- Southwest Airlines temporarily paused flights Tuesday as it grappled with technical issues disrupting access to data, according to a travel advisory.
- The airlines resumed operations Tuesday morning after a firewall failure led to data connection issues, the company said in an email. "Early this morning, a vendor-supplied firewall went down and connection to some operational data was unexpectedly lost," a spokesperson said.
- The event lasted about an hour, according to Southwest, and the company expects some lingering delays throughout Tuesday.
Southwest's latest technical problems come nearly four months after a major service shutdown when a mix of IT and operational issues led to the cancellation of nearly 17,000 flights in December.
The airline promised to invest heavily in upgrading and maintaining technology systems, a project led by incoming CIO Lauren Woods. Formerly VP of Technology, Woods became SVP and CIO in February after the retirement of previous CIO Kathleen Merrill.
The company said Woods would “play an important role” in the airline’s $1.3 billion plan to upgrade and maintain its IT capabilities.
A report on the December IT meltdown commissioned by Southwest and produced by consulting firm Oliver Wyman found communication gaps between operational workgroups, a lack of deicing equipment and manual crew rescheduling processes were to blame for the company's inability to recover from disruptions.
Enhancements to crew reassignment software, weather alert dashboards, pilot departure tools and communication systems are part of the billion-dollar transformation plan, Southwest said.