During an interview on Tuesday morning with CNBC, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly blasted the Biden Administration for the COVID-19 vaccine mandate which was used by Southwest airlines.
Kelly argued that the new COVID rules put them in a bind and basically forced them to implement the COVID mandates against the Southwest Airlines staff.
“I’ve never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate,” Kelly said on Tuesday morning. “I’m not in favor of that, never have been. But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees and then all federal contractors, which covers all major airlines, have to have a vaccine mandate in place by December 8. So we’re working through that.”
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The Daily Wire reports:
Southwest, one of the four major airlines in the United States, had a turbulent weekend that was filled with cancellations, far more than any other major airline. Over the weekend, Southwest canceled more than 1,800 flights, and on Monday, the service interruptions continued, with more than 350 flights canceled.
The company has denied the issues were attributable to vaccines mandates, and instead blamed the weather and air traffic control issues in Florida dating back to Friday — even though no other major airlines had such issues. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association made a similar denial.
As of Tuesday morning at 12:00 p.m. EST, Southwest was no longer the leader in flight cancellations and had only canceled 89 flights, or 2% of its service, and delayed 394 flights, or 11% of its service, according to data from Flight Aware, a flight tracking service.
“I think people, again, that understand how airlines work, when you get behind, it just takes several days to catch up,” said Kelly. “The fact that we’re basically caught up yesterday and today supports the assertion that we’re making here. We were significantly behind on Friday, and it just takes several days to catch up.”