Summertime, and the flights are delayed.

With the arrival of the summer holiday season there are suddenly lots of delayed flights, giving late night noise to airport neighbours.

As of the last weekend of June, and until the end of August, some airlines have gone to their Summer schedules, most often to offer flights to and from holiday destinations. It is quite probable that the airports at these destinations are coming under pressure, and delays can build up during the day. Even just before that last weekend of June there were already some worrying signs, as passengers sometimes suffered long delays and airport neighbours heard flights much later than usual.

Portugal is a popular holiday destination, with many flights to Lisbon and Porto. As last year, the airport management has kindly permitted Air Portugal to schedule, as from the beginning of June, a very late arrival from Lisbon every night (11h35 pm). However, on 27 June, this flight had to be cancelled, presumably because it could not arrive in Geneva before the closure. Instead, there was a flight from Lisbon which arrived the next morning at 6h30, meaning that if it were carrying passengers then they would have left in the middle of the night! Then, two days later, the same flight to Geneva landed here only at ten minutes after midnight.

Air Portugal also had problems last night, Tuesday 2 June, when the last flight from Porto arrived nearly three hours late, then took off (over Vernier) again at 11h15 pm to return to Porto.

Last Sunday, the first day of July, the Russian Aeroflot airline joined the late departures list, when its late flight to Moscow took off only at 23 minutes after midnight (a holiday destination?). Strangely, whereas all other flights used runway 05 (take-offs over the lake), this flight took off on runway 23, over Vernier, before doing a U-turn to fly over Satigny, St Genis and Ferney Voltaire. I cannot think why!

Even the new flight of Air China seems to have been affected by the late flights virus. Yesterday, Tuesday 2 July, the incoming flight from Beijing arrived two and a half hours late, then left (rather noisily over Vernier) only at 10h47 pm.

Then, to add insult to injury, in the past week there have been four departures of business jets after 11pm. On average, these business jets carry less than three (wealthy?) passengers. When there is an explanation from the airport management, it simply states that the rules for Switzerland permit this (though Zurich airport have chosen not to permit flights after ll pm!).

All of this does not augur well for the sleep time of people staying around Geneva this Summer (especially those living in Vernier!). Maybe everyone who can (afford it), should go on holiday to a nice quiet place for July and August. By train, of course!


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