Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines is sticking to his narrative about everything being fine in his company. He claims that there are no flight cancellations due to staff and pilots revolting against his vaccine mandate.
Kelly, despite his denials, is taking the blame for these mandates off of himself and placing them on Biden.
Kelly appeared on “Good Morning America” where he apologized to customers for the inconveniences they’re experiencing due to the canceled flights. When pressed on whether this has something to do with the vaccine mandates, Kelly claimed that there wasn’t any evidence to support that.
“There’s just no evidence of that,” said Kelly.
He tried to change gears immediately and focus on getting things back up and running.
“Our people are working very hard. I’m very proud of them, especially when we get into a difficult situation like this, they’re also delayed,” he said. “They’re also ending up in places they didn’t expect … our people are doing a phenomenal job.”
“I want to apologize to all of our customers. We are not happy with this, but it only takes a few days to fix things.
Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, speaks out about cancellation chaos. https://t.co/bwAoBRTkWX pic.twitter.com/UCuh4vr3HR
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 12, 2021
Perhaps Kelly was attempting to generate sympathy for his company or possibly even himself and might have succeeded if it wasn’t for a few very obvious clues.
For one, it’s absolutely about the vaccine mandates.
Tucker Carlson interviewed Joshua Yoder, co-founder of US Freedom Flyers and commercial pilot for US Freedom Flyers. Yoder made it very clear that people are resisting these mandates. Yoder also noted that his friends and he stand up against this mandate.
“My motive for resisting it is primarily religious for myself. The need was felt by my friends. Many of us don’t want to take this. People were being coerced, I believe in freedom and I’m here to support the freedom of my fellow employees and all people across this country. I’m not going to take a mandate, I’m not going to be forced to do something I don’t believe in,” Yoder told Carlson.
Nick Arama reported that Southwest was blaming bad weather, but there wasn’t any bad weather showing up on the weather radars. This “bad weather” didn’t seem to be affecting other airlines as well. Southwest denied any problems with staffing issues but the FAA labeled the issue as “aircraft and crews being out of place.”
Southwest Pilots Association released a statement expressing dissatisfaction with the mandated vaccine. Southwest has been facing staffing issues according to the SPA and that the mandates haven’t helped.
“All of these challenges have led to an added distraction in the cockpit,” they said. “This week’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate announcement by the Company only exacerbates the situation.”
It’s likely Kelly senses this cat will eventually get out of the bag, explaining why he’s shifting blame to Biden for the forced mandates. He also appeared on CNBC point-blank making it clear that he’s not in support of the mandates but Biden is forcing his hand.
“I’m not in favor of that, never have been,” he told CNBC. “But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees, and then all federal contractors, which covers all the major airlines, have to have a mandate.”
Kelly urged pilots to get vaccinated but said if they can’t or won’t to seek exemptions, adding that his goal is for no one to lose their jobs.
Southwest CEO blames Biden for vax mandate: “I’m not in favor of that, never have been. But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees, and then all federal contractors, which covers all the major airlines, have to have a mandate.” pic.twitter.com/TQs21CEMoG
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 12, 2021
It’s unclear as to why Kelly would tell the obvious lie about there being a lack of evidence for employees withdrawing from work over the vaccine mandates when the writing is metaphorically on the wall and very literally on social media.
Just recently, I was sent this picture of a Southwest plane flying the Gadsden flag from its cockpit. Southwest Airlines’ Hero Pilots deserve our gratitude. True patriots who are worthy of American Freedom Fighter heritage
Don’t Tread On Me.
God bless them🇺🇸✈️🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/tAo9pT4Q60
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 11, 2021
Perhaps the better move would have been for Kelly to admit these delays and cancelations were caused by the vaccine mandate and emphasized that he himself doesn’t want these mandates as he did. Biden and media would then have to face the consequences of their own mistakes. Kelly, despite being against the mandates, has now been the focus of attention.