Southwest Airlines to Cut Flights Amid Staffing Shortage

Sep 24, 2021 By MarketDepth

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Southwest Airlines customers have experienced a series of cancelations and delays throughout the summer amid the shortage of staff, a string of bad weather and other pandemic related issues.

Hiring 5,000 New Staff

The airline recently announced the appointment of new CEO, Bob Jordan, who promised to improve the ongoing situations. Southwest is now on track to hire 5,000 new employees this year and has adjusted its 2021 schedule to avoid any further shortcomings.

“The next question is the March schedule. We plan to meet that but if we find ourselves not able to hire to meet that we’ll go back and look at modifying the schedule. What we’re not going to do is we’re not going to repeat last summer.”

CEO, Bob Jordan

According to Jordan, who has been with the company for 33 years and officially steps into the role of CEO in February, the airline will be hiring another 8,000 workers next year as well. Nevertheless, hiring has been difficult for various industries thus far.

Increasing Starting Pay

“We’re pulling out every stop,” Jordan said. Southwest increased its starting pay to USD15 an hour and is now offering retention bonuses, referral bonuses and extra pay within markets that have higher costs of living, he said.

Incentives for Vaccinations

Additionally, the carrier is offering incentives for employees who provide proof of full vaccination against Covid-19. Jordan revealed he would rather offer incentives that issue a vaccine mandate.

“I know the topic of vaccines and mandates are personal, it’s emotional but at the end of the day we need to get as many people vaccinated as possible, as a country, as a company. I’d much rather get there through incentives and encouragement and data than a mandate. I would love for our employees to have a choice.”

CEO, Bob Jordan