British Airways Cancels All Flights From Heathrow and Gatwick

The British Airways has suffered a major global IT system failure which cancelled all its flights out of London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday.

The incident happened before 6PM (UTC+1), and some parts of British Airways’ website and check-in features were unavailable too.

According to the British Airways chief, Alex Cruz in an apology video, the failure was likely caused by a “power supply issue”, and that they have not found any evidence of a server attack.

Even the contact center server was affected and customers were advised to go to the British Airways twitter and website, Heathrow and Gatwick airport websites instead for any information.

Yahoo! News reported that this is the sixth major crash for its recently installed system in the space of roughly a year.

Scottish Flights Cancelled Due To Icelandic Ash Cloud ; Will More European Airspace Be Closed?

A Swiss tourist stands on highway one, just outside the ash fallout zone in Kirkjubaejarklaustur May 22, 2011. REUTERS/Ingolfur Juliusson

Ash from an Icelandic volcano, the Grimsvotn volcano under the Vatnajokull glacier forced the cancellation of dozens of flights to and from Scotland on Tuesday.

Last year, ash from another Icelandic volcano caused 100,000 flights to be canceled, stranding 10 million passengers and costing the industry an estimated $1.7 billion in lost revenue.

(Please click here for ‘Volcano Eruption Closed Airports In Europe’).

Norway’s airport operator said the ash cloud would cause some flight restrictions on its west coast on Tuesday and Denmark said a small area of its airspace would be closed.

Below are some of the flights affected as reported by REUTERS:

1.    Ryanair cancelled 36 flights between Scotland and cities across Europe, was told by the Irish Aviation Authority not to operate flights to Scottish airports until at least 1 p.m. (8 a.m. EDT).

 2.   British Airways said it would not operate any flights between London and Scotland on Tuesday that arrived in Scotland before 8 a.m. EDT or departed from Scotland before that time.

 3.   Flybe, EasyJet and Aer Lingus all said they were cancelling some of their flights to and from Scotland on Tuesday.

 4.    KLM, part of Air France-KLM canceled 16 flights to and from four British cities scheduled for Tuesday. Fights to and from Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle would be canceled on Tuesday morning, it said.

Europe’s air traffic control organization said that if the volcanic emissions continued at the same rate, the cloud could reach western French and northern Spanish airspace on Thursday.

Map locates Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland that has started erupting.
A plane flies past smoke plume from the eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano, under the Vatnajokull glacier in southeast Iceland May 21, 2011. REUTERS/Olafur Sigurjonsson
A cloud of smoke and ash is seen over the Grimsvoetn volcano on Iceland on May 21.  (AFP/File)
Smoke plume rises from the eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano, under the Vatnajokull glacier in southeast Iceland May 21, 2011. Airlines began cancelling flights to Britain late on Monday because of an ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano reaching its airspace, although experts expected no repeat of travel chaos from an eruption a year ago. Picture taken May 21, 2011. REUTERS/Olafur Sigurjonsson
Picture shows the growing ash plume from the Grimsvotn volcano, under the Vatnajokull glacier in southeast Iceland, as its eruption begins May 21, 2011. REUTERS/Ingolfur Bruun
Sequence pictures of the volcano eruption
Sequence pictures of the volcano eruption

A cloud of smoke and ash is seen over the Grimsvoetn volcano on Iceland on May 21. A plume of ash from the erupting volcano is being blown south towards Britain and could reach the airspace over mainland Europe later in the week, meteorological experts said. (AFP)

Latest List Of Airspace And Airlines Affected/Closed as of 2130 GMT on Friday

Please click here for the the updated list of airspace and airport closed as of 1942 GMT Saturday.

Reuters reported that Eurocontrol said on Friday that lots of flights are cancelled because of the volcanic ash from Iceland.

This is a disaster.

The ash was expected to spread further south and east, Eurocontrol said.

Eurocontrol is the European aviation control agency.

Here is a list of countries affected as of 2130 GMT on Friday:

AUSTRIA – Austrian airspace was closed in stages on Friday and authorities said this was likely to continue into Saturday.

BELGIUM – Airspace closed until Saturday 0800 GMT.

BRITAIN – English and Welsh airspace is closed until 1200 GMT on Saturday. Limited flights from Scotland and Northern Ireland and a chance of arrivals and departures at Manchester and Liverpool during the morning.

BULGARIA – Sofia airport open but flights to Western Europe canceled.

DENMARK – Airspace closed until Saturday 0600 GMT.

EGYPT – Egypt canceled 15 flights to Europe on Friday, but Cairo international airport open.

ESTONIA – Airspace closed until Saturday 2400 GMT.

FINLAND – Airspace and airports closed until 1200 GMT on Sunday. Finnair will cancel all traffic until then.

FRANCE – Airports across northern France, including Paris, will remain closed until 1200 GMT on Saturday.

GERMANY – Germany’s airspace and all 16 of its airports will be closed until 1200 GMT.

GREECE – Greek airports were operating on Friday but about 85 flights to Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and the Czech Republic were canceled.

HUNGARY – Hungary closed its airspace from 1700 GMT on Friday for 24 hours.

ITALY – Rome’s Fiumicino airport canceled 34 flights to northern Europe. Alitalia canceled all flights to London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. Milan’s Malpensa airport expected to close on Saturday.

LATVIA – Airspace closed until Saturday, 0600 GMT.

LITHUANIA – All flights canceled and some airspace closed, but local media report air traffic control saying that airspace is technically still open.

LUXEMBOURG – Airspace closed until 1600 GMT.

NETHERLANDS – Airspace closed.

NORWAY – Closed for Friday.

POLAND – Only one airport, in the southeastern city of Rzeszow, was open after airspace over most of the country was closed.

ROMANIA – Bucharest main airport open, although about 60 flights to and from Western Europe were canceled on Friday. Air traffic administration will close three northwestern airports from midnight GMT.

RUSSIA – The airport in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad said it was closed to flights until at least 1700 GMT on Friday as the cloud of ash began spreading toward European parts of Russia. In Russia proper, no major airports closed so far.

SLOVAKIA – All commercial flights from Bratislava canceled since 1300 GMT Friday. Emergency, security and some small private flights continued.

SPAIN – Madrid airport open. Iberia has canceled all its flights to London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Stockholm and Warsaw.

SWEDEN – Closed for Friday.

SWITZERLAND – Civil aviation authorities are temporarily closing Swiss airspace from midnight on Friday, when they expect the ash cloud to reach the country, until 0700 GMT on Saturday.

UKRAINE – Kiev’s Borispol airport open. Two Ukrainian airlines canceled about 11 west-bound flights on Friday.


BRITISH AIRWAYS – All flights canceled on Saturday.

RYANAIR – Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier cancels flights to and from northern European countries until 1200 GMT on Monday. Affects flights to and from Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, northern France, northern Germany, Poland and the Baltic states.

DELTA – Thirty-five flights from European Union countries to the United States canceled on Saturday.

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