Airline Sees No Cyberattack; Experts See Scant Disaster Recovery Planning
British Airways grounded all flights at London’s two biggest airports starting Saturday, leading to multiple days of disruptions. The airline has blamed a power surge for its IT failures, but experts have questioned the airline’s resiliency and disaster recovery planning and testing.
Alex Cruz, chairman and CEO of British Airways, says there’s no evidence the outage was the result of a cyberattack.
“All of our check-in and operational systems have been affected and we have canceled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick today,” Cruz said Saturday in a video message posted to Twitter, apologizing for the disruptions and delays.
BA typically flies hundreds of flights – and about 120,000 passengers – out of both airports each day, and the long, bank-holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year in Britain.
The outages began early Saturday morning and, according to media reports, disrupted the airline’s ability to generate flight plans – a legal requirement before any flight is allowed to depart. Heathrow and Gatwick quickly filled with angry passengers, and BA staff were left largely unable to help them because none of the computers were functioning.