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'British Airways defends policy of outsourcing of IT services'

10 June 2017

"We are extremely sorry for the frustration and inconvenience customers experienced over the Bank Holiday weekend and thank them for their patience and understanding", British Airways said in a statement late Monday.

Giving his first media interview since a major outage on Saturday caused the airline's IT system to collapse, Alex Cruz refused to resign and said the problem was not a result of outsourcing jobs to other countries.

British Airways said that it had cancelled all its flights out of major London airports Heathrow and Gatwick after an IT systems failure, warning people not to travel to the congested hubs.

British Airways (BA) cancelled eight flights from Ireland's biggest airport as a result of the IT failure that forced it to ground hundreds of services over the weekend.

BA said it will run a full schedule at Gatwick on Monday and intends to operate a full long-haul schedule and a "high proportion" of its short-haul programme at Heathrow. It denied claims by the GMB union that problem could be linked to the company outsourcing its IT work.

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Mr Cruz said a power surge, had "only lasted a few minutes", but the back-up system of the airline had not worked properly.

At Gatwick Airport, BA is now operating nearly normally, although some delays are still occurring, while at Heathrow - Britain's busiest airport - the goal is to restore all long-distance flights, albeit with altered schedules.

In a video statement, Cruz apologized, saying "I know this has been a awful time for customers". The airline urged passengers booked on those flights not to go those airports. So far on Monday, 13 short-haul flights at Heathrow, Europe's busiest, have been cancelled.

An AFP photographer at Heathrow's Terminal 5 on Saturday said many travellers were waiting outside the departure area with their luggage in "chaotic" scenes.

Thousands of passengers were left stranded over a busy holiday weekend in Britain after BA scrapped hundreds of flights worldwide.

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At Heathrow and Gatwick, passengers had noticed that BA staff at the check-in desks were taking down details with pen and paper, rather than typing them into the company's system.

British Airways continues to work in restoring its computer systems following a huge power failure that caused a huge disruption worldwide for thousands of its passengers.

BA itself cancelled another 27 flights and had 117 more delayed Monday.

Bloom later tweeted, "9 hours after checking in at Belfast airport we get home after the chaos of the British Airways IT crash".

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