easyJet: pride cometh after a fall!

The airport website today has an announcement, dated 5 April (!), of easyJet passenger 30 million leaving today, 28 April. Might they also commentate on some less glorious recent easyJet fiascos?

The proud announcement on the gva.ch web site today is dated 5 April 2011, yet celebrates passenger number 30,000,000 leaving for Porto this morning. Did they really know, three weeks ago, what would be the name of this passenger?

This announcement today comes just one day after what looks remarkably like one of the many regrettable incidents last Summer, where an aircraft of easyJet Switzerland apparently has a technical problem which prevents it from flying for some considerable time. I had believed that easyJet Switzerland has finally accepted the need for a spare aircraft in Geneva, to cater for such problems, but they do not yet appear to have fully learned the lessons of last year.

The aircraft which, yesterday, apparently had a technical problem was the A319 Airbus HB-JZU, used for the flight EZS1573 to Stockholm and back. It took off from Geneva at 1h21 pm but never returned. Instead, a UK aircraft (G-EZBY) was specially flown to Stockholm to operate the return flight EZS1574, so they got here about 5 hours late, landing at 11h19 pm. The company then seems to have convinced the airport to accept that the aircraft then leave Geneva as a ferry (empty) flight at just 10 minutes before midnight! I have to say that I consider this as unacceptable.

You might think that this incident would not affect other easyJet Switzerland flights that day, because there was a spare aircraft (HB-JZO) in Geneva. Unfortunately, it had been decided to send this aircraft out empty in the morning, in order to do a return trip for easyJet UK between Paris and Zagreb. Thus, with the Stockholm aircraft stranded, easyJet Switzerland were again missing an aircraft. As last year, they used easyJet UK aircraft to run Geneva-Gatwick returns in reverse, using easyJet UK aircraft. This meant that the last easyJet flight to Gatwick left about 2h40 late, taking off at 11h31 pm.

Sounds all complicated, maybe even reasonable, until you ask yourself why that last flight to Gatwick could not have been done by HB-JZO, which had come back (empty) to Geneva at about 4h45 pm (at which time they would already have known about the Stockholm problems).

Another case where the interest of the company appears to take precedence over the wishes of people living around the airport to have a quiet night's sleep.

I am also awaiting the explanation from the airport of why, for a similar type of problem on 20 April (at Madrid, rather then at Stockholm), an easyJet Switzerland returning aircraft was given a special derogation to land here at 0h40 am.

When the explanation comes, I will have a comment!

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