British Airways on Sunday said it plans to resume most of its flights out of Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London following major IT system disruption that had grounded planes on Saturday. “We are aiming to operate a near-normal schedule at Gatwick and the majority of services from Heathrow on Sunday,” the airline said. A BA spokesperson added: “We are continuing to work hard to restore all of our IT systems.
“We are extremely sorry for the huge disruption caused to customers throughout Saturday and understand how frustrating their experiences will have been. We are refunding or rebooking customers who suffered cancellations on to new services as quickly as possible and have also introduced more flexible rebooking policies for anyone due to travel on Sunday and Monday who no longer wishes to fly to/from Heathrow or Gatwick.”
Thousands of passengers had their travel plans disrupted as a result of the problem, with one workers’ union blaming the outsourcing of IT jobs to India for the chaos, a claim denied by the airline.
“We would never compromise the integrity and security of our IT systems,” BA said in reference to GMB union’s claim.
BA chief executive Alex Cruz had said it was believed “the root cause [of the computer problems] was a power supply issue”.
The company said there was no evidence the failure was the result of a cyber attack.
The airline is expected to have to pay out huge sums in compensation, including the cost of hotels, transport and meal expenses for stranded passengers.
Thousands of bags remain at Heathrow Airport, but BA has advised passengers not to return to collect them as they will instead be couriered to customers.
The IT failure had affected check-in and operational systems, including customer service phone lines.
BA said although some of its IT systems have returned, “there will be some knock-on disruption to our schedules as aircraft and crews are out of position around the world”.
Delays were also reported in Rome, Prague, Milan, Stockholm and Malaga due to the system failure, which coincided with a bank holiday weekend and the start of the half-term school holidays for many people in the UK.