IBM has issued a formal apology to Air New Zealand and its customers after an IT systems outage took out the airline's online bookings engine and call centre yesterday.
"We regret any inconvenience caused to our clients or their customers," IBM said in a statement.
In an internal email sent by Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe and published by the Sydney Morning Herald, IBM made an "amateur response" to the outage.
"I am struggling to recall a time where I have seen a supplier so slow to react to a catastrophic system failure and so unwilling to accept responsibility and apologise to its client and its client's customers," he was reported to have said.
Fyfe reportedly threatened to take the airline's business elsewhere to "an IT supplier whom we have confidence in."
IBM, which was due to meet Air New Zealand representatives to discuss the matter today, defended its response to the outage in its apology.
"The cause of yesterday's power outage at the Newton data centre has not been fully determined," the IT services giant said in a statement.
"IBM's primary focus was to rapidly restore services to our clients, and in particular to Air New Zealand. IBM immediately engaged a team of 32 local IT professionals supported by global colleagues and management to restore impacted client systems. Services to most clients were restored within an hour of the outage."
IBM said it has now commissioned an "independent expert to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the outage."
"However the likely cause appears to have been a failed oil pressure sensor on a backup generator.