London Heathrow Terminal 5 departure hall
© JamesZ_Flickr

Disruption at British Airways has continued into a second day as an IT glitch causes further flight cancellations.

The UK flag carrier said a “small number” of short-haul flights were cancelled this morning and others remain grounded. Customers at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City are thought to be affected.

aircraft takes off from london city airport
Heathrow, Gatwick and London City Airports are thought to be affected | © ChiralJon

Yesterday morning, the airline cancelled every short-haul service it operates from Heathrow until midday. Heathrow’s departure system continued to show delays well into the afternoon.

Hardware failure, not cyber attack

BA has been quick to dispel rumours that the issues have been a result of a cyberattack, particularly in the wake of the UK’s decision to ban Russian aircraft from its airspace earlier this week. It insists the problems are arising from a hardware failure.

The airline said in a statement today:

“Our teams have worked around the clock to resolve the technical issues we’ve experienced, and the vast majority of our flights today are due to operate as planned. Unfortunately, with some of our crew and aircraft out of position as a result of the weekend’s disruption, we’ve regrettably had to cancel a small number of short-haul flights.”

BA is no stranger to IT incidents, and this latest glitch is the second high-profile one in only 10 days. A data breach last year was resolved by a settlement from the airline with 420,000 customers and staff. Furthermore, the airline was hit with a £20 million fine in 2018 for a breach of data protection.

“Unforgivable” service

Seventy-five thousand travellers were left stranded in May 2017 after an IT error caused the airline to cancel over 700 flights across three days. The glitch was believed to have been the result of human error after a technician disconnected and then reconnected power to a data centre in an “uncontrolled and uncommanded fashion”.

The shamefaced airline has since apologised for its “unforgivable” service over the past 48 hours and has been offering refunds for those affected by the cancellations. How many more knocks the airline can take to its reputation, and more importantly, to its pockets, remains to be seen.

Do you still have confidence in British Airways? Let us know in the comments below.


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