• Easyjet and I had a bad weekend

    The registration identifiers of the aircraft of easyJet Switzerland end in a letter between F and T inclusive. I had a bad weekend!


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  • An amphibian aircraft in Geneva this weekend

    One aircraft seen this weekend near Geneva airport is very unlikely to have landed there!

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  • All "creatures" great and small

    The aircraft of Thursday 26 August showed many levels of "great and small". One intrepid Geneva spotter got up early to photograph a great transport aircraft, but not a small flying bicycle!

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  • At Vernier, small is not always beautiful!

    For the last few days Vernier residents have continued to suffer from aircraft noise pollution. The culprits are not always the big jets!

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  • easyJet to Barcelona: another tale of woe!

    A Sunday return flight from Barcelona cancelled for several consecutive Sundays by easyJet "justified by circumstances beyond their control or for reasons of safety".

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  • easyJet still making the news

    EasyJet problems still continue to be one of the sagas of this 2010 Summer!



    Yesterday morning, Monday 23 August, I listened to the RSR radio programme "Le Grand 8", in which (for the second time in recent weeks) the discussion was on what they called the big serial story in the media this year (le grand feuilleton médiatique de l'été). I then sat over breakfast reading the article in this newspaper which said that the crisis of easyJet is also that of our airport (La crise d'easyJet est aussi celle de Cointrin). Strangely, I have not seen any reaction of the airport management to this  crisis! To cap it all, when I bought my paper this morning, the lady who runs the shop said that easyJet would be the subject for tonight's "Infrarouge" discussion. As it turns out, this latter statement is no longer true: the debate has been replaced by one on whether the seven Swiss State councillors should be elected by the whole Swiss population, rather than just the members of parliament. Clearly, in terms that would be understood by the Swiss who play the card game Jass, easyJet may be the ace of trumps but the Federal Council is the nine of trumps (the knave of trumps is reserved for the UBS doings!).

    I have been told that the Infrarouge program has merely been postponed, not cancelled, so I will try to keep tabs on it and tell you when it will be broadcast.

    The radio program included, as one of the four invited guests, the previous director of Geneva airport, Jean-Pierre Jobin. Naturally, having been a prime instigator of the arrival of easyJet in Geneva, he tended to defend them in various ways. Now, I have met him on a number of times (our children were at the same school at the same time, and he also has an interest in table tennis) and I have a lot of respect for him, especially since I have always understood that he was particularly concerned with ensuring that the closure time (0h30) of the airport for commercial movements be strictly adhered to. However, I found some of his defence of easyJet to be not entirely accurate, and hence somewhat misleading.

    The article in this paper also tended to shift the blame for some of the easyJet problems onto the airport and the fact that there is only the one runway. However, in neither of these affirmations was there any documented evidence to back up any such a blame shift. In actual fact, although June and July haves been very busy this year, each month has seen less traffic than in the corresponding months of 2007 and 2008. At the same time, the aeronautic services of the airport, in particular of SkyGuide, appear to have improved since then.

    I will deal with both the radio programme and the TdG article in a future blog, once I have established a number of facts: I do not believe in the old saying that "my mind is made up: do not confuse me with the facts!". Until then I might remind you of what one seasoned easyJet traveller commented on the newspaper article :-

    Juste que je m'abstiendrai pour le moment de prendre des vols retour après 18h00,suite à une mauvaise expérience d'un retour de Majorque en juillet !!

    Anyone who has sampled the delights of a 2am bus journey from Lyon airport to Geneva airport will no doubt agree with that statement.


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  • Another noisy Friday, this time for Vernier

    Last Friday, for people living in Vernier, it was not just the Air Mauritius flight which made a lot of noise!

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  • Rare and noisy visitors from Eastern Europe

    Local aircraft spotters will be happy to have seen some old Yakovlev aircraft this year, throwbacks to the days of old Soviet Union. One particular one, from Kazakhstan, raises questions.



    There have been six different Yakovlev YAK-42D which have come to Geneva this year. According to Wikipedia, these aircraft were the first aircraft to be produced in the Soviet Union which were powered by modern high-bypass turbofan engines. They date from the start of the 1990 decade, which makes them oldish (though there are many aircraft of that generation still flying with regular airlines). However, they are rather noisy aircraft, being put by the Swiss authorities in noise class II (the noisiest are in class I).

    None of the six aircraft appear to have come to Geneva more than once this year. All except one of these are registered in Russia, operated by what I presume to be Russian companies.

    The only non-Russian aircraft was from Kazakhstan. This aircraft, with registration UP-Y4201, arrived on 17 July, and was duly registered by the ARAG aircraft movements enquiry system.

    Because it was quite an unusual aircraft and country it has been photographed by many aviation enthusiasts, including two at Geneva airport. These photos can be seen HERE and HERE. One of the photographers referred to it as being one of several VIP visitors during that beautiful day!

    This aircraft is believed to be owned by the Kazakhstan government, and the aircraft callsign that it used suggests that it was operated by the company called Fly Jet KZ.

    What is a little curious is that this company appears to be on the latest version of the European Community banned list, dated 5 July 2010.

    No doubt there is a perfectly reasonable explanation!

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  • easyJet is tops!

    For all regular flights leaving Geneva airport the pilot should set a callsign starting with the airline's ICAO code. Sometimes they make mistakes: errare humanum est!

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  • The Isle of Man is more important than Switzerland

    For the registration of aircraft the Isle of Man has a much larger possible range of identifiers than Switzerland, and a lot of aircraft coming to Geneva (some with nice registrations!). Is this related to its status as a tax haven?


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  • easyJet (Suisse) annulations, retards et déviations: TROP, C'EST TROP

    La semaine écoulée aura été horrible pour nombreux passagers d’easyJet Switzerland: vols annulés, déviations tard dans la nuit ou retards de plusieurs heures. Il est grand temps que l’Office Suisse d’Aviation Civile (OFAC) entende leurs récriminations.

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  • easyJet (Suisse) annulations, delays and diverted flights : ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

    This last week has been absolutely awful for many passengers of easyJet Switzerland: flights cancelled, diverted late at night or operating hours behind schedule. It is high time that the Swiss Civil Aviation Office OFAC read the riot act.

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  • Friday 13th : aircraft noise and a mystery

    Friday 13th was unusually bad for aircraft noise: the Boeing 747 cargo plane was even noisier than the Air Mauritius Airbus A340. It also included a mystery noise event: can you help solve it?

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  • Another aircraft transponder emergency signal

    It seems as iff emergency transmissions from aircraft transponders are like London buses. You wait for ages and then three come along at once!

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  • A beautiful Boeing 747 going back to Saudi Arabia

    With the start of the Islamic holy Ramadan month, from 11 August to 9 September, many Geneva visitors from the Islamic countries have been returning home, in particular to Saudi Arabia.

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