Air India’s passengers were stranded across its network after its flights were grounded due to a server issue that persisted for six hours before it could be rectified.
The airline was not able to issue boarding passes to its passengers because of the server problem. The problem occurred at 3 a.m. and was resolved at 8.45 a.m. on Saturday.
“Till 10 a.m. there were 85 flights delayed. There will be a ripple effect on our flight operations throughout the day,” Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said at a press conference.
The airline operates 470 flights daily and along with its subsidiaries, Alliance Air and Air India Express, it has a total 674 flights per day.
Air India’s software solution is provided by SITA, a global airlines IT services major, which provides it check-in, boarding and baggage tracking technology, among others.
“SITA experienced a complex system issue during server maintenance early this morning, which resulted in operational disruption to Air India flights. We have now fully restored services at all airports where Air India were affected. Our priority remains, as always, to ensure a stable system where customers can conduct business efficiently and effectively, and we are undertaking a full investigation to understand the root cause and prevent a recurrence. We deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused to the airline and their customers owing to this disruption,” said Julius Baumann, SITA’s senior manager corporate communications.
SITA also said only AI flights were affected by the glitch. The problem occured when the server was under maintenance and couldn’t go live because of a glitch, Mr. Lohani told reporters. He also said that international flights will not see a significant delay and the real brunt will be borne by domestic flights.
However, passengers taking a connecting flight domestically to fly overseas may have some difficulties but the airline is providing free rescheduling as well as hotel accommodations.