NEWS UPDATE – A global computer crash grounded British Airways flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports — sparking chaos for 200,000 holidaymakers.
The airline’s check-in and operational systems crashed, with passengers trying to travel on Bank Holiday weekend left strande – with disruptions expected to carry on until tomorrow.
But British Airlines has now said it is aiming to operate a near normal schedule at Gatwick and the majority of services from Heathrow on Sunday.
Travellers tonight reported to the Sun Online that they have been able to check-in on Sunday flights, with it a flicker of hope for those left stranded.
It comes after angry travellers took to social media to complain about missed flights.
Delays were reported in the US, Rome, Prague, Milan, Stockholm and Malaga.
The log-jam also hit passengers landing as they had nowhere to disembark.
Amid the “carnage” ground staff resorted to scrawling messages for pilots on pieces of paper.Huge queues formed inside and outside airport buildings today, one of the hottest days of the year so far in the UK.
Despite initial reports from passengers that the disruptions had been caused by a cyber attack, BA has said that a “power supply issue” was most likely behind the global IT failure.
Chief executive Alex Cruz said: “We believe the root cause was a power supply issue and we have no evidence of any cyber attack.”
In a statement earlier today, BA said: “We have experienced a major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide.
“The terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick have become extremely congested and we have cancelled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick before 6pm UK time today, so please do not come to the airports.”
The airline have since announced that flights from the two airports will be cancelled for the rest of the day.
They added: “We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this is causing our customers and we are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
There were reports of BA staff telling disgruntled passengers trying to get away for the Bank Holiday weekend that the company was under cyber attack.
Passenger Jo Josson said: “Officials are telling us there has been a cyber attack against BA’s systems. Even the tannoy is affected.”
Another, Michele Andjel, said a British Airways flight captain announced: “It appears to be a cyber attack.”