An Easyjet Airbus with 157 passengers on board came dangerously close to the surface of Lake Geneva while approaching Geneva's Cointrin airport on November 5, the daily newspaper Tribune de Genève revealed on Tuesday.
For a reason that is still unclear, the Airbus A320 Neo, registration G-UZLO, flying from Edinburgh in Scotland to Geneva, was approximately 230 meters (approximately 750 feet) from the surface of the water at a point where its altitude would have been The daily newspaper states that it must have been more than three times as high.
“On approach to runway 22, the aircraft sank well below the glide path and the flight crew initiated a go-around,” confirms the Swiss Safety Investigation Service (SESE). ) – the authority responsible for investigating accidents and incidents, particularly in the field of civil aviation – in a very concise so-called initial information report published on January 16th.
Easyjet is a low-cost airline founded in 1995 and has never experienced a crash. Geneva Airport is one of the company's main hubs, which is the second largest low-cost airline in Europe after Ryanair.
According to the Tribune de Genève, the control tower at Geneva Cointrin Airport alerted the crew at the same time, as they were also warned by the on-board warning system that the flight altitude was too low.
Arguing that the investigation is still ongoing, Easyjet did not want to go into details in the interview with AFP, but stated that “we can therefore only confirm that the pilots of the flight from Edinburgh to Geneva on November 5, 2023 carried out a go-around in accordance with safety procedures and the flight then landed safely.”
There is currently no explanation for the fact that the plane flew far too low, but a pilot and a former air traffic controller who wished to remain anonymous and were interviewed by the newspaper seem to point to human error.
“I don’t know what happened in the cockpit that day, but that must be the key to the explanation,” analyzes the pilot interviewed by the Tribune de Genève.
The geographical peculiarities of Geneva and the approach of the aircraft coming from Scotland may have played a role in the incident, as crews are asked to begin a rapid descent after passing the Jura, the daily highlights.
“We will always support safety investigations in accordance with procedures in order to have a full understanding of past events and act accordingly if necessary,” the company adds, specifying that “at Easyjet, the safety and well-being of our passengers as well as our crew has for always our top priority.