MUMBAI : IndiGo, the country’s largest airline, was hit by an hour-long snag in the check-in system on Monday, causing a knock-on disruption in operations, severely inconveniencing passengers and delaying several flights at several airports, including Mumbai.

Ground staff at the budget airlines scrambled to manually check-in passengers after the computerized check-in system crashed during the day. The crash resulted in chaotic scenes at the check-in counters with harried passengers demanding a quick resolution of the problem.

“Our systems have been down across the network since morning. As a result, we are expecting our operations to be impacted across airports. All efforts are being made to resolve the issue at the earliest," IndiGo said in the afternoon.

An IndiGo spokesperson who was contacted in the evening would not say how many flights were hit by the incident. “The nationwide breakdown (of the computerised check-in system) lasted for less than an hour," the spokesperson said without elaborating.

The snag comes at a difficult time for IndiGo, the largest carrier both in terms of passenger volumes and fleet size. The airline is not only bearing the brunt of a slowing economy, but is also facing huge competition from other Indian and international carriers on key routes in a high-cost environment. The airline reported a record loss of 1,062 crore in the September quarter because of higher maintenance and overhaul costs.

Most airlines have suffered system glitches in some form at some point or the other, an industry expert said under the condition of anonymity. “However, with the recent problem with Pratt & Whitney engines and other incidents, IndiGo has been facing flak from passengers for sometime now," said the expert. Passengers took to social media to express their frustration on Monday. “Never imagined IndiGo would be this much unprofessional n irresponsible. flight 6E 298 departure time was 11:05 while it departed at 1:05 pm. You made us being seated for 2 hour within the flight. Pathetic services. Will abort rest of the journeys from IndiGo," Delhi-based Madhavi Pandey said in a Twitter post.

IndiGo carried 16.79 million domestic passengers during July-September 2019, up from 14.54 million in the same period of the previous year, registering a 15.86% growth.

The airline has 48% share of the domestic aviation market.