07/25/2016

easyJet: Ibiza to Geneva via Lyon

Yet again, on 24 July, an easyJet Switzerland flight could not return to Geneva before the closure hour, so was diverted to Lyon. Why?


The diversion to Lyon would have given the passengers the experience of a coach ride from Lyon to Geneva in the middle of the night. This is the fifth time this July that such a coach ride has been necessary. This means that passengers may have a valid claim for compensation of several hundred Swiss francs. In reality, few will probably make a claim, and even less will insist on these rights, given that the company puts quite a few difficulties in place. So why did it happen? Quite simple, and for a reason that has been repeated a dozen times this July.

easyjet Switzerland is a Swiss airline which has its own fleet of aircraft, and operates its own flights, though these are well integrated into the global easyJet. This Swiss airline normally has one extra (spare) aircraft, most frequently in Geneva (although it may sometimes go to Basel). However, on 24 July the easyJet Switzerland A319 Airbus flew empty to Toulouse, because the parent company easyJet UK needed an aircraft to go from Toulouse to Pula and back to Toulouse. The aircraft then returned, empty again, to Geneva.

Thus, for most of Sunday 24 July, there was no spare aircraft ready to deal with one of the regular minor problems. Of course, one duly arrived (a flight back from Alghero with a significant delay). Then, of course, due to missed slots, there was a knock-on effect which finished with the late flight from Geneva to Ibiza leaving 2 hours late and thus being too far behind its scheduled return time (22h55) to avoid the airport closure.

Now, one might say that this is an unfortunate and isolated incident. However, in July up to the 24th there have been 12 occasions when an easyJet Switzerland aircraft has been taken by easyJet UK in order to meet obligations for flights not involving Switzerland. This is manifestly unfair on Geneva airport neighbours and also easyJet Switzerland passengers.

I would find it normal justice that easyJet UK pay the compensation osed to the easyJet Switzerland passengers having had the pleasure of this Lyon-Geneva night coach ride. However, in this current world, justice is too often not normal. 

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