British Airways (BA) hit the headlines over the recent bank holiday weekend when more than 300,000 passengers were severely delayed due to a catastrophic computing failure. The truth of what actually occurred is still emerging, even several weeks on. While some have blamed the outage on a power surge so powerful that it rendered the back-up system ineffective it has been suggested from various quarters that this only seems to be part of the picture.
Either way, the fallout has served to underline how, in the complex world of 21st century aviation, a single technical problem can rapidly spiral and have a truly enormous impact. Hundreds of thousands of passengers delayed and a subsequent compensation bill that may run into the millions. On top of this there’s the potential for severe reputational damage and the loss of future revenue this can bring.