British Airways Had to Cancel Its Flights After Its Computer System Crashed
There was chaos at Gatwick and Heathrow airports just recently. British Airways had cancelled all its flights out of London after its computer system crashed.
Apparently, thousands of passengers were waiting endlessly in the lurch. The situation became worse by the fact that it was one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Passengers were not given enough information and many were even unable to retrieve their luggage. They managed to follow all the explanations given by the airline later. However, there seems to be no concrete excuse for such a major breakdown.
The airline said there are no cyber-attacks on their system and they eventually narrowed it down to a power supply issue. Many questions arose, a pertinent one being, what kind of back-up systems did such a prominent airline like British Airways have in place and why they had underestimated such a threat.
The airline’s trade union pointed fingers at the airline’s decision to axe and outsource British IT jobs over the past 12 months. Perhaps this was due to certain cost-cutting measures initiated by the airlines to compete with other low-cost carriers.
Major Failure of a Critical Computer System Could Result in Lost Revenue
However, many questioned the rationality of this decision. In fact, they questioned the initiation of such cost-cutting measures in the first place at the possible expense of passenger comfort. In the past, British Airways had admitted that a major failure of a critical computer system could result in lost revenue. This is because the airline depends heavily on IT systems for most of its business processes.
The airline has a heavy dependence on IT. Therefore, experts state that the airline should have had a much more efficient disaster recovery plan and other back-up and recovery in place in case of such incidents. Reports revealed that this was not the first time BA has encountered such a crisis. Sometime in September 2016, faulty check-in systems at Heathrow and Gatwick again created some glaring flight delays.
There’s a valuable lesson to learn from this. It is knowing whether your company has what it takes to face such an attack without seriously jeopardising your business.
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