03/09/2011

A very late easyJet departure in January

The reason why an easyJet flight only left for Edinburgh after 0h30 on the morning of January 23 is explained on the airport Web site. Was such a late departure really necessary?


For a long time now, ARAG have campaigned that people living around the airport should know the reason when the airport authorities grant a special derogation for a commercial flight after 0h29 at night. The standard answer from the Geneva airport management has always been that OFAC have been told the reasons and have accepted the explanation.

After ARAG invoked the law on access to public documents ( LIPAD - Loi sur l'information du public et l'accès aux documents) the airport will now, as from January 2011, put this information on their web site. Thus, slowly, the attitude of secrecy is being whittled away.

The first such explanation is of an Airbus A319 which arrived on the evening of Saturday 22 January, and for which a technical problem was detected as it landed. After lots of hard work to fix the problem, followed by herculean efforts to board the passengers (who had been waiting for over 4 hours) in a record time, the aircraft left just after the 0h29 time limit.

That all sounds fine, doesn't it? However, a more detailed review suggests that this might well have been avoided in quite a simple manner.

The Airbus was, not surprisingly, an easyJet UK aircraft G-EZNC, coming from Edinburgh and due to return there the same night. This same aircraft would then come back to Geneva the next morning, returning again to Edinburgh. This aircraft is essentially identical to the fleet of A319 operated by easyJet Switzerland, and we often see UK aircraft operate flights of easyJet Switzerland and vice versa. We have even seen, twice in February, Swiss aircraft flown out empty from Geneva in order to operate easyJet UK flights somewhere else, before returning empty again to Geneva.

My suggestion is that an available easyJet Switzerland A319 could, and should, have been used in place of this defective UK aircraft, leaving for Edinburgh much earlier than 0h30 and returning from Edinburgh the next morning. The UK aircraft, then repaired in less haste, could have operated one easyJet Switzerland rotation next morning, before going back to Edinburgh. Might this have been possible?

On that Saturday night, one of these Swiss aircraft (HB-JZG) had returned from Rome at around 6h30 pm and was not scheduled to fly again until the next day? That would have been the obvious aircraft to replace the defective UK aircraft. However, even if HB-JZG was unavailable (maybe being maintained), two other Swiss easyJet A319 aircraft came back to Geneva before 10pm, each having done only three rotations. Using one of these would have enabled the Edinburgh flight to leave by around 11pm, much better than well after midnight.

I don't know whether easyJet Switzerland will deign to answer these suggestions, perhaps invoking some particular technical or organisational reasons why this could not have been possible: people can be very adept in finding reasons for not doing things, especially in retrospect. However, my answer would have been the old phrase

Where there's a will, there's a way!

15:09 Posted in easyJet anecdotes | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: easyjet, edinburgh, geneva | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

Comments

I agree with you, when there's a will there is always a way!

Posted by: Flights | 03/10/2011

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