Southwest Airlines reshuffles senior management roles

FILE PHOTO: Travellers deal with weather cancellations at Dallas Love Field Airport

(Reuters) - Southwest Airlines Co said on Monday it made leadership changes across several departments in a bid to strengthen operations amid a recent technology meltdown that forced the carrier to cancel more than 16,700 flights.

The Texas-based carrier promoted vice president of network planning, Adam Decaire, to senior vice president of network planning and network operations control (NOC), effective immediately.

"This change creates a tighter feedback loop between schedule design and schedule execution while adding resiliency and reliability to the network," the carrier said.

The move comes days after Southwest forecast a pretax hit of $725 million to $825 million to quarterly earnings after operational chaos during the holiday season caused mass cancellations, inviting scrutiny from the U.S. government.

During winter storm Elliott, Southwest's crew scheduling software failed to bear the load of staffing changes made by the airline and workers had to manually match crew and planes that led to huge waiting times for pilots and cabin crew.

The carrier on Monday announced key leadership changes in departments including marketing & customer experience, culture & communications, legal-corporate & transactions and sales.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)