The Russian air travel industry has encountered significant disruptions as the Leonardo booking system, implemented in response to sanctions imposed following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, experienced its second major outage within a year.
On Thursday, September 18, Russian airlines Aeroflot, Pobeda, and Rossiya reported issues with the Leonardo system, causing difficulties for passengers attempting to check in for their flights at airports. Aeroflot attributed the disruptions to a “global failure” within the Leonardo system, assuring that its developer, the state corporation Rostec, is working to restore functionality.
Pobeda airline alerted passengers that due to the system malfunction, airport check-ins were being conducted manually.
Rossiya airline’s press service specified that six flights from Sheremetyevo Airport were delayed due to the glitch.
Rostec, the developer of Leonardo in partnership with Sirena-Travel, initially attributed the system’s malfunctions to a “massive DDoS attack.” However, a representative from the state corporation later clarified that the “system has been restored, and services are back to normal.”
Before the sanctions were imposed in response to the Ukrainian conflict, most Russian airlines relied on foreign booking system providers. For Aeroflot and Pobeda, this meant using American providers like Sabre and Navitaire.
The mass transition to the Russian alternative occurred in November of the previous year when all Russian airlines switched to the Leonardo system.
During the initial transition period, Leonardo experienced its first major malfunction. Passengers’ information vanished from Aeroflot’s check-in lists, Leonardo registered passengers for different flights, altered departure dates, prohibited online check-in and seat selection, and invalidated documents.
Previously, in July 2022, Pobeda Airlines faced issues with Leonardo after being disconnected from foreign systems in the early months of the full-scale conflict. During this time, passengers’ tickets for flights disappeared, the ability to choose fares and services was lost, and tickets became invalid.