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'Malicious cyber attack' leaves airline to cancel flights in Alaska amid peak holiday travel

Release Date:2019-12-24

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — RavnAir canceled at least a half-dozen flights in Alaska on Saturday — at the peak of holiday travel — following what the company described as “a malicious cyber attack” on its computer network.

The cancellations affected around 260 passengers, according to company spokeswoman Debbie Reinwand.

The regional carrier canceled all flights involving its Dash 8 aircraft until noon “because the cyber attack forced us to disconnect our Dash 8 maintenance system and its back-up,” the company said in a written statement.

The airline serves more than 100 communities in Alaska, many of which are not accessible by road.

The company is working with the FBI, other authorities and a cyber security company to restore systems.

RavnAir Alaska later announced that it will operate a normal afternoon schedule on its Dash-8 flights.

“We will be trying to add flights where we can over the next two days,” the company said in a statement released at 1 p.m. “We have, where possible, re-booked passengers on other flights.”enAir flights and RavnAir Connect flights were still operating normally on back-up systems, Reinwand said. How to deal with holiday traffic:When NOT to drive, what to expect at airports Dec. 21 through 23 are projected to be the most packed airport days of the holiday season, according to the American Automobile Association, as travelers head home over the weekend before Christmas. 

Pro tip for those looking to book last-minute flights: For cheaper alternatives, AAA recommends taking flights on Christmas Eve, when tickets are cheaper, averaging $527. The day after Christmas nabs the highest average price of the week at $692. 

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