DENVER- Southwest Airlines (WN) Denver team is preparing for winter with an increase in deicing pads from six to 10, a 60% boost in deicing trucks, and more deicing staff, with thousands currently in training.
Southwest Airlines (WN) is conducting trials with enclosed deicing trucks and ground-cleaning trucks equipped with forced air to address the challenge of aircraft getting stuck due to ice on the ground. Additionally, the airline is adopting a software solution called SureWeather, akin to the on-airport weather station already employed by United Airlines.
Southwest Airlines Dealing Challenges
However, the airline faces several other challenges, including the surge in fuel prices, which have risen from $70 per barrel to $90-95. Additionally, the return of business travel has been slower than expected, and there are ongoing contract negotiations with unionized pilots and flight attendants.
Jordan hopes to conclude these negotiations, particularly the more intricate sections involving scheduling rules and rates, by this coming fall. He emphasized the airline’s commitment to ensuring fair compensation for its employees, stating, “We want them to be paid.”
The airline’s flight attendants recently staged a picket in Denver while the company held its corporate event.
They are advocating for a new agreement encompassing aspects such as greater control over their personal schedules outside of work, improved health insurance coverage, access to food and comfortable resting spaces while traveling for work, and enhanced pay, as detailed in a Tuesday news release.
Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan is proactively implementing measures well in advance of the winter season at Denver International Airport to prevent a recurrence of the holiday chaos experienced last year.
“We cannot allow a repeat of that,” he emphasized during a Wednesday interview. “However, it has ultimately made us a stronger and more resilient company.”
Jordan is committed to drawing valuable lessons from the airline’s extensive disruption in December, which resulted in numerous flight cancellations and stranded passengers. Looking ahead,
he is gearing up his Denver team by expanding the number of deicing pads from six to ten, bolstering the deicing truck fleet by 60%, and increasing the deicing personnel, with thousands currently undergoing training.
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