Swiss Agency Develops "Holistic" Airline Safety Ranking
independent Swiss agency "Air Transport Rating Agency" says it has
developed a new scientific "holistic safety rating" for commercial
airlines. Although the European Union publishes a "black list" of
dangerous airlines, there are real differences in terms of safety
among the other airlines belonging to the "white list". The Swiss
rating agency Air Transport Rating Agency has used a scientific
multi-criteria analysis approach that takes into account the
complexity of airlines organizations in order to obtain results
which are tangible, meaningful and that can be reproduced: the ATRA
holistic safety rating.
Most of safety rankings are based on one single criteria which
is accident statistics. This approach is very limited because
accident rates are fortunately extremely low in commercial aviation
and unable to derive any valid statistical interpretations beyond
simple descriptive information. Indeed, the analysis of air
disasters very often shows an accumulation of technical, human,
organizational and external causes. "Highly experienced pilots can
handle technical and external problems very well; conversely
flights without technical or external problems can go very well
with very inexperienced pilots. However, the combination of
technical or external problems and inexperienced pilots can be
disastrous."explains Jean-Pierre Otelli, aviation safety expert,
author of reference books in Air disasters and Pilot errors.
Unfortunately, the agency says, conjunction of very rare factors
can occurred with any carriers and one single accident
significantly impact company reputations. The innovative approach
of the ATRA holistic safety rating takes into account airlines
organizational parameters which contribute to general safety,
without being necessarily directly attributed to safety management.
Using publicly available data sources, Air Transport Rating Agency
has selected 15 criteria directly or indirectly contributing to
flight safety. Quantitative parameters (such as the average age of
the fleet) or qualitative parameters (such as the homogeneity of
the fleet) were subjected to a multi-criteria mathematical analysis
in order to generate a synthetic indicator and to present a
meaningful holistic safety rating.
Like any unsolicited rating agencies, full detailed rating and
competitive data report are available for professionals, such as
airlines, insurance companies, financial analysts, and others, from
Air Transport Rating Agency. Technical report includes Airlines
cluster analyses, correlations between selected parameters,
multi-criteria rating calculations, etc. Special requests for ad
hoc analyses are also possible such as advanced multi-criteria
analyses of internal databases, sub-ratings by type of airlines,
market or geographical area, experts' reports, etc.
From a dataset of the 100 most important airlines, 44 met the
inclusion criteria for the multi-criteria analysis.
The top ten airlines 2011 (2009 data) from the holistic safety
profiles are (by alphabetic order): Air France-KLM, AMR Corporation
(American Airlines and American Eagles), British Airways,
Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa,
Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.