12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
The boss of British Airways’ parent company IAG has backed BA chief executive Alex Cruz following the major IT failure which led to thousands of cancelled flights.
Willie Walsh (pictured) said Cruz has his full support after the embattled CEO faced a backlash from passengers who were stranded around the globe.
A spokesman for Walsh told The Telegraph: “Alex has Willie’s absolute support. As far as Willie is concerned, this has nothing to do with the decisions Alex has made.”
His comments come as more details emerge into the cause of the systems failure.
According to The Telegraph, the internal investigation being led by Cruz focuses on the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to Boadicea House, one of two data centres at Heathrow.
On Saturday morning, power to the centre via its UPS was shut down – reasons not yet known. But the power was resumed minutes later in what was described as an “uncontrollable fashion”, when it should have been gradual.
This caused “catastrophic physical damage” to BA’s servers, which contain everything from customer and crew information to operational details and flight paths. According to the Telegraph’s source, had the power been restored more gradually, BA would have been able to cope with the outage, and return services far more quickly.
All schedules were restored yesterday but some passengers are still without their baggage.
Flight delay firm Bott & Co said BA could face a bill of £150 million in passenger compensation. “Using the Bott & Co calculator database, which has a record of every single scheduled flight, we can see that there are approximately 800 BA flights per day leaving Heathrow and Gatwick, estimating that this could cost BA up to £150m.
“£100m is the cost of compensation due to those affected and Bott & Co estimate an extra £50m could be due for care and assistance including hotel accommodation for stranded passengers and additional expenses such as couriers for baggage.”
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