Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said he has “never been in favor” of corporations mandating COVID vaccines for employees after his company canceled thousands of flights across the United States.
“I’m not in favor of that and never have been,” said Kelly. “But the Executive Order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees and federal contractors —which covers all the major airlines — have to have a vaccine in place by December 8th.”
He added: “We’re working through that.”
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says he’s “never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate,” but defers to President Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate for federal workers. pic.twitter.com/82uw3IvKvB
— The Recount (@therecount) October 12, 2021
Southwest canceled at least 600 flights on Monday and more than 2,000 over the weekend due to what executives claimed was bad weather and technical problems from Air Flight Controllers.
“Although we have some new weather in parts of our system, today’s operation has vastly improved from the weekend, with a much smaller number of cancellations linked to our weekend recovery efforts,” the carrier said.
Many speculated the shutdown was due to workers striking the company’s mandated vaccine deadline.
The issues were “not a result of employee demonstrations, as some have reported,” the airline clarified.