That minutes-long power glitch? It's going to cost British Airways £80m, IAG investors told

Resulting IT systems crash airline chaos lasted 3 days

The massive IT systems failure caused by a power surge at British Airways' primary data centre will cost the airline £80m.

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of BA's parent body International Airlines Group, issued the news to a roomful of investors at the company's AGM this afternoon.

The systems crash on the morning of May 27 led to the airline having to cancel 726 flights over three days, which Walsh said amounted to 28 per cent of total flights.

The resulting chaos meant that tens of thousands of passengers were unable to fly, leaving them stranded at airports across the world, either in departure lounges or on planes.

Putting a positive spin on things, Walsh added that "despite major operational problems, by May 29 it was able to fly the vast majority of its planned schedule".

"An independent review of the actions, taken to restore the failed systems, indicates that it was an outstanding achievement by the teams involved, given the nature and extent of the damage suffered."

Walsh also noted that an independent investigation into what happened was under way, but – responding to criticisms over BA's recent overseas outsourcing ventures – emphasised that the failure "had absolutely nothing to do with changes to the way we resource our IT systems and services".

BA's publicity teams have had another tough day at the office today, as its passengers once again faced travel mayhem. They received text messages telling them to pack their essentials in their hand luggage after the baggage systems at Heathrow went TITSUP.

An airport spokeswoman said that Heathrow's infrastructure – not BA's – was the cause of today's delays. She told The Reg that although the problem had been resolved, its cause had yet to be established.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that BA plans to outsource call centre management to Capita.

The agreement, which is yet to be finalised, will see 1,000 workers sent to Capita in a transfer of undertaking protection of employment (TUPE).


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