Shares in British Airways owner IAG regain altitude with investors waiting for answers as analysts warn clouds remain for the airline

Rebecca Smith
Global IT troubles meant BA cancelled flights across Heathrow and Gatwick over the weekend
Global IT troubles meant BA cancelled flights across Heathrow and Gatwick over the weekend (Source: Getty)

Despite some turbulence yesterday, shares in British Airways owner IAG rebounded today, climbing back to the level they were trading at on Friday before the weekend's IT turmoil.

A power failure in BA's IT systems on Saturday resulted in mass flight cancellations across London Heathrow and Gatwick airports, causing chaos for 75,000 passengers over the bank holiday weekend. Today, BA said the failure came after damage to servers that were overwhelmed when the power returned after an outage, saying: "It was not an IT issue, it was a power issue."

Yesterday, shares in IAG flew to the bottom of the FTSE 100 at the open, dropping four per cent before paring back losses. In early afternoon trading today, shares were up 1.07 per cent to 612p.

Read more: BA faces sky-high bill over IT nightmare as boss says he won't quit

Independent aviation analyst Howard Wheeldon said the bounce back comes as "the damage limitation exercise has started and on past experience, British Airways is good at that".

But the weekend's trouble is expected to land the airline a sky-high bill, with many querying the reputational hit the airline will experience as part of the headaches. RBC Capital Markets' Damian Brewer has said: "The bad PR and potential reputational aftermath will likely hit future revenues beyond the likely material impact on directly related costs".

He added that the IT trouble was "a very unhelpful development for BA customers - and hence IAG shareholders".

BA boss Alex Cruz has pledged the airline will "make sure it doesn't happen again", yet questions remain over what caused the outage and why the back-up failed. Investigations are ongoing into the cause of the power surge.

Wheeldon added:

A lack of honesty about causes worries me. As to share price, we will have to wait and see what they provision as costs relating to this in the June quarter.

On balance I think there are more questions to answer before investors will give the benefit of doubt and rather a lot more before BA's long suffering passengers do the same.

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