26th May 2023 06:01
(Alliance News) - International Consolidated Airlines PLC's British Airways has apologised after an IT issue caused the cancellations of domestic and European flights on Thursday, as Britain heads into the Bank Holiday weekend.
There were more than 50 cancelled British Airways flights departing Heathrow on Thursday with the airline urging passengers to check their flight status before going to the airport on Friday.
There were more than 20 flights that had been cancelled or still currently delayed that were meant to land at Heathrow on Thursday.
Some flights that are due to depart Friday evening have been notified their flights are delayed, adding to the stress for customers.
It comes as the airline had to cancel flights just before Christmas due to IT issues, and in 2017 when hundreds of flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports were cancelled due to an IT failure.
A statement from British Airways released just before 10pm on Thursday said "we're aware of a technical issue, which we have been working hard to fix".
"Due to high call volumes please only contact us if you're due to travel in the next 48 hours."
A tweet from British Airways at 11:27pm on Thursday said their "systems are back up and running" but there might still be "intermittent issues".
A spokesperson from Heathrow Airport said the cancellations are not due to airport strikes.
"British Airways is currently working to resolve a technical issue with a number of its systems. We have additional Heathrow colleagues on-hand in the terminals to provide passengers with any additional assistance required."
Customers can receive refunds, re-book or if they have to stay overnight they will be offered meals and hotel accommodation.
One Twitter user, who was at the airport at around 7pm, said: "Almost all BA flights from LHR T5 cancelled tonight. No info. About 4 people on BA desks trying to deal with the chaos.
"Come on BA you can do better than this. You are supposed to be the UK's flagship."
The delays and cancellations are expected to continue on Friday.
It comes as security guards at Heathrow Airport launched a three-day strike on Thursday in a dispute over pay.
Members of Unite have already held 15 days of industrial action, including over the busy Easter period.
Shares in IAG closed up 0.5% at 158.10 pence each in London on Thursday.
By Cormac Pearson, PA
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