01/04/2012

Is Basel more important than Geneva?

Yet again the lack of a genuine spare aircraft causes some easyJet Switzerland passengers to suffer long delays. Yesterday, two flights to Gatwick left with almost 5 hours delay!


This happened yesterday, 3 January, for passengers of flights EZS8463 and EZS8467, both to London Gatwick. It clearly originated from the unavailability (reason unknown) of one of the 12 Geneva-based Airbus A319/320 for the whole of the day (in this case an A319 registered as HB-JZT). Instead of flying into Geneva a spare UK-registered aircraft, easyJet Switzerland used a UK-registered aircraft to fly a scheduled EZS flight from Gatwick to Geneva and then return to Gatwick as if it were the originally scheduled outgoing flight.

In case you have not immediately understood the consequences, I can explain that there are two. Firstly, and good, there was no need for any empty flights, so the world saved a bit of burnt fuel and CO2 emissions, whilst easyJet Switzerland saved money. Secondly, and bad for the passengers, the two flights to Gatwick each left with almost 5 hours delay: enough to be allowed to (try to) claim a compensatory payment.

Interestingly, on the last day of last year one of the 7 easyJet Switzerland aircraft stationed in Basel (HB-JZP) did not fly at all. However, on that day easyJet Switzerland chose to send one of the Geneva-based aircraft (HB-JZO) empty to Basel as a replacement for HB-JZP. To make up for its absence from Geneva, an early Geneva-Gatwick-Geneva was reversed, again giving Geneva to Gatwick passengers a long delay. I call this interesting because there was also an early Basel-Gatwick-Basel flight which could have been reversed, but that one operated on time.

So does this mean that Basel is beginning to be as important as, or more than, Geneva for easyJet? Certainly, it seems that the growth of easyJet traffic in Basel has been considerably more than that in Geneva.

Or are Swiss-German passengers more likely to claim compensation for delays?

 

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