According to chief operating officer Andrew Watterson, the IT infrastructure of Southwest Airlines was only pushed to breaking point by winter storms and labor shortages, leaving thousands of passengers still delayed across the US.
According to a transcript acquired by CNN, Watterson blamed the prolonged delays and cancellations on out-of-date scheduling software during a conversation with staff.
The winter storm that swept across a large portion of the US set off a cascade event that the business’ IT infrastructure was ill-prepared to handle. As the airline struggled to adhere to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, matching staff members with aircraft broke down.
Southwest was finally compelled to manually assign workers to planes. A “tedious, long process,” as Watterson put it, that was “extraordinarily difficult.”
Southwest Airlines will resume regular schedule
Jordan also acknowledged the need to upgrade the airline’s infrastructure to avoid future IT breakdowns. “We need to double down on our already existing plans to upgrade systems for these extreme circumstances so that we never again face what’s happening now,” he said.
Southwest successfully transitioned to one of the two commonly used industry standards systems, Amadeus Altéa, in 2017. This system is a passenger service system. Southwest Airlines declined to comment in response to The Register’s request for more information on the causes of the breakdown or the individual IT systems impacted.
Southwest will continue to run on a shortened schedule to move personnel and aircraft where they are most needed. However, according to the airline, it should resume its regular schedule “before next week.”
One of two widely used industry standards systems, Amadeus Altéa, was migrated to by Southwest in 2017. This platform is one of two utilized by the whole aviation business. Southwest Airlines failed to respond to The Register’s request for more details about the causes of the incident or the individual IT systems impacted.
Southwest will continue to run on a reduced schedule to move staff and aircraft where they are most needed. However, the airline states that it should be back on schedule “before next week.”
Several airlines have announced significant IT infrastructure changes during the past year, partly to steer clear of potholes like the one Southwest is trying to escape.
Delta Airline will update and move its workloads
Although Delta declared that it would update and move its workloads to Amazon Web Services this summer, it is unclear how much of the company’s core infrastructure will be moving to the cloud.
American Airlines announced similar cooperation with Microsoft this spring to move its data warehousing. Additionally, legacy program to a single operations hub on Azure. Again, efficiency improvement was a significant objective of the deal, along with lowering operational expenses.