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Airlines vie for "holistic" safety award at Paris Air Show.


For the first time, the Swiss independent rating agency ATRA has awarded the five best airlines in the world according to their holistic safety profile during an event organised during last week's International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport in France.

While the International Air Transport Association confirms a 5.9% increase of carrying passengers in one year with a strong participation of emerging countries (+16% in China; +7% in India), Air Transport Rating Agency is releasing its yearly rating in Airline safety, the ATRA Airlines Holistic safety rating.

The ATRA is the only rating agency using an objective mathematical multi-criteria approach taking into account the complexity of airlines safety in order to generate robust, reproducible and meaningful results, without any arbitrary weighting systems, the agency said.

Based on publicly available data sources, the ATRA has selected 15 criteria contributing to a general safety profile. Quantitative parameters (such as the mean age of the fleet) or qualitative parameters (such as the fleet homogeneity) have been analyzed to generate a synthetic safety indicator. Most of existing safety rankings are based on one single criteria: accident history.

The agency said that this approach is rather limited as accident rates in air transport are extremely low and do not allow to derive any valid statistical interpretations beyond simple descriptive information and case by case learnings, which are nevertheless useful for the aviation community.

However, one single accident can significantly impact an airlines' reputation, whatever the causes and responsibilities.

Although the European Union publishes a "black list" of airlines not reaching a certain level of safety requirements, there are real differences in terms of safety profiles among the other airlines.

The approach used for the ATRA holistic safety rating is to take into account a number of parameters, which contribute to general safety, without being necessarily directly attributed to safety management or accident history.

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Date:Jun 25, 2013
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