Southwest Airlines cancels hundreds of flights amid mechanical problems

Southwest Airlines cancels hundreds of flights amid mechanical problems
Southwest Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights since last week because of mechanical issues. (Source: Southwest Airlines/CNN)

(CNN) – Southwest Airlines has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights since late last week because of mechanical problems with its fleet.

In a statement Tuesday, the Dallas-based airline said there is no common theme to the issues facing its 750 airplanes, and that it was extending a staffing protocol instituted last week to "maximize availability" of mechanics.

"We are requiring all hands on-deck to address maintenance items so that we may promptly return aircraft to service and take care of our customers," the statement said.

On Tuesday, more than 40 planes had maintenance issues, which is more than twice the average number on a typical day. That created a domino effect, disrupting Southwest flights across the country.

According to flight-tracking company FlightAware, Southwest canceled 186 flights on Tuesday – about 4 percent of its operations. Another 730 flights were delayed Tuesday.

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