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Hundreds of #BritishAirways #flights cancelled or delayed after #IT glitch, #London, #UK

Passengers were advised to go home at Terminal 5 at Heathrow

British Airways travellers are facing cancellations and delays to their flights due to an IT glitch which has crashed online check-ins in the middle of the summer holidays.

The airline has cancelled 81 flights to or from Heathrow as well as 10 at Gatwick, affecting around 15,000 passengers.

More than 200 other flights have been delayed, with some more than five hours behind schedule.

The company apologised to customers for the disruption as images posted on social media by those waiting to fly out showed long queues at airports and error messages on the airline app.

BA ticketholders travelling to the UK from elsewhere – including from the United States, Japan and Vietnam – also vented their frustration online, suggesting a knock-on effect with planes and crews out of position.

A BA spokesman said: “We are very sorry to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans.

“We are working as quickly as possible to resolve a systems issue which has resulted in some short-haul cancellations and delays from London airports.”

The airline said it was offering customers booked on short-haul flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City on Wednesday the opportunity to rebook for another day.

“A number of flights continue to operate but we are advising customers to check for the latest flight information before coming to the airport,” the spokesman added.

“We are encouraging customers to check for the latest flight information, and to allow additional time at the airport.”

BA said it was not a global outage, and that it was relying on back-up and manual systems to cope with the computer problems.

The airline, which is owned by International Airlines Group, could face a compensation bill in excess of £5m if all those affected claim what they are entitled to under European Union rules.

Holidaymakers arriving at Terminal 5 at Heathrow have been greeted by digital message boards which told them “short-haul check-in is closed” and urging them to make their way back home.

Ysanne Bonner tweeted that she had “spent weeks preparing an anxious teen for our holiday to Naples”, only to learn two hours before leaving that their flight had been cancelled.

“No idea if we will get our long planned & saved for and much needed week away. Devastated but trying to remain hopeful,” she wrote.

Others like Joanna Lewis said they had spent hundreds of pounds on new flights with another airline. “Nice end to the holiday,” she tweeted.

Some already abroad and facing delays or cancellations to their flights home saw the positive in being forced to extend their summer escapades.

“At least if the flight’s cancelled, then we’ll be stuck in sunny Spain,” tweeted Becky Crane.

Many passengers complained of little or no information on the status of their flights, while others who had better experiences commended staff for “managing the chaos”.

Darren Rowe, from the Cotswolds, said his 10.20am flight to Hamburg from Heathrow for business meetings was cancelled before “all chaos let loose”.

He said: “There were massive queues, it was queue here, queue there, nobody was saying anything. The lack of information was just pathetic.

“You’ve got young families in that queue, people going to weddings, birthdays, on business. They could have had somebody come around with water updating people about what was going on.”

Courtesy of Sky News

#Gatwick #Airport #Flights #Suspended After #SystemsIssue #CyberAttack?

A British Airways plane lands at Gatwick airport which had been closed after drones were spotted over the airfield Wednesday night and throughout Thursday.

Gatwick Airport says flights have been suspended due to an “air traffic control system issue” in the control tower.

Outbound and inbound flights will be delayed until at least 9pm, according to the Eurocontrol Netowrk Operations Portal.

A statement from Gatwick says: “Due to an air traffic control systems issue in Gatwick’s control tower, flights are currently suspended. We are working with ANS, our air traffic control provider, to rectify this issue as quickly as possible.

“We apologise and passengers should check with their airline directly or on our website flights page for the latest information on their flight.”

Due to an air traffic control systems issue in Gatwick’s control tower, flights are currently suspended. We are working with ANS, our air traffic control provider, to rectify this issue as quickly as possible.

— Gatwick Airport LGW (@Gatwick_Airport) July 10, 2019

UPDATE: 10 July 18.10: Due to an air traffic control systems issue in Gatwick’s control tower, flights remain suspended. We are working with ANS, our provider, to rectify this issue as quickly as possible. We apologise and advise passengers to check flight info with your airline.

— Gatwick Airport LGW (@Gatwick_Airport) July 10, 2019

The issue began at 5.08pm on Wednesday afternoon.

The airport say there is already a divert plan in place, and inbound flights are being sent to other airports.

Gatwick, in West Sussex, is Britain’s second busiest airport, behind Heathrow.

Courtesy of Sky News

‘Powerful’ cyberattack on Ukraine goes global

A “powerful” cyberattack that started in Ukraine has spread across the world, hitting banks, government IT systems and energy firms. British, Russian and Dutch companies are among those targeted by the “powerful” hack, which is quickly spreading.

Ukraine cyberattack cripples government website and banks

Ukraine has been hit by a major cyberattack that has taken down the government’s IT network.
Banks, the state airline manufacturer and electricity distributor were also targeted.
Russia simultaneously said its state oil giant Rosnet and steelmaker Evraz were hit by the “powerful” hack.
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Pavlo Rozenko posted a picture of a computer error on Twitter as details of the outage emerged.
The central bank claimed an “unknown virus” had hit lenders, but did not name those affected.
It said in a statement: “As a result of these cyber attacks these banks are having difficulties with client services and carrying out banking operations.
“The central bank is confident that the banking infrastructure’s defence against cyber fraud is properly set up and attempted cyber attacks on banks’ IT systems will be neutralised.”
Russian oil producer Rosnet said it hoped the incident was not connected to “legal proceedings”, as it prepares to sue a rival firm over the acquisition of another energy company for 170 billion rubles (£2.25 billion).
It “could have had serious consequences”, the company said, but thanks to a back-up system “the production and extraction of oil were not stopped”.
The disruptions follow a spate of hacking attempts on Ukrainian state websites in late-2016 and repeated attacks on the country’s power grid that prompted security chiefs to call for improved cyber defences.
Courtesy of Sky News

Qatar-based TV channel Al Jazeera ‘hit by cyberattack’

Qatar-based TV channel Al Jazeera has claimed all its systems, websites and social media accounts have been hit by a cyberattack.
The company said it was experiencing “systematic and continual hacking attempts” which were “gaining intensity and taking various forms”.
But a senior employee told the Reuters news agency the international broadcaster is “combatting” the onslaught and all its systems are still “operational”.
Hours after the Al Jazeera claim, Qatar’s separate state-run TV broadcaster claimed it had shut down its website temporarily “for security reasons” after hacking attempts.
The claim of a cyberattack on Thursday comes as Al Jazeera is at the centre of Qatar’s row with fellow Arab states over allegations the country supports terrorism.
Al Jazeera is owned by Qatar’s government and funded by the Gulf state’s ruling Al Thani family, prompting accusations it is used as a key pillar of the country’s foreign policy.
The broadcaster has often proved an irritant to its fellow states in the region, with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain – leading actors in the ongoing diplomatic crisis – all blocking Al Jazeera’s website in their countries last month.
The four countries, as well as Yemen, this week accused Doha of destabilising the region by backing extremist groups, including Islamic State.
In a coordinated move, the five states broke off diplomatic ties with Qatar and halted all land, air and sea traffic to the country.
Qatari citizens living in any of the five territories have been given two weeks to leave.
It has been suggested Qatar’s neighbours could demand the complete shutdown of Al Jazeera as part of a resolution to the crisis.
The broadcaster’s offices have previously been closed in Saudi Arabia and Jordan while Egypt has imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists.
Arab governments have been angered by the air time Al Jazeera has given to Islamist groups in countries such as Syria and Libya. The channel has also hosted guests hostile to other countries’ rulers.
On Thursday, Al Jazeera’s acting director-general Mostefa Souag dismissed claims the broadcaster is interfering in the affairs of neighbouring countries, while Qatar has denied the claims it supports terrorist organisations.
The gas-rich state’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani declared on Thursday the country is “not ready to surrender” amid the crisis.
He said: “We have been isolated because we are successful and progressive. We are a platform for peace not terrorism.
“This dispute is threatening the stability of the entire region.
“We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy.”
Despite the growing tensions, Qatar’s foreign minister insisted “there cannot ever be a military solution to this problem”.
He also defended Qatar’s right to support groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, despite it being banned in other Arab nations, and claimed the country is “not worried” about a food shortage due to its isolation.
The closure of Qatar’s only land border, with Saudi Arabia, has raised fears of the country running out of supplies for its 2.7m people, with long queues forming at supermarkets which are struggling for food stock.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s parliament has approved a bill allowing the country to base more troops in Qatar in an apparent show of support.
The move sparked accusations Doha was heightening the crisis by seeking help from Turkey and Iran, the biggest adversary of Saudi Arabia and its allies.
Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s foreign affairs minister, claimed “the great escalation” from Qatar could result in “a new tragic and comic chapter”.
Courtesy of Sky News

Major IT System Failure To British Airways From Gatwick and Heathrow

British Airways has cancelled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick until 18:00 BST because of computer problems.
A “major IT system failure is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide”, the airline said.
It apologised for the “global system outage” and said it was “working to resolve the problem”.
Heathrow Airport said it was “working closely” with BA to solve the issue.
There is no evidence at this stage to suggest the system failure was caused by a cyber attack, BA told BBC business correspondent Joe Lynam.
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.
In a statement, the airline asked passengers with flights before 18:00 BST on Saturday not to come to Gatwick or Heathrow airports, which it said had become “extremely congested”.
Other airlines flying in and out of Heathrow and Gatwick are unaffected.
Heathrow has said passengers travelling with BA after 18:00 BST should check the status of their flight before travelling to the airport.
The problems mean parts of BA’s website are unavailable and some travellers claimed they could not check in on the mobile app.
BA aircraft landing at Heathrow are unable to park up 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”.
BA staff in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 were resorting to using white boards, according to passenger Gareth Wharton.
Delays have been reported in Rome, Prague, Milan, Stockholm and Malaga due to the system failure.
Philip Bloom said he had been waiting on board a Heathrow-bound flight at Belfast for two hours.
He added: “We haven’t been told very much just that there is a worldwide computer system failure.
“We were told that we couldn’t even get on other flights because they are unable to see what flights we can be moved to.”
The BBC’s Phillip Norton was at Rome International airport, waiting to fly to London.
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.
She said: “When we finally boarded the captain came out and told us their computer systems were down worldwide.
“Eventually after sitting on the tarmac for one and a half hours we disembarked the plane.
“Now we are sitting in the departure area outside the gate.”
Ms Saffari, who is with her 13-month-old baby, said she had been given a voucher for food and drink.
If your flight departed the European Union or was with a European airline, you might have rights under EU law to claim if the delay or cancellation was within the airline’s control
Short-haul flights: 250 euros for delays of more than three hours
Medium-haul flights: 400 euros for delays of more than three hours
Long-haul flights: 300 euros for delays of between three and four hours; and 600 euros for delays of more than four hours
If your flight’s delayed for two or more hours the airline must offer food and drink, access to phone calls and emails, and accommodation if you’re delayed overnight – including transfers between the airport and the hotel
Courtesy of BBC News