BA board members to request inquiry into IT outage

Experts predict BA is facing huge compensation costs, with reports suggesting the bill could top £100 million.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh, who had been silent in the media in the immediate aftermath of the British Airways fiasco, has admitted it damaged the company's brand but denied that its IT centres were too old.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh had already ruled out hacking as the cause of the problems, telling United Kingdom newspaper The Times: "We didn't lose any data".

In a statement, the airline said: "We are continuing to make good progress in reuniting bags with customers around the world who were affected by the major IT systems failure on Saturday".

'It was not an IT failure and had nothing to do with outsourcing of IT, it was an electrical power supply which was interrupted.

The airline has blamed a surge of electricity back into its computer systems for a power failure on Saturday morning which grounded hundreds of flights and caused chaos at Heathrow.

It is also understood that BA's response to the crisis would come under the scope of the investigation.

The cause of the initial power outage and the subsequent surge has not yet been revealed. Of the 75,000 passengers who missed out on flights, around two-thirds would have been flown to their destinations by the end of Monday, he added.

The carrier was unable to resume a full schedule until Tuesday and many passengers are still without their luggage.

The news comes after the GMB union claimed that the systems failure could have been avoided if the airline had not outsourced hundreds of IT jobs to India's Tata Consultancy Services previous year to save money.

"BA in 2016 made hundreds of dedicated and loyal IT staff redundant and outsourced the work to India", Mick Rix, GMB National Officer for Aviation, said.

The spokesman said: "It was not an IT issue, it was a power issue".

"Once the disruption is over, we will carry out an exhaustive investigation into what caused this incident, and take measures to ensure it never happens again", Cruz said.

But it declined to comment on boardroom plans for an independent inquiry.

On Saturday night, travellers spent the night sleeping on yoga mats spread on terminal floors after BA cancelled all flights leaving the London hubs, while disruption continued into Sunday with dozens more services from Heathrow axed.

RBC analyst Damian Brewer said that the latest BA problems could hit future revenues for parent company IAG.

  • Zachary Reyes