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Shares in British Airways' parent company tumble

31 May 2017

British Airways says it's business as usual following the cancellation of flights from Heathrow and Gatwick on Saturday because of computer problems.

British Airways said it was working to resolve the issue of lost luggage, which affected a "significant" number of customers who travelled on a limited amount of flights taking off from the UK.

That's the reality British Airways' parent company International Consolidated Airlines IAG will soon face after a far-reaching computer outage over the weekend sparked chaos and frustrations at major airports and left nearly all BA flights grounded for most of Saturday, Market Watch reported.

He said the surge "collapsed our IT systems", which affected the technology responsible for the airline's flight, baggage and customer communication.

"We apologise again to customers for the frustration and inconvenience they are experiencing and thank them for their continued patience".

The airline is expecting to run a full schedule on Tuesday from Heathrow and Gatwick airports but said it still had "work to do" reuniting bags with passengers. This led to BA cancelling all operations from London Heathrow and London Gatwick on Saturday with passengers unable to use the company's website plus disruption to their call centres.

Apparently, CEO Alex Cruz had embarked on a widely criticized four-year cost-cutting program at the airline last year and this had necessitated slashing around 700 back-office jobs and outsourcing some technology to India's Tata Consultancy Services.

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Analysts at Deutsche Bank estimated that the costs of compensating passengers would be around 47 million euros and that the cost of restoring BA's network had an upper limit of 15 million euros.

Shares in the parent company of British Airways fell on Tuesday after a huge IT failure left 75,000 passengers stranded over a holiday weekend, dealing a major blow to an airline that once marketed itself as "the world's favourite". "In 2016, BA made hundreds of dedicated and loyal IT staff redundant and outsourced the work to India", said Mick Rix, national officer for aviation at the union.

The airline managed to restore a normal level of service quickly, with 95 percent of flights running as scheduled by Monday. Cruz said there was no evidence of any cyber attack.

Many complained of scant information from staff.

"Well, this company, if it wants to produce those savings, it's probably just spent them this weekend in the compensation that it's got to repay the passengers that it's caused misery too".

Flight compensation specialist Bott & Co, which has fought a series of high-profile test cases to establish passengers' rights to payments, said around 800 flights a day were affected by the IT crash causing planes to be grounded.