DALLAS, TX – The board of directors from the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) on Friday voted 20-0 by resolution a “Vote of No Confidence” in Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly and COO Mike Van de Ven. The pilots are joined by the mechanics of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) whose National Executive Council (NEC) has also completed a vote of no confidence.
Statement to be attributed to Captain Jon Weaks, SWAPA President:
“As tenured employees and frontline leaders of this company, we can no longer sit idly by and watch poor decision after poor decision deeply affect our customers and Southwest Airlines. After years of operational deficiencies, unprecedented labor strife, and continued culture erosion at the company, the SWAPA Board of Directors have submitted a 20-0 vote of no confidence in CEO Gary Kelly and COO Mike Van de Ven. We believe that a change is needed for the best interests of Southwest Airlines and the loyal customers we serve. Therefore, we encourage, effective immediately, their replacement in order to secure a more stable, sustainable, and profitable future for our Company, our customers, and employees.
The cultural foundation and historical success of Southwest Airlines is based on the principles of exceptional care for employees and positively outrageous customer service. Senior executives at Southwest Airlines have prioritized short-term stock performance at the expense of long-term investment in people and infrastructure, resulting in the highest level of labor strife and dissatisfaction among frontline employees in the history of Southwest Airlines.
In addition, there has been an inability to prioritize the expenditure of record-breaking revenues toward investments in critically outdated IT infrastructure and flight operations. These decisions have directly lead to the operational failure at Midway Airport in January 2014, chaotic crew scheduling during the summers and holidays of 2014-2016, and our most recent “meltdown” related to technological infrastructure this past month.
As Southwest Airlines continues down this path as one of the ‘Big Four’ domestic carriers and expands its operational footprint, SWAPA believes it is time for new leadership in order to propel this company forward.”