in Aerospace

BA IT issues cause large scale flights disruption

Posted 2 June 2017 · Add Comment

British Airways has said that IT issues caused the wide scale flights disruption over the bank holiday weekend which led to delays and cancellations for over 75,000 passengers.

The chief executive of British Airways parent company IAG, Willie Walsh, later praised BA's management for “doing everything possible” after the IT failure, even though some have criticised the airline's explanation of a 'power surge' as the root of the problems 

British Airways’ board is reportedly seeking an external inquiry into the IT failure which caused nearly all BA’s flights out of London - many from Heathrow and Gatwick - to be cancelled on Saturday.

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer for Aviation, said: "GMB welcomes BA's commitment to an independent investigation and it is only right and proper that GMB has a seat on that inquiry to ensure that the information and views from our skilled IT members on the front line is properly put forward and taken on board by BA IAG.

“National Grid has been explicit that there were no power issues at Heathrow over the weekend, whilst BA contends that the ‘problem’ was solely down to power.

“Clarification of these blurred positions must be a key part of the inquiry.

“It is counter-intuitive to think that sending vital IT and other business functions thousands of miles will not affect the resilience of the BA IAG operation.

"BA is Britain's premier flag carrier, it is a global brand and fly's the flag on its tailfin all over the world.

"It is not in the interests of this great company, its customers, investors, and the thousands of people it employs, that it further risks a successful business model, because of a lack of resilience.

“That is why there should be an immediate moratorium on any more offshoring and those key functions which have gone and which should be brought back to the UK, where they belong.”



On the Sunday, Alex Cruz (above), the Chief Executive of British Airways,apologised to BA customers for the disruption and inconvenience it caused their passengers. He said: "Many of our IT systems are back up today and my colleagues across the airline are working very hard to build back our flight programme and get as many of our customers as possible away on their travels.

"At Gatwick, we are running a near-full operation, though some flights may be subject to delay.

"At Heathrow, we plan to fly all our long-haul services – but the knock-on effects of yesterday's disruption will lead to delays. That is also true for our short-haul operation and there are some short-haul cancellations

"I know this has been a horrible time for customers. Some of you have missed holidays. Some of you have been stranded on aircraft and some of you have been separated from your bags. Many of you have been stuck in long queues while you've waited for information.

"On behalf of everyone at British Airways, I want to apologise for the fact you've had to go through these very trying experiences. And to thank you for your patience and understanding.

Commenting on the delays and cancellations affecting British Airways passengers, Matt Buffey, Head of Consumer Protection at the Civil Aviation Authority, said: "Passengers affected by the disruption to British Airways' flights over the weekend are protected under EU law. The welfare of passengers must be the priority for any airline experiencing disruption and we fully expect all UK airlines to meet their obligations regarding passenger rights.

"British Airways is well aware of these passenger rights and we welcome its public commitment to fulfil its legal obligations, including on compensation. We are in regular contact with British Airways and continue to monitor the situation closely to make sure the airline provides passengers with the support they are entitled to. British Airways has also committed to carrying out a review of what went wrong and we look forward to seeing the findings of that review.

"Passengers who wish to make a claim for out-of-pocket expenses or compensation following this disruption should contact British Airways directly in the first instance. If they are not satisfied with the response, they should refer their claim to British Airways' appointed dispute resolution service, CEDR. Dispute resolution services provide independent decisions on passengers' claims that the airline is contractually obliged to abide by. More information about your rights if you experience disruption is available from the CAA website www.caa.co.uk/passengers.”


 

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