British Airways CEO puts cost of recent IT outage at 80 million pounds

Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group speaks during the closing press briefing at the 2016 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Dublin, Ireland June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

MADRID (Reuters) - A technological failure which stranded tens of thousands of British Airways (BA) passengers in May will cost the company around 80 million pounds, Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA parent International Airlines Group (IAG), said on Thursday.

The figure was an initial estimate, Walsh told at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Madrid.

In addition to BA, IAG owns Aer Lingus, Vueling and Spain’s Iberia.

BA suffered a disruption at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports when a power surge knocked out its IT system forcing it to cancel almost two-thirds of all flights on May 27, which fell on a busy bank holiday weekend.

Heathrow suffered further setbacks on Thursday after a baggage system failure prevented luggage from being checked in at terminals 3 and 5. The problem has been resolved.

Reporting by Robert Hetz; writing by Paul Day; editing by Jason Neely