An outage affecting airline systems across the globe led to several cancellations and delays in most of the world’s most important airports in the last week of September 2017. It is believed that the issue had to do with one of the core systems used by the airlines. Though the issue was resolved, it had, in the meantime, managed to cause severe disruptions.
According to images posted on various social media sites, there were extensive queues formed at airports consisting of people who were trying board their flights in the middle of all the chaos. However, there were no clear details published concerning the duration of the delays or further disruption.
Software to Be Blamed
The issues stemmed from a software called Amadeus Altea. The software is used by airlines to check passengers in and out while also monitoring them during the process. Several airlines rely on the application to carry out their respective procedures.
Estimates suggest that 125 carriers currently use the application to manage landing and departing flights throughout airports across the globe.
After the issue cropped, experts were said to have been called in to fix the problem. Reports suggest that the final fix will occur gradually and that passengers will be forced to deal with the disruptions until then. Amadeus, the creator of the software, issued a statement in which it mentioned that the outage has been caused as the result of a network error which affected the entire plethora of connected systems. Amadeus added that action was being taken and that the restoration would eventually occur.
Some of the airports affected by the outage include Charles De Gaulle in Paris, Gatwick, London, Melbourne, Singapore, and Reagan Airport in Washington D.C. As for airlines that rely on the software, the list includes most of the large national and international carriers such as France-KLM, British Airways, and Lufthansa.
However, since the application is not used by airports, there were no problems with regard to actual flight duration. Most of the carriers managed to keep their flights operational. The disruption was caused mostly due to issues in the check-in/out procedures.
The glitch in the software caused the outage to last for about 15 minutes, according to an employee at the Gatwick airport. The core issue is believed to have taken much longer to fix.
Not the First Time
This isn’t the first time that Amadeus has faced such a problem. The company’s airline booking platform has suffered a similar outage in June 2017, which affected passengers in Australia. The glitch had resulted in a TITSUP scenario. TITSUP stands for Total Inability to Support Usual Performance.
The glitch, however, had specifically affected only Qantas Airlines. Passengers were forced to wait for hours as the airline’s booking systems could not check them in. Though the cause was initially suspected to be a Ransomware infection, investigations later found that it was an internal glitch.
Amadeus issued an apology to passengers for the recent outage and regretted the inconvenience caused.