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Oxford: Airport celebrates first international schedule

By Dan Teuton
23 December 2009

London Oxford Airport welcomed its first international scheduled service in 72 years when full-frills Swiss regional carrier Baboo commenced weekly flights to Geneva on Saturday.

Among the passengers that boarded the first south-bound Bombardier Q400 advanced turboprop were several last-minute bookings. Were it not for the new Oxford service they had faced waiting until Tuesday to get to Geneva owing to weather disruptions at congested airports and rail stations.

“We were absolutely delighted they turned to Oxford,” said London Oxford Airport managing director Steve Jones.

Baboo CEO Jacques Bankir flew back to Geneva with the first flight. “We have really been excited about this airport. It is ideal for Baboo. Our passengers have a stress-free experience, enjoying facilities designed for business aviation clients and it is a great complement to our 11 weekly services out of London City Airport.”

He confirmed that Baboo plans a connecting flight from Geneva to Rome in the New Year that will connect with the Oxford departures. This is possible through the airline’s newly ratified codeshare partnership with Alitalia.

Baboo’s flights from Oxford to Geneva are particularly aimed at ski traffic (no ski equipment surcharge) from the home counties, but they provide a user-friendly link between two international, high-tech destinations that are popular with tourists too.

Ahead of the Geneva services London Oxford Airport invested in full winter kit, including runway de-icing and snow clearing equipment and built a modular baggage arrivals hall capable of handling 75 passengers and their luggage. The airport is also installing a fully computerized Departure Control System (DCS) which it hopes to have operational from mid January.

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