Air India flight passengers stranded
Air India flight passengers stranded at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: Flights in the Gulf sector were minimally affected by the massive disruption experienced by Air India due to a server crash yesterday, an airline official said, adding that only six flights were delayed, with passengers being duly notified.

Thousands of passengers across the world were stranded after the Indian flag-bearer’s server crashed at around 5am local time, halting its global operations.

Though the services were restored after around five hours of delay, dozens of flights were affected with the breakdown not allowing passengers to check in.

According to Air India’s regional manager, Mohit Sain, most of the flights from the region had departed before the disruption happened.

“Here in the UAE we have had a limited impact of the disruption because the server crashed after most of our flights had departed from Dubai and Sharjah,” said Sain.

However, he added the global crash led to delays of six flights and passengers were alerted in time, and notified about the change in timings.

Among the affected flights were AI934 Dubai to Kochi, which was rescheduled to 5.35pm, experiencing a three-hour delay.

Another flight facing significant delay was AI938 Dubai to Calicut, which was rescheduled to 8.45pm.

The airline’s budget carrier Air India Express also faced disruptions, with two flights from Sharjah rescheduled, including IX536 to Thiruvananthapuram which was scheduled for a 1pm departure, running late by more than an hour and IX354 was rescheduled for a 4pm departure, delayed by one hour 20 minutes.

According to a statement by Air India, a glitch in its passenger services system developed by aviation IT solutions firm SITA hampered the airline’s check-in and other passenger services.

At least 35 flights were affected when the system was down between 5am and 10am, however, the cascading effect of the disruption delayed more than 150 flights both domestically and internationally.

Air India has had previous issues of system failures with the most recent being in June last year when its passenger check in software crashed due to unexpected network connectivity issues.