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Cost of British Airway’s IT Glitch Revealed

London Heathrow, United Kingdom - August 28, 2015: A British Airways Boeing 787 with the registration G-ZBJE taking off from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in the United Kingdom. British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom based at London Heathrow airport.

The IT failure that left about 75,000 BA passengers stranded late last month will cost the carrier millions.

The final cost of British Airway’s (BA) now-infamous IT failure, a glitch that left thousands of travelers stranded late last month, has been revealed. The BBC reports that Willie Walsh, the head of International Airlines Group (IAG), BA’s parent company, has informed investors that the damage “is in the order of £80m,” which equates to approximately $102m in costs.

Walsh revealed the figure on Thursday in Madrid at IAG’s annual conference and said that he would offer more details “when appropriate,” the outlet reported. He also apologized for the fallout from the IT failure, which he described as a “dreadful experience.”

The pandemonium, which saw approximately 75,000 travelers stranded, was caused by an engineer disconnecting and then reconnecting a power supply, which in turn triggered a catastrophic power surge.

Speaking of the incident, Walsh said that the carrier was “working hard to ensure that affected passengers are compensated as soon as possible” and that an independent investigation was underway to help BA “to learn from the experience.”

Trade union GMB, a labor body that represents workers within the United Kingdom’s aviation industry, has said that it believes that the glitch was due to redundancies among BA’s IT staff and the outsourcing of these jobs last year.

Walsh, however, said that, “this failure had absolutely nothing to do with changes to the way we resource our IT systems and services.”

Offering further reassurance, Antonio Vazquez, IAG chairman, added, “You can be reassured that we will do everything in our powers to avoid similar problems in the future and restore our customers’ faith in British Airways.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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