British Airways has cancelled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick until 18:00 BST because of computer problems.
A “major IT system failure that is causing very severe disruption to our flight operations worldwide”, the airline said.
It apologised for the “global system outage” and said it was “working to resolve the the problem”.
Heathrow Airport said it was “working closely” with BA to solve the issue.
There is no evidence at this stage to suggest the system failure was caused by a cyber attack, BA told the BBC’s business correspondent, Joe Lynam
All affected passengers will be offered the option of rescheduling or a refund.
In a statement, the airline asked passengers with flights before 18:00 BST on Saturday not to come to Gatwick or Heathrow airports, which it said had become “extremely congested”.
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