The flag carrier airlines of India owned by Air India, a Government of India enterprise, have faced a major technical glitch in their check-in system.
Hundreds of passengers across several city airports were stuck after the check-in system collapsed on 29 November 2014. The services were restored after about three hours.
The airline staff had to complete all check-in procedures and baggage transfer formalities manually due to the network glitch. Flights were delayed as a result, leaving passengers frustrated – many of whom claimed to have not been informed about the reason for the delays.
Among the affected airports were those in Varanasi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Imphal.
Industry insiders said because aviation is a technology-oriented industry, most of the process of flying has been computerized and such system glitches happen occasionally. Aviation technology giant Sita provides software systems to Air India for its check-in and other processes.
Recently the Indian government asked Air India to slash its expenses by 10%.
The aviation firm has experienced a few other network glitches in the past couple of months, including its website crashing within hours of launching an offer for cheap tickets.
Rajeev Pal, senior software engineer at Bytzsoft Technology, a Pune-based firm which provides technological integration to aviation clients, said the Indian civil aviation sector is robust, as passenger traffic grows at a fast pace.
"But we are still between five and 10 years behind the US or European countries when it comes to security and technology,” he warned.