Promotions, not job cuts, after Southwest holiday chaos

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines announced a series of executive promotions on Monday, days after announcing last month’s service crisis will cost the company $825 million, but none of those changes have affected top executives. persons.

The airline said the changes “strengthen our operational efficiency” and also said they were long overdue and are a continuation of a restructuring that began in September under new CEO Robert Jordan.

Four of the five promoted executives joined Southwest in 2001 or earlier, although one left the company for five years before returning to the Dallas-based airline.

The most notable move was the promotion of Adam Decker from VP of Network Planning to Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Operations Management. Southwest said this would improve the reliability of its operation by creating a “closer feedback loop” between scheduling and actually running it.

A spokesman for Southwest said no one was demoted or left the company in connection with Monday’s actions. Some of the promotions were to fill vacancies left by other executives who moved to higher positions – Decker took over the duties that Andrew Watterson held before he was named chief operating officer in October.

Southwest canceled more than 16,700 flights in the last 10 days of December, which began with a winter storm and worsened when its crew rescheduling technology failed due to the redeployment of thousands of pilots and flight attendants. The airline said last week that the crisis will lead to losses in the fourth quarter due to lost profits and higher recovery costs.

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