Reason has finally prevailed.

For years ARAG and others have argued that the scheduling of the late evening Air Mauritius flight is unreasonable. The airport management has finally concurred, though not for this summer.

Those of us living in the Versoix region had the doubtful pleasure of hearing, yet again, the departure of the very noisy Air Mauritius Airbus A340 just after midnight this morning, 25 June. The ARAG microphone in Versoix indicated that this takeoff was twice as loud as any other of the day. Even in Nernier, over which the aircraft flew, the noise was considerable (the aircraft climbs as slowly as an overfed vulture).

For years, ARAG, aided by some communal representatives on the Airport Environmental Commission, has argued that the scheduling of this flight is unreasonable, giving rise to many such very late and very noisy departures. The main problem is that the aircraft comes from Frankfurt to Geneva, before leaving Geneva quite late in the evening. Thus, whenever there is any delay in Frankfurt, or in the stopover in Geneva, we have to suffer the noise of a very late and noisy takeoff.

It appears that the airport management has finally allowed reason to triumph over an obstinate desire not to lose face. As from the winter schedules of 2011/2012, the flight will be a direct Mauritius-Geneva-Mauritius connection. It is to be hoped that this flight should then be scheduled much earlier in the evening (at about the same sort of time that the aircraft now leaves Frankfurt).

Why did this long delay happen last night? The aircraft was due to arrive in Geneva from Frankfurt at 8h25 pm and leave again at 9h50 pm, but actually arrived only at 10h06 pm (1h41 late) and left the gate at 11h51 pm (2h01 late: another 20 minutes lost!), finally taking off at 7 minutes after midnight. However, don't ask me for the exact reason!

A quick check of what the Air Mauritius company would have paid in fees suggests a figure of about 6,600 Swiss Francs, of which 400 would be a landing surcharge for a noisy (noise class III) aircraft, and another 3000 for the late departure (again a function of the noise class) after midnight. This sounds a lot, but is put into perspective when we consider that the aircraft holds around 300 passengers and that the standard economy class one-way ticket is listed at 2359 Swiss Francs! I suspect that such noise charges are highly unlikely to incite the company to buy quieter aircraft, which is why ARAG has proposed to attack this problem by shortening the window of allowed hours by 2 for this noise class. We are still awaiting any reaction of the Swiss Federal Office, OFAC, on this highly logical proposal.

So the good news is that things should improve from late October, but the bad news is that there are four months to wait.

17:59 Posted in Noisy aircraft | Permalink | Comments (4) | Tags: geneva, airport, mauritius, airbus a340 | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook


Apparently the change of schedule will happen a bit before the winter timetable already. And from what I remember, yesterday's flight wasn't that late while flying to Frankfurt.

Posted by: Patrick | 06/25/2011

Yes, it actually starts on Saturday 10 October, when it should come in at 19:30 and leave again at 21:15.
I have not found out when it got to Frankfurt: my usual check is with flightstats.com, but that has no information. I have not found any other site giving details for before the current day.

Posted by: Mike Gerard | 06/25/2011

No, it's gonna be Saturday 1st.

I checked flightstats too, but have found nothing. Though I "saw" the flight heading towards Frankfurt as I was on Flightradar24 at the moment. Since FRA only has one flight a week, I wonder if MK have to fly the crew from London or Paris or elsewhere for the return journey via Geneva ?

Posted by: Patrick | 06/26/2011

flightstats used to pick up these Air Mauritius flights to/from Frankfurt! I know (because they told me) that they have great difficulty getting data for easyJet flights, especially the easyJet Switzerland ones: I wonder why!

A newer site like flightradar24 is now available from our ARAG colleagues in Germany :

Posted by: Mike Gerard | 06/26/2011

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