ST. GEORGE — St. George Regional Airport manager Rich Stehmeier said that on most days he can hear the morning flights taking off from from his Little Valley home near the airport, but he didn’t hear any this Friday morning.
This wasn’t entirely surprising, Stehmeier told St. George News, because he knew that SkyWest Airlines, which operates many flights for the nation’s biggest airlines, canceled about 1,000 flights Thursday evening and into Friday.
“Our normal schedule for Thursday afternoon into evening includes flights to and from Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Dallas,” Stehmeier said, “but they were all canceled Thursday.”
A spokesperson for the airline told Reuters on Thursday that the problem was a “server issue” that lasted about five hours. The airline said at that point that it was working to return to normal operations but expected significant cancellations Friday. As of midmorning Friday, according to The Associated Press citing the tracking service FlightAware, SkyWest had canceled more than 350 flights for the day.
Spokeswoman Marissa Snow said in an email to St. George News on Friday morning that SkyWest experienced an internal technical issue, resulting in “approximately 700 flight cancellations before the issue was resolved Thursday evening.”
“We apologize to customers for the inconvenience; we are working to minimize the impact on Friday’s schedule and to return to normal operations as quickly as possible.”
However, when Stehmeier arrived at the airport Friday morning just before 8 a.m., he saw only one airplane outside.
“There’s usually five airplanes out there on a Friday morning,” Stehmeier told St. George News.
“But it looks like they’re loading people and baggage,” he continued, “so things must be getting back on track.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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