155 flights to be delayed till 8.30 pm Saturday

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SITA is the IT provider for the air transport industry. Around 18 flights have been rescheduled. However, as many as 155 flights are expected to be delayed for an average duration of two hours till 8.30 pm on Saturday.

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

The state-owned carrier a Tweeted earlier "Due to a breakdown in our server system some of our flights are getting affected all over the world". "The flights that are departing for Europe are largely running on time", he said.

There is no clarity yet whether SITA will compensate Air India for this loss and to what extent will the codeshare flights be hit due to flight delays. "But as the magnitude is so big, it is possible that our call centre is not able to handle the volume", he said. "Inconvenience is deeply regretted", an Air India spokesperson was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Passengers are also being informed on a timely basis, Lohani said.

According to airline sources, the problem was apparently with the SITA server which provides the technology for check-in, baggage handling and boarding.

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In response, SITA said that it experienced a complex system issue during server maintenance, which resulted in the operational disruptions. Air India senior executives, including CMD, directors, station heads rushed to airports to take control of situation & facilitate pax [passengers]. 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. A Dr Sonal Saxena tweeted at 7.20 am, "Utter chaos".

Passengers complained that the Air India operations have been affected since 3:00 am.

As many as four flights to different destinations were delayed, and a flight to Mangalore was cancelled. "No checkins and boarding".

Air India's London-Heathrow flight (AI 177), which was scheduled to take-off at 3.50 am, faced a 40-minute delay and finally took flight only at 4.30 am. "But when our PSS itself has stopped working, there is no way we can inform them".

The technical glitch affected functions like check-in, both at airport counters and web check-in, that delayed flights.

"This is T3.@airindiain (SITA Liason) systems have crashed and all flights are indefinitely delayed".

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