Airports Worldwide Are Hit by Delays After Software Outage


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Lufthansa said its problems lasted a matter of minutes, resulting in some flight delays but no cancellations.

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Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

LONDON — Flights were delayed and travelers struggled to check in at airports around the world on Thursday after a software program used by several major airlines went down.

The program, known as Altea and developed by a company called Amadeus, encountered problems as a result of what Amadeus called a “network issue.” Altea helps airlines manage customer reservations, including tagging luggage and issuing boarding passes.

Amadeus software is used by 189 airlines — including major carriers like British Airways, Lufthansa, Thai Airways and Air France — and Altea in particular is designed with full-service airlines in mind.

Problems were reported at airports in Asia, Europe and the Americas, demonstrating the breadth of the software’s use as well as the integrated nature of modern air travel.

Amadeus said in a statement that it had “experienced a network issue that caused disruption to some of our systems.” Technical teams had identified the cause of the outage and restored services, the company said, adding that services were gradually being restored.

By the afternoon in Europe, the company said it had resolved the issue and that its software was “functioning normally.”

The extent of the outages varied by airline and airport. The Star Alliance, which includes United, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada and Lufthansa among its 28 members, said that two-thirds of its airlines use Amadeus software, and that customers on their network were affected but issues were “kept to a minimum.”

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