Despite $7.2 Billion from US Government, Southwest Air Can’t Keep Planes in the Air for Christmas


Over the holiday weekend, Southwest Air stranded thousands across the country.  This happens despite billions going to the airline since 2020. 

We reported earlier that over 2,800 Southwest Airlines flights were cancelled over the holidays.

This led to thousands of passengers who wanted to be with their families over the holidays being stranded in airports across the country.

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Southwest can’t blame its challenges this past weekend on a lack of funding from the government.  Open the Books reports:

Southwest stole Christmas for tens of thousands of its passengers by canceling 5,400 flights during a 48 hour period. So today, our data team at OpenTheBooks quantified just how much federal subsidy the airline received from Congress since 2020.


Open the Books shared:

In September 2020, as part of massive COVID relief packages, Southwest received a $3.3 billion from the federal government. Its stock price also received a boost, with the US Treasury agreeing to purchase 1,054,907 shares of Southwest stock as part of the deal.

In April 2021, as a part of the American Rescue Plan Act and other subsidies, Southwest received another $3.8 billion, according to data on the federal transparency website.

Despite billions in US government subsidies and payments during COVID, Southwest was unable to keep flights in the air this Christmas. 

Southwest lost some customers this past Christmas for sure. 

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