Thousands of Air India passengers were left with heavy delays across the globe, after their check-in software shutdown for over six hours due to a technical snag.
According to The Economic Times, their passenger service system (PSS) experienced a major outage on Saturday morning from 3:30 AM through to 8:45 AM. During the outage, thousands of Air India passengers were stranded at airports worldwide as airline staff were unable to issue boarding passes to them. Air India’s PSS handles check-in, baggage, and reservations. The system is both owned and managed by Atlanta-based SITA, which is a multinational information technology company, providing IT and telecommunication services to the air transport industry.
Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Ashwani Lohani, said that a total of 85 flights were delayed or canceled before 10 AM. However, a ripple effect took place throughout the day, causing a backlog of flights and additional cancellations. The airline clarified that a total of 155 flights were delayed for an average duration of two hours on Saturday.
Thankfully, the systems are restored now. However, the next few days will be a challenge for Air India to get flight schedules back on track. The majority of flights affected were domestic routes, since most long-haul flights depart in the afternoon. Air India has confirmed they will be providing passengers affected with hotel accommodation, and rebooking of their flights if needed.
“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,” SITA said in a statement to PTI regarding the disruption.
Unfortunately for Air India, this disruption couldn’t have come at a worst time. The airline is currently $3.6 billion in debt and is in need of government funds to pay off loans and cover the rest of their aircraft purchase expenses. However, the current government has said it does not intend to provide any further financing directly to Air India. Air India is now faced with the prospect of either defaulting on loans or pruning back its operations to recoup some cash.
This disruption definitely made their situation a lot worse, as Air India will have to pay a decent sum of money to multiple companies Air India affected by this major server outage. Simple Flying hopes to see Air India quickly recover from this major disruption in their operations.