Dutch carrier, KLM experienced a short power outage at its headquarters in Schipol Airport, Amsterdam today leading to the airline cancelling around 29 flights as hundreds more faced lengthy delays. The airline was not able to immediately say what the cause of the power failure had been.
By the late afternoon, KLM said it had managed to restore power and that both its operational systems and customer service telephone lines were back up and running. KLM was quick to point out that safety had never been compromised and flights that had already departed would not be affected.
The airline’s operations at Schipol in the Netherlands were already facing difficulties as a winter storm continues to affect the whole of Europe. Amsterdam has been facing snow showers, strong winds and a biting cold as low as -8c at times.
According to data from Flight Aware, 29% of departures at Schipol had been delayed on Wednesday. KLM said it had limited the cancellations to short-haul European flights.
In comparison to similar incidents, it’s probably fair to say that KLM got off lightly. In December 2017, a massive 11-hour power cut at Delta Air Lines main hub of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport led to the carrier grounding over 300 flights. Delta claims the disruption cost it $50 million.
Delta’s chief executive, Ed Bastian has said he will seek repayment from the airport for the losses his airline suffered.
In 2016, the airline suffered its own power outage which took Delta’s computer systems offline. In that incident, customers around the world were stranded when a “critical power control module” malfunctioned. Reports suggest the faulty equipment cost Delta $100 million.
Then there was the British Airways IT-Meltdown in May 2017 – the airline pointed to human error for the power failure which saw 75,000 passengers grounded. Estimates suggest British Airways lost $112 although even that didn’t stop the airline from making record profits last year.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.