Airline system fails


An information technology systems failure at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday kept some passengers waiting to fly on South African Airways and its rival, British Airways (BA), in queues for up to 45 minutes longer than usual.

The Amadeus-made travel software system went down for about 45 minutes, delaying the departure of people leaving on SAA, BA and several SAA-associated flights, says Solomon Makgale, communications manager of the Airports Company of SA.

He says the software glitch impacted both international and domestic departures and resulted in delays in flights taking off.

SAA spokeswoman Vimla Maistry says the system failure affected the company for about an hour yesterday. She explains it disrupted “all communication from the stations SAA operates from, including OR Tambo International, in Johannesburg”.

Several airlines globally use the system to reserve bookings and check in passengers, ITWeb reports. “SAA made use of manual systems available to check in passengers and to ensure operations continued as normal with minimal disruptions to the departure of flights, Maistry says.

The systems failure resulted in some delay for seven SAA domestic flights. Operations returned to normal just after 5pm, Maistry said.

Meanwhile,the TechCentral news site adds that the failure is may be linked to a longer-than-planned interruption on the Sat-3 undersea telecommunications cable that connects with SA with Europe. It notes the interruption left many SA Internet users without international access.