London to Geneva via the scenic route

Now that the ski season is here, there are lots of flights from London to Geneva. Some business jets take the scenic route and see the snow on the mountains.

The snow is on the mountains and the skiers are coming, especially from London and the rest of the UK. Most will come on the scheduled airlines, mainly British Airways, easyJet and Swiss. Weekends also see extra flights, in particular from London Gatwick by Monarch and Flybe, whilst Thomas Cook will no doubt join the flights soon.

However, for the richer end of the passenger spectrum, a business jet is the nice way to fly here. I noticed a couple of these on Thursday 20 December, both coming from North of London (Luton and Stansted). One was a big Boeing 737 business jet belonging to a US company called Eagle aviation (high flyers?), about which it is difficult to find any real information. The other one was a Bombardier Global 6000 business jet belonging to Execujet Scandinavia: a subsidiary of the Zurich-based company which, on its Web site, is "offering a wide variety of niche products and services to a discerning and select clientele".

20121220_VMP933_att.JPGWhat becomes slightly curious is that, whereas the scheduled airlines take a pretty direct route between London and Geneva, both business jets took a scenic route towards the east. Indeed, the Execujet flight carefully avoided entering France at any point on its flight. A brief check shows that earlier in December the same aircraft came to Geneva from Luton, but by the direct route.

So, I ask myself, is there a reason for this indirect route? Was the flight corridor from London to Geneva overcrowded (less likely on a Thursday than on a weekend)? Was the route designed to show the rich passengers the ski conditions in the Alps? Was there a cost for entering French airspace? Were there any passengers who did not want to take the chance of having to land in France, or even be in French airspace, given that France and Switzerland do not completely see eye to eye on tax matters and French citizens living, or sending their money, outside the country? Any other ideas?

Whatever the reason, no doubt the passengers could afford to burn the extra fuel. They could also certainly afford the optional carbon compensation tax of about 8 CHF per passenger, as calculated by myclimate.



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