ATRA Releases the 2014 Airline Holistic Safety Rating

Geneva, Switzerland (MMD Newsire) August 28, 2014 -- The independent Swiss rating agency "Air Transport Rating Agency" (ATRA) is releasing the 2014 holistic safety rating for commercial airlines.

2014 is a black year for air disasters. Four major accidents occurred in only 5 months (flights MH370 and MH17 from Malaysia Airlines, GE222 from TransAsia Airways, and AH5017 from Air Algerie), then many passengers experienced new symptoms of fear of flying with these particular Airlines. However, accident records is not the only criteria for Airline safety, since accident rates cannot be used to derive any valid statistical interpretations. Whatever, case-by-case learnings are useful for the aviation community to understand and improve safety procedures.

Such as individuals, the general health of the company is a very important safety factor. An "healthy" company would have less risk of accidents compared to companies in financial difficulties. For example, potential cost cutting strategies could significantly impact fuel management, suggesting to favor direct routes in minimizing storm avoidance, or flying over countries in conflict, which would increase external risk.

Although most Airlines reach a very high level of safety requirements, there are real differences in terms of safety profiles among companies, but very poor information is currently available to compare Airlines according to multiple criteria.

Unlike Airlines rankings based on passenger satisfaction surveys, which used to promote Asian and Middle East companies, the Air Transport Rating Agency is the only rating agency using an objective mathematical multi-criteria approach, which takes into account the complexity of air safety in order to obtain results which are tangible, meaningful and that can be reproduced without any arbitrary weighting systems: the ATRA holistic safety rating.

Using mainly available public data sources, ATRA has selected 15 criteria contributing to a general safety profile. Quantitative parameters (such as financial benefit or the average age of the fleet) or qualitative parameters (such as the homogeneity of the fleet) were computed using mathematical algorithms in order to generate a synthetic indicator and to present a meaningful scientific rating. For example, Malaysia Airlines was at the 26th rank in the 2011 ATRA rating. It earned tree ranks one year later at the 23rd position in 2012, before falling at the 42nd rank in the last 2013 ranking. A situation which could be explained by the impact of important financial lost in the last years, which ATRA consider as a risk factor.

The innovative and unique approach of 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.

The quality and originality of the ATRA scientific multi-criteria approach adapted to the aviation sector, explains why a number of financial analysts, insurers and travel agencies use the ATRA holistic safety rating as reference.

From a dataset of the 94 most important airlines in term of financial revenues, the top ten airlines 2014 (2012 data) from the holistic safety profiles are (by alphabetic order):

- Air China

- Air France KLM Group

- AMR Corporation

- China Southern Airlines Group

- International Airlines Group

- Delta Air Lines

- Lufthansa Group

- Southwest Airlines

- United Continental Holdings

- US Airways Group

Of particular importance, the top 10 airlines represents the most important companies in terms of turnover, number of aircraft, employees, etc. This is because all these criteria directly or indirectly contribute to the general safety profile.

The full rating of the 94 most important Airlines and their exact ranking details are available in the frame of technical reports for professionals (insurance companies, financial analysts, investors, etc.) under request to the Air Transport Rating Agency.

Visit the official website: