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There's been much talk that Russia would use cyber warfare in its battle against Ukraine and its allies, but British Airways said its IT failure is unrelated to that conflict.

British Airways (BA) said it would cancel all short-haul flights from London’s Heathrow airport until midday on Saturday as it deals with an IT failure.

The airline has said the problem, which came to light on Friday and affected its website, app, and airport operations, was not caused by a cyber attack but was a hardware issue.

BA has been caught up in tit-for-tat bans by Russia and Britain that have stopped their respective national carriers from using each other’s airspace.

“We are extremely sorry that due to the continuing technical issues we are facing we have regrettably had to cancel all short-haul flights from Heathrow today until midday,” the airline said in a statement.

“Our long-haul services at Heathrow and all flights at Gatwick and London City Airport are due to operate as planned, but customers may experience some delays. Our website ba.com is working and customers can check-in online and at the airport,” the airline said.

It advised passengers to check on its website for the latest information before travelling to the airport as more disruption was expected.

BA, owned by IAG, was hit by a major computer system failure in 2017 that stranded 75,000 passengers over a holiday weekend, sparking a public relations disaster and pledges from the carrier that it would do better in future.

The company said customers would be offered a full refund for cancelled services or could rebook at a later date for free.

“We know we have let our customers down and we will do everything we can to make this up to them – but for now our focus is on getting as many customers and flights away as we can.”

(Reporting by Michael Holden Editing by Catherine Evans and Mark Potter)

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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Tags: british airways, flights, heathrow, reservations systems, russia, travel tech

Photo credit: A file photo of a British Airways plane in the runway at Heathrow. The airline said an IT failure led it to cancel certain flights from the London airport. Beechwood Photography / Flickr

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