Sabre Systems IT outage hits global airline operations

Virgin Australia had to cancel over 30 flights over the weekend although it says the issue has now been resolved

Sabre Systems experienced an outage on Friday 21 May that impacted a number of airlines around the world and interrupted their scheduled flights.

Sabre is a third-party IT system used for check-in, boarding and flight bookings. The outage affected global airlines including Virgin Australia, Jet Blue, Alaskan Airlines and American Airlines.

A spokesperson for Virgin Australia confirmed the company had experienced an outage with the Sabre booking system which had resulted in over 30 flights cancelled on Friday and a "small number of flights" cancelled or delayed on Saturday.

Tweets from the airline suggested that the outage affecting Virgin Australia lasted for around three hours.

"While it has since been resolved, the impacts on our guests were felt right across our domestic network, and on behalf of Virgin Australia, we apologise for the disruption to their weekend travel plans.," said the spokesperson.

A JetBlue spokesperson told IT Pro: "JetBlue systems are back online following a Sabre outage impacting multiple airlines. We apologise for any inconvenience this caused." 

American Airlines also confirmed that it had been affected by the outage, but the technical issue has now been resolved.

Moreover, when IT Pro asked the company for comment, Sabre blamed the outage on Dell EMC.

"Dell/EMC has confirmed it experienced a hardware redundancy failure that impacted Sabre's system, including PSS and check-in. The issue has been resolved. Dell/EMC is working to understand why the failure occurred," said the spokesperson.

Related Resource

X-Force threat intelligence index

Understand the threat landscape with fresh intelligence

X Force threat intelligence indexDownload now

Dell told IT Pro that system access has now been restored for Sabre and its customers. "Our engineering teams are working together closely to determine root cause," added the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Air India stated that a cyber attack which took place three months ago on the systems of its data processor has exposed information belonging to around 4.5 million of its customers worldwide.

The breach which affected SITA, the data processor, involved personal data registered over a ten year period which exposed information such as passport information, date of birth and credit card data. The airline is now encouraging passengers to change passwords to ensure the safety of their personal data.

Featured Resources

How to choose an AI vendor

Five key things to look for in an AI vendor

Download now

The UK 2020 Databerg report

Cloud adoption trends in the UK and recommendations for cloud migration

Download now

2021 state of email security report: Ransomware on the rise

Securing the enterprise in the COVID world

Download now

The impact of AWS in the UK

How AWS is powering Britain's fastest-growing companies

Download now

Recommended

Toshiba aims to reassemble board after “management chaos”
business management

Toshiba aims to reassemble board after “management chaos”

14 Jun 2021
TSMC plans for new semiconductor plant seen as major win for Japan
Hardware

TSMC plans for new semiconductor plant seen as major win for Japan

11 Jun 2021
Hong Kong considers own centralised digital currency
digital currency

Hong Kong considers own centralised digital currency

10 Jun 2021
Japan and Finland collaborate on 6G development
Network & Internet

Japan and Finland collaborate on 6G development

9 Jun 2021

Most Popular

Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app
iOS

Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app

10 Jun 2021
Fastly blames software bug for major outage
public cloud

Fastly blames software bug for major outage

9 Jun 2021
GitHub to prohibit code that’s used in active attacks
cyber security

GitHub to prohibit code that’s used in active attacks

7 Jun 2021