A late flight to Rennes
When football teams come to play against Evian, they often return late at night with Sun Air of Scandinavia.
Last Saturday, 10 January, it was Rennes who came to play Evian in the evening. Evian have to play their games in Annecy at the Parc des Sports. For the past few years some visiting teams choose to come via Geneva in a Dornier 328 jet aircraft chartered from Sun Air of Scandinavia, who seem almost to have a monopoly on these visits. During the 2010/2011 season the Lille Football Club, when they came here, included the Belgian international Eden Hazard, now playing brilliantly for Chelsea.
Evian are, as usual, down at the bottom of the top french league and fighting to avoid relegation. Last year they just avoided it with an important win in their last match of the season. On this Saturday, they had the worry of remembering the match in Rennes, which they lost by the (tennis set) score of 2-6. This time, in a match that they might have won or lost, they managed a 1-1 draw. However, their direct rivals also managed a draw, so Evian are still in the drop zone. However, since only two points cover six teams in trouble.
Rennes arrived in Geneva on Friday night, their flight landing at around half past six. This would have given them the time to go go a nice hotel and relax, then train on the Saturday morning.However, after a night match teams often want to go straight home, so their chartered aircraft left with them not long before midnight. Once again, one can regret that they have not been allowed to play their "home" matches in Geneva!
As it happens, theirs was not the only late takeoff on that Saturday night. A Challenger 604 belonging th the German enterprise Air Independence GmbH took off at 11.45 pm just a couple of minutes before them. This would probably not have pleased the inhabitants living in Vernier, who might have expected a quiet night after the last scheduled flight, easyJet to Manchester, left just after 10pm.
While one might have some sympathy for the football players, a check on their web site of this Air Independence GmbH aircraft shows a luxurious interior (seats convertible into beds) for a very small number of people. ARAG has long been campaigning for limitations on such luxury business jets for the rich which leave so late (later that would have been permitted in Zurich). Regrettably, the airport refuse to give even a minimum information (the scheduled and actual time of departure, for example.
We will continue protesting!