IAG boss Willie Walsh says disruption from British Airways' IT meltdown will cost £80m in an "initial assessment"

 
Rebecca Smith
Thousands of passengers were affected by BA's global IT troubles last month
Thousands of passengers were affected by BA's global IT troubles last month (Source: Getty)

The boss of British Airways parent company IAG has said the global IT meltdown which affected 75,000 passengers last month has cost £80m in an "initial assessment".

IAG's chief executive Willie Walsh told shareholders at IAG's annual general meeting today in Madrid: "Our initial assessment of the gross cost of the disruption is in the order of £80m. We will update the market at the appropriate time with more details."

Read more: BA owner to face turbulence at AGM this week over airline's IT crash

A power outage over the late May bank holiday weekend caused mass flight cancellations across London Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The GMB union had raised concerns over BA’s outsourcing of IT work, which the airline has denied was to blame at all for the troubles, and Walsh stressed that again today.

"We have launched an independent investigation into what happened and will provide an update when that investigation is completed," he said. "What we do know at this stage however, is that this failure had absolutely nothing to do with changes to the way we resource our IT systems and services."

Walsh said the airline was "working hard" to ensure affected passengers are compensated as soon as possible after BA cancelled 726 flights, around 28 per cent of its flights, over three days.

He also apologised again for the disruption, saying: "I know that it was a dreadful experience for many of our customers and we are truly sorry."

Shares in IAG dipped 3.56 per cent in early afternoon trading to 583p.

Read more: British Airways in talks with Capita to offload call centres

Analysts had previously voiced concerns the bill could be higher still, with the reputational damage to BA another element.

Robin Byde, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said the hit could run to £100m accounting for “compensation, refunds or rebooked flights, additional staffing and related costs, system recovery costs, and passengers choosing another carrier”.

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

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