An IT meltdown that grounded flights and scuppered thousands of customers’ travel plans in May, cost British Airways’ parent company about £58m, less than the group’s chief executive originally feared.
International Consolidated Airlines Group on Friday said that the compensation fees and baggage claims related to “operational disruption”, due to the massive power failure over the second May bank holiday, had cost €65m. Originally, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh had reportedly estimated that the figure would be closer to £80m.
British Airways was forced to cancel about 800 flights from Gatwick and Heathrow as a result of the failure, stranding approximately 75,000 passengers.
IAG commissioned an independent review into the incident but reports in early June suggested that it had been caused by human error.
Several airlines have been hit by computer glitches over the last year, but analysts at the time said the duration and scale of BA’s outage was unusual.
In August last year, Delta Air Lines cancelled and delayed thousands of flights after an outage hit its computer systems. Earlier in May, Germany’s Lufthansa and Air France suffered a global system outage that briefly prevented them from boarding passengers.
Separately on Friday, IAG reported operating profits before exceptional items had risen by 37 per cent to €973m during the first half of the year.
The group also includes Aer Lingus, Iberia, Vueling and Level – the new low-cost, long-haul venture that began flying in June from Barcelona to Los Angeles, Oakland, Buenos Aires and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
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