BA Union Blames India for Travel Chaos

British Airways. (File Photo: IANS) by .
British Airways (File Photo: IANS)

As the British Airways (BA) draws flak for the uneasiness and sufferings faced by passengers due to the massive global IT crash that rocked the country’s top air carrier, one of the media reported that BA GMB union turned the heads on India for major delays and chaos….reports Asian Lite News

British Airways. (File Photo: IANS) by .
British Airways (File Photo: IANS)

The union accuses the outsourcing of IT jobs to India is the main reason that the airlines landed in this tricky situation for the airlines which is uncharacteristic and unheard of for Britain.

Even though the services have resumed and the operation heads to normalcy again on Sunday after most services cancelled from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, British Airways (BA) warned of further delays and cancellations

Between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., 91 British Airways flights were scheduled to depart from both the airports, the BBC reported.

So far, 42 flights have left Heathrow and 29 have been cancelled. At Gatwick, 19 planes have departed and one flight to Amsterdam was cancelled.

More than 1,000 flights were affected.

The IT failure affected check-in and operational systems, including customer service phone lines.

BA said although some of its IT systems were back on line, “there will be some knock-on disruption to our schedules as aircraft and crews are out of position around the world”.

Meanwhile, the Guardian newspaper reported here that British Airways GMB union has said the airline’s decision to outsource hundreds of IT jobs to India last year was behind the flight disruptions.

The GMB union, which had cautioned last year against outsourcing jobs, said BA laid off hundreds of IT staff outsourcing the work to India, and blamed cost cutting for the travel chaos.

“We are repositioning some aircraft during the night to enable us to operate as much of our schedule as possible throughout Sunday,” the BBC quoted the airlines as saying.

A BA spokesman said: “We are extremely sorry for the huge disruption caused to customers throughout Saturday and understand how frustrating their experiences will have been.”

“We are refunding or rebooking customers who suffered cancellations on to new services as quickly as possible and have also introduced more flexible rebooking policies for anyone due to travel on Sunday and Monday who no longer wishes to fly to or from Heathrow or Gatwick,” he added.

The airline also said that most long-haul flights due to land in London on Sunday were expected to arrive as normal.

Delays were also reported in Rome, Prague, Milan, Stockholm and Malaga due to the system failure, which coincided with a bank holiday weekend and the start of the half-term holiday for many people in the UK.

Customers have been advised to continue checking the status of their flight on the airline’s website before leaving for the airport.