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British Airways moves to manual systems, resumes operations after ‘meltdown’

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British Airways said its flights were returning to normal after passengers had to endure cancellations, delays and long queues at London airports as the airline suffered its third major computer failure in a little more than two years.

British Airways was forced to cancel around 100 flights to and from London on Wednesday after it suffered “a systems issue”.

Reports suggested at least 18,000 passengers were grounded after the services in and out of Gatwick and Heathrow — Britain’s busiest airports — were cancelled.

More than 60 flights to and from Heathrow and Gatwick were cancelled and more than 100 were delayed, according to the departure boards at the two airports.

More than 200 other BA flights were delayed, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

The problems started when people tried to check in for the first flights of the day and lasted for about 12 hours.

Customers could not check in online, while others complained of being stuck on planes unable to take off for hours. Passengers from as far away as Japan and India complained of delays.

BA, owned by International Airlines Group, apologised to customers for Wednesday’s disruption and warned it would take time for operations to return to normal.

“A number of flights continue to operate,” the company said, stressing that two systems were affected on Wednesday: one that deals with the check-in system, the other handling flight departures.

The airline said it had moved to back-up manual systems for checking in passengers to keep some flights operating and offered customers the chance to rebook for another day.

“We are working as quickly as possible to resolve a systems issue which has resulted in some short-haul cancellations and delays from London airports,” the airline said in a statement.

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