02/28/2012

An interesting Sunday night at Geneva airport

After listening to an aircraft taking off over Versoix at midnight I checked the late flights. It was not only the arrival of the Iranian private jet that was worth a few comments.


Sunday 26 February, just before midnight, nearly dropping off to sleep, I heard the unmistakeable sound of an aircraft taking off over Versoix. Strange, since I had checked the TV teletext, which stated that all scheduled flights had gone out before 10h30 pm (the last was Lufthansa to Munich at 10h27 pm).

Monday morning, 27 February, I looked at all aircraft movements after 10 pm. This turned out to be particularly interesting, and not only because of the arrival of the Iran Government Falcon 50 private jet, about which I have already blogged.

It was not difficult to see that the midnight departure was an Airbus A320, registered as G-OOAR, Thomson Airways flight 9047, which took off just a minute before midnight. Interestingly, this aircraft, with the same flight number, had only landed at 10h40 pm. It was actually on the airport arrivals board as having come from Turin: I have never before recorded any aircraft from there. As I said, it was not on the departures board. A flight number in the 9000 region is normally some special flight: it might often be a replacement flight or a ferry flight. It seems a good guess that the stop in Geneva was unexpected.

There was also another takeoff after 11pm, this time a private jet owned by Credit Suisse and operated by Albinati Aeronautics, plus a different private jet, also owned by Credit Suisse and operated by Albinati Aeronautics, which arrived at 11h08 pm. I guess that Credit Suisse is having a busy time!

Even after this second Credit Suisse aircraft there was another small and unannounced jet which arrived: a Challenger 300 of the Austrian luxury airline Amira Air, which landed at 11h40 pm. Yet another case of "them and us": rich people wanting to travel late at night.

The moral of the story: even when the airport information says that all flights have departed and almost all arrivals have arrived, there is no guarantee that we can open our bedroom window to let the fresh air in while we sleep in a quiet room.

Oh, and I forgot to write that the last incoming Swiss flight from Zurich was allowed to come in over Versoix, against the normal directional flow!

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