British Airways travelers face third day of delays, cancellations

British Airways on Monday said a far-reaching computer outage disrupted flights for a third day and pledged to avoid a repeat of the events that led to hundreds of canceled flights over the weekend.

"At Heathrow, we operated virtually all our scheduled long-haulflights, though the knock-on effects of Saturday's disruptionresulted in a reduced short-haul programme", Sky news quoted a BA spokeswoman said:"We apologise again to customers for the frustration andinconvenience they are experiencing and thank them for theircontinued patience".

Issuing an apology on Sunday, the airline's chief executive, Alex Cruz, admitted it had been "a terrible time for our customers".

British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy United Kingdom holiday weekend.

The airline says that it hopes to operate a "near normal schedule" at Gatwick and the "majority of services" from Heathrow on Sunday.

The airport also said passengers whose flights were cancelled should not travel to Heathrow unless they have already rebooked their flight.

"The root cause was a power supply issue that affected a number of our systems". Goodbody analysts estimate the cost of the IT outage may be around EUR82 million ($92 million), or 2.7% of estimated 2017 operating profit, from passenger claims and lost sales.

Data from FlightAware showed two dozen British Airways and over a hundred Iberia flights were canceled Monday. Cruz said that the airline would fully honor its compensation obligations.

Passengers on flights operated by European airlines to and from countries in the European Union are entitled to compensation of between €250 ($280) and €600 ($670) each, depending on the route. That brings the total of flights scrapped at Heathrow and Gatwick airports since Saturday to 583, according to Bloomberg calculations. So far on Monday, 13 short-haul flights at Heathrow, Europe's busiest, have been cancelled.

Meanwhile, the GMB union blamed the outsourcing of IT jobs to India for the chaos, a claim denied by the airline.

The airline said it would full meet its obligations under passenger rights rules.

That centre would have had a disaster recovery plan that should have started up even if the power could not be restored, but one expert said that would have depended in part on long-serving staff with a detailed knowledge of the various systems built up over the years.

Shares in British Airways' parent company IAG fell 2.7% on Monday. Many complained about a lack of information from the airline.

Incoming flights were also cancelled, leaving passengers stranded at airports across the world.

  • Zachary Reyes