Southwest declares "the state of operational emergency" of an aircraft out of service


Southwest Airlines said Friday a "state of emergency operational" after the unusually high number of aircraft decommissioned in recent days.

The Dallas-based airline released the news in a note to its maintenance technicians and inspectors in Phoenix, in which it told employees that they would be required to provide a note to the doctor if they called sick in order to "maximize the number of mechanics available to work" the company said in a statement.

In the statement, Southwest said that on an average day, the airline predicted that 20 out of 750 aircraft would be unavailable for maintenance purposes. This week, the percentage of out-of-service aircraft has more than doubled the daily average.

"To take care of our customers, we ask everyone on the bridge to solve the problems related to maintenance so we can get the aircraft back into service quickly," the company's press release said. "At the same time, our operational planners have worked in the background to minimize the impact on our customers."

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