On Swiss radio easyJet repeat how punctual are their flights. However, their late departures can be very late and very disturbing.
This morning, as on most mornings, I heard on the radio the easyJet publicity about how their flights have a very good punctuality record. I have no doubt that, according to the statistics, and given that any flight which leaves the parking place not later than 15 minutes after the scheduled time is considered to be on time, their statement is true. Thus, since the last scheduled departures of easyJet are at 9h45 pm (all for the UK, which is an hour behind us), and allowing a generous 15 minutes extra for the time to actually take off, no easyJet aircraft should normally take off after 10h15 pm.
The problem is that, with the desire of easyJet to have a minimum time between an arrival and a departure, sometimes delays can build up in a day. To illustrate this, since the first of May, 23 flights have taken off after 10h15 pm: 20 to go to the UK (mostly to London Gatwick)and three to Portugal (also an hour behind Geneva). In other words, on average one easyJet flight is late leaving Geneva each night.
Worse, for unexplained reasons, is the number of "very late" flights : ones taking off after 11pm: 8 this month so far. As an example, last night, 19 May 2015, the last easyJet flight (to Gatwick) only took off at 11h30 pm, thus giving the unfortunate residents of Vernier a late night wake-up call. The reason, certainly given to the aircraft's passengers, would certainly have been "due to the late arrival of the incoming aircraft"!
Given that easyJet supposedly have a spare aircraft based in Geneva, one might think that such late takeoffs could be avoided: the spare aircraft could have taken off on time, and then the early flights to and from Gatwick the next morning could get the right aircraft back in their right places!