Southwest Airlines Outlines Strategy to Enhance Operations Before Next Winter

Southwest Airlines Co. on Tuesday detailed a plan to strengthen its operational resilience following extensive cancellations and delays caused by a winter storm late last year.

“We comprehend the underlying issues that lead to the Christmas disruption, and we are validating our internal analysis with the third-party evaluation. Now, we intend to reduce the likelihood that an event of this size will ever occur again,” said CEO Bob Jordan. Implementing action items to prepare for the upcoming winter is well underway, with some things already done.

The three-step plan results from an internal evaluation performed with the assistance of aviation consultant Oliver Wyman. The initiative will enhance a five-year modernization plan that began in 2022 and has already allocated $1.3 billion for new software and information technology.

In addition, the airline will acquire more winter equipment and vehicles, including de-icing trucks for runways and engine coverings and heaters for cold weather operations. It also intends to improve cross-team communication and staffing around the winter season.

Southwest Airlines chief operating officer, Andrew Watterson, stated, “I’m optimistic in our way forward and honestly believe our finest days are ahead.”

The airline stated it would provide additional information regarding its internal review in the coming weeks.