British Airways says Heathrow flights hit by computer problems

A number of British Airways flights were canceled or being delayed by several hours at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. (Reuters)
Updated 19 July 2018
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British Airways says Heathrow flights hit by computer problems

LONDON: British Airways canceled and delayed flights at London’s Heathrow, Europe’s biggest airport, on Wednesday due to problems with a supplier’s IT systems, the airline said.
A number of British Airways flights were canceled or being delayed by several hours at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, according to the airport’s departure board.
“We are working with our supplier to resolve the matter and are sorry for the disruption to our customers’ travel plans,” British Airways said in a statement.
The carrier suffered a massive computer system failure in May 2017, caused by a power supply issue near Heathrow, which stranded 75,000 customers over a busy holiday weekend.
Its chief executive said at the time it would take steps to ensure such an incident never happened again.
Passengers at the airport on Wednesday described chaotic scenes as people tried to catch flights and complained there was a lack of information from the airline.
“Utter chaos at LHR, no communication, no emergency processes and no clue,” one passenger Dominic Hill said on Twitter.
A number of flights at the airport were earlier disrupted after a control tower was evacuated because of a fire alarm.


World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

Updated 21 August 2018
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World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

  • The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter
  • Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China

OSLO: The managers of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, expressed concern Tuesday about global trade tensions, which could heavily impact its value.
The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter, helping erase a loss of 171 billion kroner in January-March that was attributed to a volatile stock market.
The Government Pension Fund Global, which saw its total value swell to 8.33 trillion kroner by the end of June, manages the country’s oil revenues in order to finance Norway’s generous welfare state when its oil and gas wells run dry.
But Norway’s central bank, which runs the fund, said geopolitical and trade tensions presented a risk.
“It’s fair to say that increased trade barriers or even trade wars will not be beneficial for the fund as a long-term global investor,” Trond Grande, the deputy chief of Norges Bank Investment Management, told reporters.
Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China. Accusing Beijing of unfair competition, the US administration is considering slapping a new round of levies worth $200 billion on Chinese goods.
Talks between the two slated for Wednesday and Thursday aimed at resolving the dispute have however eased concerns somewhat.
Following US-Turkey tensions that sent the Turkish lira and the Istanbul stock market tumbling, the Norwegian fund said its assets there were worth less than the 23 billion kroner they were at the beginning of the year.
“We’ve seen the market rise for a long time, that there are different political and geopolitical events in the world that can affect the market, and we have to be prepared for the fact that (the value of) the fund can go down a lot,” Grande concluded.
The fund’s strong second quarter was attributed primarily to its share portfolio, which accounts for 66.8 percent of its investments and which rose by 2.7 percent.
Real estate holdings, which account for 2.6 percent of its holdings, rose by 1.9 percent, while bond investments, which represent 30.6 percent, remained flat.
Faced with falling oil revenues in recent years, the Norwegian government has been tapping the fund to finance public spending since 2015. But with oil prices recovering, the fund registered its first inflow in three years in June.