UK’s flag carrier airline, British Airways (BA), said it would cancel all short-distance flights from London’s Heathrow airport until noon on Saturday due to an IT outage.
British Airways has reportedly said that the problem came to light on Friday and affected its website, app, and airport operations were not caused by a cyber attack but was a hardware issue.
The company said in a statement, ” We have regrettably had to cancel all short-distance flights from Heathrow today until noon, and we are deeply sorry that due to the continuing technical problems that we are facing today.”
However, “Our long-distance services at Heathrow and all flights at Gatwick and London City Airport are due to operate as planned, but customers may undergo some delays. Our official website ba.com is working properly, and customers can check-in online and at the airport,” said the company in a statement.
Moreover, it advised passengers to check on its website for the latest updates before travelling to the airport as more disruption was anticipated.
In 2017, BA, which is owned by IAG (ICAG.L), experienced a significant computer system breakdown that stranded about 75,000 passengers over a holiday weekend, resulting in a public relations disaster and promises from the carrier to do better in the future.
The company said that the customers would be offered a full refund for cancelled services or could rebook the flights for a free later date.
“We understand that we have let our customers down, and we will do all the necessary things we can to make this up to them – but as of now, our main focus is on getting as many customers and flights away as we can.”
The company said the problem affecting its website, app, and airport operations had not been caused by a Russian cyber attack.
National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) of Britain, a part of the GCHQ eavesdropping intelligence agency, had alerted companies and organisations to strengthen their online defences against cyberattacks after Russia invaded Ukraine.