United Airlines Holdings Inc. suffered a temporary grounding of its aircraft nationwide due to a software update that caused a “widespread slowdown” in its technology systems.
(Bloomberg) — United Airlines Holdings Inc. suffered a temporary grounding of its aircraft nationwide due to a software update that caused a “widespread slowdown” in its technology systems.
The Chicago-based carrier requested the grounding for its main operation and regional partners on Tuesday after its aircraft were unable to contact flight dispatchers using normal means, according to a posting on the Federal Aviation Administration’s website. United resumed flights at US airports after a little over an hour.
The FAA confirmed in an email to Bloomberg the airline had asked it to pause departures nationwide, but declined further comment.
“Earlier today a software update caused a widespread slowdown in United’s technology systems,” United said in a statement. “We briefly held aircraft at their origin airports and resumed normal operations around 12:45 p.m.” local time in Chicago. The company said that it was not a cybersecurity issue.
Earlier, United posted on social media site X that it had experienced “a systemwide technology issue.” It later posted that the ground hold had been lifted. At least 347 United flights were delayed as of late afternoon and seven had been cancelled, according to data tracker FlightAware.com.
United shares fell 2.5% to $48.47 in New York on Tuesday.
The problem occurred eight months after an FAA system outage forced a nationwide grounding of aircraft, triggering renewed scrutiny from members of Congress and aviation industry leaders over the resiliency of systems running the nation’s flight operations. The FAA shutdown in January delayed more than 10,000 trips.
United suffered a companywide technology outage in January 2022 that led to delays of some flights. An air-traffic control failure in the UK in late August led to hundreds of flight delays and cancellations during a busy holiday weekend, but not a complete closure.
(Updates throughout. An earlier version corrected the length of the delay)
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