British Airways boss 'won't resign' after flight chaos

IT failure, not cost-cutting measures, blamed for mass cancellations

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The boss of British Airways has said he will not resign after thousands of passengers were left stranded over the bank holiday weekend, claiming the disruption had nothing to do with cutting costs.

BA chief executive Alex Cruz told the BBC that Saturday's IT failure, which caused mass cancelations, was due to a power surge and not because of technical staff being outsourced from the UK to India.

In his first interview since the incident, which affected more than 75,000 holidaymakers, Cruz said he was "profusely sorry" to the thousands of passengers still stranded at airports worldwide and added that the company was working to "make sure that it doesn't happen again".

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However, "questions remain about how a power problem could have had such impact", says the BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. "One theory was that returning systems were unusable as the data had become unsynchronised".

On Monday, the GMB union repeated its claims that the disruption could have been avoided if BA had not outsourced IT roles last year.

"BA have made substantial profits for a number of years, and many viewed the company's actions as just plain greedy," said the GMB's Mick Rix.

BA is liable to reimburse thousands of passengers for refreshments and hotel expenses, and The Times estimates that the cost could exceed £150m.

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