Chaos as glitch delays 149 Air India Group's flights (Roundup)
Thousands of passengers were inconvenienced as national carrier Air India faced a massive glitch in passenger services system forcing network-wide delays and rescheduling of flights.
The trouble began after Air India's passenger services system server operated by global airline IT major SITA, was affected with a glitch while undergoing scheduled maintenance early Saturday.
As many as 149 flights of the airline group operated by Air India, Air India Express and Alliance Air were delayed.
However, the airline said that services will run smoothly from tomorrow and that no flight cancellations took place.
Earlier in the day, the system glitch hindered essential services like check-in, baggage handling and boarding.
Briefing the media in New Delhi, Air India Chairman Ashwani Lohani said that 85 flights of Air India Group were delayed till 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Lohani said the ripple effect of the initial cancellations continued throughout the day on the domestic network.
The airline operates 470 flights per day while the Air India Group provides 674 flight services.
Lohani said the system has been restored and passengers are being informed well in advance about the status of their flights.
He said some flights have also been rescheduled.
Early Saturday morning, flight operations were hit for over five hours after the glitch was reported in the SITA server.
At Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, ranked among the busiest airports in the world, thousands of passengers were stranded and many flights were affected since 3.30 a.m.
"There is total chaos and confusion here, long queues of passengers," said a passenger, T. Choudhary.
Most passengers travelling from Delhi on Air India's domestic flights at the IGI airport had a similar experience.
In response, SITA said that it experienced a complex system issue during server maintenance, which resulted in the operational disruptions.
"We have fully restored services at all airports where Air India was 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 esteemed customers owing to the disruption," it added. IANS