04/03/2012

Delayed and cancelled flights: why?

Yesterday, 2 April, many flights to and from Geneva were cancelled and many others delayed by hours, and today looks bad also. So far I have seen no reasons given.


Most of the cancelled or delayed flights were to and from the Iberian peninsula. The main airline affected was easyJet Switzerland, due to its high traffic with that region, but the Spanish airline Iberia was also much affected. Because some aircraft got held in Spain for hours, there were other knock-on effects, including the return of an easyJet flight from London Gatwick at 22 minutes after midnight (over my head in Versoix).

So what were the causes? The most likely cause for this type of event  is a strike of French air traffic controllers, since the flights from Geneva to Spain are very dependent on these controllers once the aircraft leaves Swiss air space. However, the only reference that I could find mentioned  was strikes at Orly, Paris. Was there something that I missed?

What is very regrettable is that there is often a complete lack of information on this, and other cases where events (weather, or strikes, for example) have affected or will affect air traffic at Geneva airport. Somehow, all the information that ever comes out of the airport is a positive spin on events, giving the impression that all is well and normal.

I have previously mentioned what I consider as a poor design of the Geneva Airport web site, which appears to favour glitz and show over real information. Regrettably, the recently released iPhone app (GVApp) has also many faults (despite the published appraisal of some senior airport persons who rated it as the maximum 5 stars!). Not only does it fail to convert to portrait mode and have pale (hard to read) indications for flights which have landed, but also most of the welcome screen is devoted to previous press releases irrelevant to the immediate situation.

So what should there be on GVApp? Simple: a "news of the day" list such as is seen in the railway stations, giving a warning on anything liable to affect the air traffic to and from Geneva for today and the near future. Even a simple statement that all is well and (virtually) all flights are expected to be on time would be more relevant to travellers than the first press release item currently on the GVApp page, proudly announcing the largest solar roof in Europe.

Note that those who follow the above links to the airport web site may have to scroll down over what I call useless glitz to find the information: QED.

 

PS: Today, 3 April looks nearly as bad as yesterday.

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