British Airways Counting the Cost After IT Meltdown
Nearly $650 million has been wiped off the value of British Airways’ parent company, IAG, after computer system outages left more than 75,000 passengers stranded over a three-day period. British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said the IT glitch was caused by a power surge on Saturday morning, resulting in the cancellation of the airline’s departing flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Many passengers slept overnight in terminal buildings, and flights on Sunday and Monday were also affected. The British flag carrier says it will conduct a full investigation, but could also face a compensation bill of up to $193 million, according to some estimates.
Emirates to Unveil Redesigned First-Class Suites in November
Emirates has confirmed it will unveil a new first-class suite at the Dubai Airshow in November. The product will make its first appearance on a new Boeing 777-300ER, with a total of six suites configured in a 1-1-1 layout. The Dubai carrier said the aircraft will also include updated features in its business- and economy-class cabins. “What our customers will see on Emirates’ new 777s starting from November, will be a much bigger revamp that takes our onboard experience to the next level … all cabins will sport a totally fresh new look,” said Tim Clark, president of Emirates.
British Airways Outage Raises Questions About IT Investment
The British Airways IT failure that stranded 75,000 people has raised questions about legacy carriers’ focus on costs to the detriment of investment in new computer systems. Cost pressures aggravated an already complicated situation, suggested Loizos Heracleous, a professor of Strategy at Warwick Business School. Renewing IT systems is complex, time-consuming and expensive — factors that prompt many airline to put it off as long as possible, he told Associated Press. Delta Air Lines similarly suffered two major IT outages in August 2016 and January 2017.
[PHOTOS] Hainan Airlines Unveils Third Kung Fu Panda-Themed Livery
Hainan Airlines has unveiled its third Kung Fu Panda-themed livery, on one of its Boeing 787-9s, to celebrate its 24th anniversary. The paint job was selected as one of the six winning designs from the Chinese carrier’s livery competition, which received 3,000 entries. Alaska-based Hannah Foss submitted the design and was aboard the aircraft’s first flight with the new livery. “I have loved painting and designing since I was a child. I have designed a dinosaur exhibition for a museum and depicted the northern lights around the Arctic Circle in my artwork. But I never thought that my design would be painted on a plane someday. It feels amazing!” she said.
Smoldering Lithium Battery Forces JetBlue Flight to Make Emergency Landing
A lithium battery in a passenger’s backpack caught fire on board a JetBlue flight on Tuesday night, forcing the aircraft to make an emergency landing in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After the lithium battery began smoldering, flight attendants grabbed the backpack and put it in the rear lavatory of the Airbus A320 and closed the door, according to an incident report. No one was injured on Flight 915, which was traveling from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to San Francisco. The FAA has reported 12 fire-related incidents involving lithium-ion batteries this year, underscoring growing concerns about an expanded ban on large electronic devices in the aircraft cabin and the potential danger of not being able to access them in the cargo hold.
Data Shows Laptop Ban Is Affecting Travel Trends, IATA Proposes Alternative Solutions
IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, pulled no punches when speaking about the electronics ban in a press briefing ahead of next week’s IATA Annual General Meeting. “There are indications that passengers are avoiding routes where the large PED ban is in place,” he said. “If the ban were extended to Europe-to-US flights, we estimate a $1.4-billion hit on productivity. And an IATA-commissioned survey of business travelers indicated that 15 percent would seek to reduce their travel in the face of a ban.” Instead of an outright ban on electronics, IATA is proposing the use of explosive detection dogs, better baggage screening technology, additional staff training and better evaluation of passengers’ risk profiles.