Air India flights
Ex-Air India employee arrested for fraud. Pictured: An Air India flight.Wikimedia commons

An ex-employee of Air India was on Sunday arrested on charges of hacking into the airline's website and illegally selling tickets to travel agents. The accused, 23-year-old Anitesh Goswami, has previously worked with Kingfisher Airlines and Air India.

Goswami was familiar with the online-ticketing system. The BCA graduate from Pune also knew the intranet and internet-based systems of the government-owned airline, India Today reported.

On Sunday, the Delhi Police Cyber Crime Cell under the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) arrested him from Jaipur. The police said he used to hack into the airline's website and obtain tickets by redeeming miles of members on the Flying Returns programme.

The Delhi police carried out a raid at an apartment in Jaipur on the basis of electronic surveillance and information from an informer. A laptop, several mobile phones and relevant documents were recovered from his possession, IANS reported.

How did he operate?

According to the local police, Goswami is an IT expert. He first learnt how the ticketing system of the miles system programme worked. He then allegedly hacked into the website of Air India.

Once he gained access, he used admin rights to upgrade several user IDs. Using the IDs he would verify hundred of accounts of Frequent Flyer members, and use these membership accounts or points to book airline tickets, which he would later sell to travel agents in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Jaipur. 

Police said before he left his job in Air India, he did a thorough study of the airline's ticket-booking system.

Air India flyer returns programme
The Flying Returns website which has accounts of frequent flyers. This website was allegedly hacked by