A technical glitch in the iPads software used by pilots of American Airlines led to the delay of several flights in the US.

The airlines confirmed the issue and blamed an error with the digital map used by pilots in the cockpit for the incident that prevented many flights from taking off.

While no flights were said to be cancelled, several had to be delayed.

"We are working to have them on the way to their destination as soon as possible."

In 2013, the American Airlines was the first company to replace paper based reference materials and manuals that pilots have to carry with iPads for flight plans and navigation.

Following an approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airlines had started using the iPads on all of its current fleet types including Boeing 777, 767, 757, 737 and MD-80.

This move is said to have helped the company save roughly 400,000 gallons of fuel worth $1.2m annually. A total of 8,000 iPads were distributed to replace close to 24 million pages of documents.

The Verge reported that the flights to be affected included AA2413, AA2276, AA1654, AA235, and AA128.

The airlines said in a statement: "Some flights are experiencing an issue with a software application on pilot iPads. In some cases, the flight has had to return to the gate to access a WiFi connection to fix the issue.

"We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers. We are working to have them on the way to their destination as soon as possible."

The airlines, however, did not reveal which app was experiencing a problem.

Image: The American Airlines was the first to start using iPads in 2013. Photo: courtesy of American Airlines.