A further five airlines have been affected by the disruption.
Passengers described "chaotic" scenes at the airports, with some criticising BA for a lack of information. The airline has apologised, and told passengers not to come to the airport.
BA chief executive Alex Cruz said: The GMB union has suggested the failure could have been avoided, had the airline not outsourced its IT work. BA denied the claim, saying: All passengers affected by the failure - which coincides with the first weekend of the half-term holiday for many in the UK - will be offered the option of rescheduling or a refund.
The airline, which had previously said flights would be cancelled until Other airlines flying in and out of the two airports are unaffected. Aviation expert Julian Bray said: BA aircraft landing at Heathrow are unable to park as outbound aircraft cannot vacate the gates, which has resulted in passengers being stuck on aircraft.
Journalist Martyn Kent said he had been sitting on a plane at Heathrow for 90 minutes. He said the captain told passengers the IT problems were "catastrophic". Philip Bloom said he had been waiting on board a Heathrow-bound flight at Belfast for two hours.
The GMB union says this meltdown could have been avoided if BA had not made hundreds of IT staff redundant and outsourced their jobs to India at the end of last year. Yes, the union has a big axe to grind, but people will want to know if the airline made its IT systems more vulnerable by scaling back computer support to save money - although BA has just flatly denied it to me.
IT problems ripple through an airline.
If planes cannot take off, they cannot leave gaps at the gate for others to land. If flights are delayed by more than around five hours, the airline must swap crews because shift lengths are strictly limited for safety reasons.
Telling customers to stay away is a drastic measure, but it is the only chance BA has of clearing the backlog of flights. He said BA staff were unable to say how long delays would be, telling him "all flights are grounded around the world".
Alma Saffari was in Marseille waiting to get her flight back to Heathrow.The acronym PESTEL stands for political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors affecting businesses.
Accordingly, British Airways PESTEL analysis involves an analysis of the impact of these external factors on the airline. British Airways is a major international airline. British Airways has cancelled all flights in and out of Heathrow until this evening because of unofficial strike action by ground staff.
Some 70, passengers, some of them stranded, will be affected by today's action. British Airways Economic Factor Anylsis By Bbc British Airways – Operational Environmental Introduction British Airways (BA) is the UK’s largest international scheduled airline, currently flying to over destinations.
British Airways Economic Factor Anylsis By Bbc British Airways – Operational Environmental Introduction British Airways (BA) is the UK’s largest international scheduled airline, currently flying to over destinations. Serious problems with British Airways' IT systems have led to thousands of passengers having their plans disrupted, after all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick were cancelled.
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