellations in the US that day.

But the chaos is set to go forward into Thursday, with another 2,350 Southwest flights already cancelled for tomorrow.

However, the CEO tried to reassure customers by saying that his staff was 'making headway' and was optimistic that things would be on the up before the end of next week.

In his over two-minute apology, Jordan blamed the 'record, bitter cold' as the initial challenges facing airlines, and admitted that a breakdown of the company's operation happened while they were trying to get back on track.

Close to 15,000 flights have been cancelled by Southwest Airlines.
TRISTAR PHOTOS / Alamy Stock Photo

He said: "The tools we use to recover from disruption service well 99% of the time, 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.

"I’m apologising to them daily, and they’ll be hearing more about our specific plans to ensure the challenges that they face the past few days will not be part of our future."

Following pictures of thousands of customers stuck at airports unable to get where they need to be, Jordan vowed to 'lean in and go above and beyond'.

He said he would do this through refunds and "proactively reaching out and taking care of customers who are dealing with costly detours and reroutes."

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Trevisan Aviation Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, US News, Travel