FRA Closed to Arrivals; Thousands Stranded Worldwide Following IT Outage at Lufthansa

Lufthansa's Boeing Dreamliner 787-9
Lufthansa's Boeing Dreamliner 787-9

Fibre optic cables damaged during construction work are said to be the cause of an IT outage at Germany flagship airline Lufthansa that's left thousands of air travellers stranded worldwide 15FEB. Repairs are expected to take until at least Wednesday afternoon, German time, according to a report in the Guardian.

In a tweet regarding the damage, Deutsche Telkom AG, which owns the cables and is Lufthansa's service provider, said, "Our technicians are already on site. Due to the considerable damage and situation on the construction site, the remedy will be extremely difficult."

Even after repairs are complete, clearing the backlog of interrupted flights even longer. The outage affected the carrier's flight planning system.

SimpleFlying says the outage is affecting "the entire airline group" and that FRA was completely closed to arrivals in the early morning hours of Wednesday, 15FEB, with it partially re-opening for some arrivals just before midday CET.

The snowball effect of massive LH delays and cancellations, compounded by the closure of the airport in Frankfurt is having an impact on countless other airlines and airports in Europe and globally, say reports, which add that some long haul flights already inbound to FRA have been diverted to Munich and Brussels. Short haul flights have been grounded prior to take off. Apparently some non-Lufhthansa Group flights are taking off from FRA.

As of Open Jaw publishing time late morning EST Wednesday, Lufthansa is tweeting that "Flight operations are expected to stabilize in the early evening."

The Guardian's reporting seems to suggest something bigger may be afoot, with a number of incidents in recent weeks. It reports that Scandinavian airline SAS was hit by a cyber attack Tuesday, 14FEB; that "unknown attackers cut cables belonging to Germany’s public railway in December in what was seen as the second act of sabotage against Deutsche Bahn in as many months;" and reminded readers of the U.S. FAA computer system outage in JAN that resulted in the cancellation or delay of over 11,000 flights.

Lynn Elmhirst


With a background in broadcast news and travel lifestyles TV production, Lynn is just as comfortable behind or in front of the camera as she is slinging words into compelling stories at her laptop. Having been called a multi-media ‘content charmer’, Lynn’s other claim to fame is the ability to work 24/7, forgoing sleep until the job is done. Documented proof exists in a picture of Lynn at the closing celebrations of an intense week, standing, champagne in hand - sound asleep. That’s our kind of gal.

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