By Ian McMurtry
SkyWest Experiences Mass Cancellations Following System Outage
SkyWest joins the growing list of airlines to suffer a widespread system outage, following a two-day fallout of a system outage that slowed the airline’s operations. The carrier experienced the same issues that plagued Spirit Airlines and Southwest Airlines in the months prior. A spokesperson for the airline said that the issue was causing an ‘internal server outage’ and that IT was dispatched to fix the issue.
Once the issue was fixed on Thursday night, the airline also dealt with the fallout of having crews and aircraft out of position. Friday’s schedule saw delays and cancellations trickle throughout the day, as operations were focused on rebalancing crew and aircraft locations. The airline is expecting all flights to be back to normal operations by this weekend.
SkyWest is one of America’s largest regional airlines, providing service across multiple aircraft types for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines and United Airlines. The carrier’s overall fleet consists of 141 Bombardier CRJ-200s, 104 CRJ-700s, 41 CRJ-900s, and 201 Embraer ERJ-170s and ERJ-175s. The airline — headquartered in St. George, Utah — has hubs in 11 different U.S. cities ranging from Detroit to Dallas to Seattle. SkyWest specializes in short-haul flying to medium-sized cities and Essential Service routes to large hubs.
SkyWest canceled over 700 flights on Thursday and another 600 flights the following day —losing over 25% of both its Thursday and Friday schedule — as a result of the system outage. No single aircraft was extracted from the system failure, with all of SkyWest’s partners feeling some of the pain from the hefty delays.
A SkyWest representative was quick in attempting to alleviate pressure from the scenario, being quoted across various new sites as saying, “We apologize for the inconvenience. We are working to minimize the impact on Friday’s schedule and to return to normal operations as quickly as possible.”
SkyWest’s technical system issues join the difficulties that Spirit, American and Southwest experienced earlier this year. The carriers suffered high amounts of cancellations in a short period of time. Spirit was the first notable system shutdown when the airline lost more than 40% of its schedule in August across multiple days.
The prominent ultra-low-cost carrier blamed a range of issues, with crew shortages, staff out of position and weather all crippling the carrier’s operations. Southwest would follow in early October, with the airline having a similar string of issues that caused a half-week worth of pain for the Dallas-based carrier.
Despite the airline dealing with heavy delays over the last few days, SkyWest stock has remained consistent, with a $46.93 opening on Thursday only falling to a $46.64 close on Friday.