(CTN NEWS) – FRANKFURT – On Wednesday, Lufthansa experienced an IT issue that left customers stranded and necessitated the cancellation or diversion of flights to Germany’s main airport.
The airline attributed the problem to poorly executed railway engineering work that damaged broadband lines.
Frankfurt, a crucial international transit center and one of Europe’s busiest airports have so far had to cancel more than 200 flights, according to a representative for the operator Fraport. By evening, Lufthansa anticipates a stabilization of the situation.
As of 1243 GMT, 105 further aircraft were delayed, according to information from FlightAware. Thousands of travelers were visible in pictures and videos from various airports across Germany.
“We were interested in attending the wizard conference in Blackpool, England. And now, since we’re stuck here, “Alexander Straub stated at the airport in Frankfurt. His traveling companion Marc Weidel stated, “We have eaten some pretzels and are still waiting.”
The issue was attributed by Lufthansa and Germany’s national train operator to third-party engineering work on a railway line extension that occurred on Tuesday evening and resulted in a drill puncturing a bundle of fiber optic cables belonging to Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE).
On Wednesday morning, Lufthansa’s passenger check-in and boarding systems malfunctioned on Wednesday morning, forcing German air traffic control to halt inbound flights; however, these have subsequently been resumed.
In early afternoon trade, shares of Fraport fell 0.9%, while shares of Lufthansa, which also owns SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, and Eurowings, were down 0.8%.
On social media, customers complained that the airline was organizing airplane boardings on paper and by hand since it could not handle luggage electronically.
According to a tweet from Lufthansa, the Lufthansa Group’s airlines are currently experiencing an IT outage due to construction in the Frankfurt area.
In a statement, Deutsche Telekom said: “Our technical staff has already restored two cables overnight, and many customers are already back online,” adding that the situation was gradually improving.”
Deutsche Bahn apologized to passengers on Lufthansa for the inconvenience.
Two days before planned strikes at seven German airports, which are anticipated to cause significant disruptions, including possibly at the Munich Security Conference, where world leaders are anticipated to convene, the IT system failure occurred.
The Scandinavian airline SAS reported Tuesday night that it had been the target of a cyberattack and advised customers not to use its app but later stated that the issue had been resolved.
In what was believed to be a second instance of sabotage against Deutsche Bahn in as many months, unidentified intruders cut cables belonging to Germany’s public train in December.
Following the failure of a crucial federal computer system last month, airlines in the United States cancelled more than 1,300 flights and caused over 10,000 delays.
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