Even as the state-run carrier celebrated ‘Air India Day’ on Wednesday with a promotional Rs 100 fare offer, its online booking website crashed within minutes of the announcement causing disappointment for the many hopeful passengers eyeing a good deal, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Users were greeted by a yellow ‘System Busy’ screen, even though National Informatics Centre (NIC), the government agency tasked with maintenance of the Air India website, put up an alternative weblink. The primary website, however, remained down till at least 7 pm in the evening, when last checked. Irate passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration. “No point when you run a fare sale and the website goes down. Total purpose fails here! #Fail,” said Sriram Hariharan (@Sri_AT72).
“Two-three years back we moved it to NIC from a private party and they have been handling our website since. They have problems with the server which has not been able to handle the high load, so we are waiting for them to restore our website,” an Air India spokesperson told FE.
Under the ‘Air India Offer’ — a scheme offering tickets for Rs 100 apart from all applicable taxes — tickets are being sold through the airline’s website exclusively for five days from August 27 to 31 for travel between August 27 and September 30 this year.
This comes after the civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapthi Raju earlier this month gave a three-year time-frame to the Air India management for a turnaround in profitability alongside a 26-point guideline to improve services. Incidentally, one of the points made by the minister said that the “Air India website should be professionally managed and functional on a 24X7 basis. The website should be considered for integration with other leading travel organisations for ensuring greater marketability.”