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Fyfe blasts IBM for outages

written by WOFA | October 13, 2009

Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe has labelled IBM’s service as “amateur” in an internal email following a major systems outage which affected the airline on October 11.

The outage affected the airline’s check-in systems at airports across New Zealand, online bookings and call centres for seven hours from 0430 New Zealand time, affecting 10,000 travellers.

According to the email, which was published by Computerworld, Fyfe said he struggled “to recall a time where I have seen a supplier so slow to react to a catastrophic system failure such as this and so unwilling to accept responsibility and apologise to its client and its client’s customers” during his working career.

“My expectations of IBM were far higher than the amateur results that were delivered yesterday, and I have been left with no option but to ask the IT team to review the full range of options available to us to ensure we have an IT supplier whom we have confidence in and one who understands and is fully committed to our business and the needs of our customers.”

Air New Zealand’s short haul airlines group general manager, Bruce Parton, told Radio New Zealand the fault appeared to have been caused by a power failure, followed by a delay in a back-up generator running. “Ten thousand-plus customers affected on the last day of holidays, and millions of dollars of revenue not going through our online site, you can be assured we’ll be having some very serious discussions with IBM today,” he said.

Air New Zealand outsourced its mainframe to IBM in 1997.


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