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Southwest Airlines 'very prepared' for winter - CEO

FILE PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft taxis at Midway International Airport in Chicago

(Reuters) - Southwest Airlines said on Thursday it was better-prepared to handle upcoming winter weather thanks to the low-cost carrier's "big investments" in improving de-icing capacity and staffing.

The Dallas-based company canceled thousands of flights in December last year after a massive winter storm crippled operations.

At an investor conference on Thursday, Southwest CEO Robert Jordan said the company has new technology that helps it better understand weather conditions.

"So big investments in winter operations, preparations. So de-icing trucks, and more de-icing capacity," Jordan said.

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Southwest is a popular option for customers looking for quick travel times as it relies on a point-to-point service to connect vast swathes of the country, instead of operating out of large hubs. But adverse weather last year made it difficult for it to marshal staff scattered across the nation.

"I feel very, very prepared for this winter and all that will be in place by October," Jordan said.

(Reporting by Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)