A difficult Friday at Geneva airport

20120203_freezing 005.JPGFriday 3 January was a difficult day at Geneva airport, not particularly because of the weather. easyJet was again the airline causing noise disturbance for airport neighbours.

Although it was very cold and with a strong "bise" wind blowing from Siberia straight down the lake, the problems yesterday were nothing to do with the airport itself. Nonetheless, the final departure of the day, an easyJet Switzerland flight to London Gatwick, only took off at 40 minutes after midnight. No doubt that in due course the airport will have an excellent explanation of why this flight was given a special permission (required for commercial flights after 0h30).

One root cause of this late departure came in the morning, when a different easyJet Switzerland flight from Gatwick to Geneva got fairly close to the airport, though not actually on the runway approach, but then turned away and went to Lyon. The most likely explanation seems that it had some technical problem which would have made a landing into a strong wind somewhat delicate.

The aircraft did return to Geneva, apparently without a problem, early in the afternoon. However, that meant that there was one aircraft less when it came to dealing with problems caused by heavy snow in Amsterdam. I had to find this out myself, as the airport web site rarely gives any warning of problems to or from Geneva.

This Amsterdam problem caused KLM to cancel two flights from and to Amsterdam later in the day. It also caused two easyJet Switzerland aircraft to get stuck overnight in Amsterdam. One of these was the aircraft which is supposed to go from Geneva to Berlin, then to Amsterdam, then back to Berlin and finally back to Geneva. This, of course, meant that yet again the Berlin late return to Geneva was cancelled.

The same Amsterdam problem meant that there was no available easyJet Switzerland aircraft to do the last Geneva-Gatwick-Geneva flight, so it was done as a Gatwick-Geneva-Gatwick flight with a UK aircraft. The lateness of the incoming Gatwick night flight made the extreme lateness of the return leg to Gatwick virtually inevitable.

Unsurprisingly, the absence of two aircraft this morning has already led to the cancellation of at least one service (Birmingham). There might be more, since easyJet UK appears also to be having problems today (I hear of problems due to snow in the UK). Regrettably, the news page on the airport site says nothing about any problems (but it does tell us good news : a new ecological vehicle for airport usage)


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