British Airways’ systems crash which left 75,000 bank holiday travellers stranded may have been the result of an engineer disconnecting and then reconnecting the power supply to the airline’s data centre.
Airline boss Willie Walsh suggested that human error was behind the crash and said the engineer had not been “wasn’t authorised to do what he did”.
Mr Walsh, who is attending the International Air Transport Association global summit in Mexico, was reported by The Guardian as saying: “You could cause a mistake to disconnect the power, it’s difficult for me to understand how you can mistakenly reconnect the power.”
He said “physical damage to the servers and distribution panels” was caused when the power was reconnected that made it difficult for BA to quickly overcome the problem.
Mr Walsh, who is chief executive of BA owner International Airlines Group (IAG) and has overseen cost-cutting measures at the airline, said the company had not “got communications right” over the incident.
The global IT outage left the carrier unable to resume a full schedule until the following Tuesday, and affected thousands of passengers.
Many passengers complained BA had left them in the dark as to what was going on, and the airline is facing calls to automatically compensate passengers.
BA has ordered an independent investigation into the incident.