Saturday, May 27, 2017

British Airways Cancels Flights After Computer Failure: Airline says ‘major IT system failure’ causes ‘very severe disruption to our flight operations world-wide’



The Wall Street Journal
By Robert Wall
May 27, 2017 9:17 a.m. ET


LONDON—A computer problem forced British Airways to cancel a large number of flights Saturday during one of the U.K.’s busiest travel weekends and the long Memorial Day break in the U.S.

“We have experienced a major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations world-wide,” the airline said in a statement. All flights departing before 6 p.m. local time from its busy London Heathrow hub have been canceled, along with flights at Gatwick Airport to the south of the British capital.

British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, is the biggest trans-Atlantic carrier on routes between England and the U.S. The carrier urged passengers not to come to the airports already congested from by others stranded there.

British Airways has suffered multiple problems in recent months with its computer system. A new check-in system introduced last year experienced multiple failures, leading to flight delays and angering passengers.

The airline didn’t detail the exact cause of the latest operational disruption. “We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this is causing our customers and we are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible,” it said.

U.S. carriers also have struggled with computer glitches in recent months that led to flight cancellations and delays.  Delta Air Lines Inc. in January grounded flights for hours because of a technology outage affecting multiple systems. It followed an August breakdown that led to flight cancellations. In July, Southwest Airlines Co. , the No. 4 U.S. carrier, canceled 2,300 flights over four days after a computer problem. United Continental Holdings Inc. in January also was forced to suspend flights because of technical issues.

Airlines often struggle with operating a mix of new computer equipment introduced to ease travel and improve operations and legacy systems that have been in place for years.

Original article can be found here:  https://www.wsj.com

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