‘Inexperienced’ BA boss who oversaw cost-cutting drive is blamed for IT meltdown which could cost £150m: Thousands of passengers forced to queue OUTSIDE Heathrow and Gatwick as airline struggles to clear backlog

Sunday, May 28, 2017
By Paul Martin

British Airways boss Alex Cruz has been blamed for the IT meltdown that saw at least 1,000 flights disrupted
Union bosses said chaos would have been averted if hundreds of skilled IT jobs were not outsourced to India
Mr Cruz took over the airline a year ago, and since then customer satisfaction has taken a sharp slump
Travellers queued out the doors at Heathrow and Gatwick on Sunday in order to rebook their cancelled trips
Dozens more flights were cancelled at Heathrow on Sunday morning as Gatwick was running with delays
Experts have said the airline could now be liable for £150million compensation, the largest ever payment

28 May 2017

British Airways boss Alex Cruz has been blamed for causing the computer meltdown that saw thousands of passengers stranded on Saturday after outsourcing hundreds of IT job to India.

Mr Cruz, who founded low-cost carrier Clickair and headed budget airline Vueling before being appointed BA chief last year, was accused of replacing highly-skilled British IT professionals with low-cost overseas workers.

GMB union chiefs said the IT outage, which experts believed could cost the airline £150million in compensation, would have been avoided if those jobs had been allowed to remain in the UK.

The accusation came as people stuck at Heathrow, where dozens more flights were cancelled on Sunday, vented their fury – describing the situation there as ‘leaderless’ and ‘chaotic’.

Flights were taking off from Gatwick on Sunday, though some were running with an hour of delays.

Since being appointed in April last year, Mr Cruz has overseen a cost-cutting drive that removed free food from short-haul flights and has seen customer satisfaction plunge.

A Which? report in December last year found that average customer satisfaction with BA had fallen to 67 per cent for short-haul and 60 per cent for long-haul flights, putting it 10th in a table of 23 British carriers.

The airline’s value for money rating dropped from three stars last year to two, while its food rating also fell from four stars down to two.

Vueling, the airline formerly run by Mr Cruz, came last in the Which? list of short-haul airlines flying from the UK, as customers said they feared the former ‘world’s favourite airline’ was going in the direction of budget carriers, analysts from Which? said.

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