Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Delta Cancels 110 Flights Monday as It Recovers From Outage

  • Trump blames carrier for chaos after immigration order
  • All information-technology systems are back to normal

Delta Air Lines Inc. canceled about 110 flights Monday as it began recovering from a computer breakdown a day earlier that left passengers stranded across the country.

The scrapped flights followed the grounding of 170 trips on Sunday. A few additional cancellations remained possible, and “the vast majority” of its schedule was operating, the Atlanta-based airline said in a statement. FlightAware reported that 186 Delta flights had been delayed as of 10:36 a.m., the most of any U.S. carrier.

“I want to apologize to all of our customers who have been impacted by this frustrating situation,” Delta Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said in an earlier statement. “This type of disruption is not acceptable.”

The interruption struck as airlines struggled to comply with new travel restrictions after President Donald Trump issued an executive order blocking travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations. Trump on Monday attempted to deflect blame for the ensuing chaos with a series of Twitter posts, saying problems at airports were caused by the Delta outage and protesters. The carrier’s interruption didn’t occur until two full days after he issued his order, however.

IT Systems

Essential information-technology systems, which went down about 6:30 p.m. Sunday, had been restored a few hours later and all systems were back to normal shortly after midnight Monday, Delta said.

The airline, the second-largest in the U.S., operates almost 6,000 flights a day during peak summer months, according to a Delta news release from August. The airline operates more than 800 aircraft and flies almost 180 million passengers a year. Delta waived change fees for customers scheduled to travel on Sunday and Monday, for rebooking by Feb. 3.

Sunday’s was the second disruption among major U.S. domestic carriers in just a week, after United Continental Holdings Inc. grounded U.S. flights following a computer failure. The United outage lasted about 2 1/2 hours, though resulted in relatively few cancellations.

Last year, a rash of computer failures disrupted flight operations at Delta and other U.S. airlines. Thousands of passengers were stranded as carriers struggled to keep older information systems working. Delta took a $100 million hit to sales after a power-control module at the company’s Atlanta command center caught fire in August, cutting power to computers. Southwest Airlines Co. had to halt flights the month before that because of issues with “multiple technology systems.”

Delta shares fell 3.4 percent to $48.02 at 10:36 a.m. in New York as the broader market declined the most in a month.

— With assistance by Angus Whitley

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