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  India   All India  28 Apr 2019  155 AI flights get delayed as snag hits check-in software

155 AI flights get delayed as snag hits check-in software

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 28, 2019, 7:02 am IST
Updated : Apr 28, 2019, 7:02 am IST

The average number of flights that Air India group, which also includes subsidiaries Alliance Air and Air India Express, flies daily is around 674.

Air India passengers stranded at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Saturday. 	(Photo: PTI)
 Air India passengers stranded at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Thousands of Air India passengers had a harrowing time at airports across the world on Saturday as its 155 flights were delayed due to the shutdown of its check-in software for around six hours due to a technical snag.

The national carrier’s chairman and managing director (CMD) Ashwani Lohani said that the passenger service system (PSS) software, which looks after check-in, baggage and reservation, did not work from 3.30 am to 8.45 am on Saturday.

During this time period, hundreds of Air India passengers were stranded at airport as the airline staff was unable to issue a boarding pass to them.

Air India’s PSS is owned and managed by Atlanta-based SITA company.  Lohani said that “till 10 am total 85 flights were delayed” because of PSS shutdown. “Because of the 85 flights that have been delayed, a ripple effect will take place throughout the day,” he said, adding that a “few flights will also be cancelled because of this delay”.

Later in the day, the airline’s spokesperson clarified that a total of 155 flights would be delayed for an average duration of two hours till 8.30 pm.

The average number of flights that Air India group, which also includes subsidiaries Alliance Air and Air India Express, flies daily is around 674. It is mostly the domestic flights that have been affected the most due to the software shutdown, Mr Lohani clarified.

“International departures will not be facing much problems...There will be delay in one or two international flights. One Delhi-Shanghai flight is getting delayed by about 1.5 hours. The flights that are departing for Europe are largely running on time,” he said.

About affected passengers, the CMD said that the airline is trying its best to inform them through social media and its call centre. “But as the magnitude is so big, it is possible that our call centre is not able to handle the volume,” he said.

The passengers who will miss their flights will be given hotel accommodations or they will be rescheduled in a different flight of Air India or of an another airline, he said.

Mr Lohani said that SITA is currently looking into what caused the shutdown.

“They are checking if it was because of virus or for any other reason. They are still searching for the root cause,” he said. No other Indian airline apart from Air India uses SITA’s PSS software.

Tags: air india, ashwani lohani