Accenture subsidiary blamed for Virgin Blue outage

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Accenture subsidiary blamed for Virgin Blue outage

Outsourced IT grounds thousands of passengers.

Virgin Blue has blamed IT outsourcer Navitaire for a reservations and check in systems outage that left thousands of passengers stranded over the weekend.

At least 116 flights were reportedly cancelled as staff struggled to check in passengers manually from around 8am yesterday.

The airline announced that the issues were resolved this morning and that it was working through flow-on effects of the disruption.

Virgin Blue spokesman Colin Lippiatt said it was "too early to say" how much the outage cost the airline, which provided hotel accommodation for "hundreds of guests" stranded outside their home towns.

"It was an issue with an external supplier's hardware," he told iTnews today. "The external supplier in question was Navitaire."

Bringing systems back online was "a joint effort" between Virgin Blue's IT staff and Accenture subsidiary Navitaire, which also served Jetstar, Qantas, Regional Express and Skywest.

An Accenture spokesman would not disclose details of any service level agreements in Navitaire's contract with Virgin Blue.

"On 26th September there was hardware failure which impacted Virgin Blue's IT reservation and check-in system," she said.

"Navitaire and Virgin Blue worked together to bring the systems back online, which included detailed testing prior to turning them back on."

A Jetstar spokesman said Jetstar also experienced "two very brief outages" - 15 minutes yesterday morning, and 15 minutes in the afternoon.

"We did go to manual check-in for two very brief periods but didn't experience any delays as a result," she told iTnews.

When Virgin Blue adopted Navitaire's New Skies platform last year, its CEO Brett Godfrey said New Skies supported the airline's "long-term growth and our commitment to provide the best value for money".

Lippiatt said the airline would be "having some talks" with Navitaire about the outage, but its current focus was on transporting passengers to their destinations.

Updated at 2.37pm to include Accenture's comments.

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