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UK air traffic group to compensate airlines for travel chaos

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Airlines will get a rebate on their fees to Britain's National Air Traffic Service (NATS) to compensate them for a computer failure last week which disrupted hundreds of flights.

[LONDON] Airlines will get a rebate on their fees to Britain's National Air Traffic Service (NATS) to compensate them for a computer failure last week which disrupted hundreds of flights.

"The amount is being calculated and will be notified to customers in due course," said NATS, which is jointly owned by the government, a group of airlines including British Airways owner IAG and others.

A similar incident a year ago cost NATS 7.4 million pounds (US$11.6 million) in lost incentives and penalties, according to the group's annual report.

Thousands of passengers suffered disruption last Friday when the glitch caused cancellations and delays to flights at London's Heathrow airport.

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British Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin called the incident "simply unacceptable".

Air traffic officials said Friday's system failure occurred during a switchover of air controllers' workstations, which are put into operation or placed on standby as demand varies.

REUTERS

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