Leading online flight tracking service FlightRadar24 said that “some users” were unable to access its website due to an “unprecedented sustained tracking interest” in SPAR19, the Taiwan-bound flight that is carrying the delegation of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Flightradar24 services are under extremely heavy load. Some users may currently experience issues accessing the site, our teams are working on restoring full functionality to all users as quickly as possible,” the Swedish flight tracking company said in a Twitter post.
FlightRadar24 said, in another Twitter post, that 708,000 people were tracking the flight at the time when it landed in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. “SPAR19 is FlightRadar24’s most tracked live flight of all time,” the post added.
In an earlier Twitter post, FlightRadar24 said that 200,000 people were live tracking the SPAR19 flight. The platform also kept users updated about the flight’s status with regular Twitter posts.
Several journalists were also reporting the live status of the fight using screenshots from the platform.
Pelosi is the highest-ranking US politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years, the self-ruled island that is opposing China’s claims over it and asserting its independence.
A sudden increase in traffic is one of the top reasons for the disruption of many online services. It is commonly faced by e-commerce websites during festive season sales. It occurs when a website’s infrastructure capacity is not prepared to handle the surge in traffic.
During DDoS attacks, hackers use the same tactic to disrupt the services of a targeted server by flooding the network with high volumes of bot-driven online requests.