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

The Full rating report of the 94 most important Airlines is available for financial professionals (investors, financial analysts, insurers, etc.) upon request.

Thanks to the multidisciplinary expertise of its team, ATRA has taken the lead in creating the holistic safety rating in order to provide original, concise and independent synthetic information in complement of the number of available accident rankings.

The publication by the European Commission of a “Black List” of airlines not meeting the minimum safety criteria has represented real progress. Nevertheless this publication can lead one to the assumption that all the airlines excluded from this list have exactly the same safety profile. This is, in fact, far from true as numerous criteria contribute to safety and no airlines are identical on all the criteria, even if they meet the criteria required to avoid being placed on the black list.

This is why ATRA has taken the initiative to compile key airlines data from the “White List” in order to assess potential differences between these airlines across a set of criteria contributing directly or indirectly to enhance general safety. ATRA wanted to provide the aviation sector with rigorous and transparent information, liable to encourage airlines to track, interpret and discuss any criteria in the organization contributing to flight safety.

ATRA is thus able to produce all the information required by aviation stakeholders: detailed technical reports, ad-hoc ratings, specific advanced data analyses, modelling and simulations, accident and incident analyses, etc.

ATRA is totally independent from airlines, manufacturers, regulatory authorities, trade unions and non-profit organizations. It strives to apply a scientific multi-criteria method that can be replicated based on selected key criteria and validated sources.

Contrary to the large number of existing accident rate rankings, the ATRA holistic safety rating focuses on internal organizational factors, which contribute directly or indirectly to general safety.

External factors such as environmental criteria are not taken into account. On one hand and theoretically, any carrier can be exposed in similar ways to external factors. On the other hand, an excellent pilot benefiting from high-quality training at the controls of a very reputable plane operated by a serious carrier has greater chances of coping with environmental or other external factors.

After analyzing the causes of a number of incidents and accidents, ATRA has selected 15 organizational criteria, which directly or indirectly contribute to general safety. Illegal activities have not been taken into account as it has been assumed that security check of the people and luggage is under the responsibility of airport services.

The 2014 selected criteria are:

  • Net financial result
  • Passenger Load Factor
  • Total number of employees
  • Total number of pilots/co-pilots
  • Total number of cabin crew employees
  • Total number of km flown
  • Overall number of aircraft in service
  • Average age aircraft in service
  • Percentage of aircraft on order
  • Homogeneous fleet of Airbus or Boeing
  • Homogeneous type of aircraft
  • Number of aircraft no longer in production
  • Number of aircraft considered at risk
  • Number of accidents during the last 10 years
  • Maintenance expenses

Main data sources : ICAO, Flight Global

The 15 selected criteria contributing to general safety have been computed to construct one single composite indicator. Most of classical rating and ranking systems used various scoring systems. However, scoring procedures are unable to manage both quantitative and qualitative data. Furthermore, very different profiles could lead with similar scores, depending on the use of potential weighting systems, which are always arbitrary and subject to caution.

Our approach is a multidimensional analysis based on the principle of mathematical projections. Each of the 15 criteria represents one dimension, and all dimensions are projected into one or more dimensions to construct the composite indicator. This approach belong to a set of methods known as factorial analyses.

Although the statistical processing of data tables and the matrix calculation principle were already described in the 19th century, this scientific approach was mainly published  during the 1960-1990 period by French mathematicians data analysis school. Although it is essentially used in the socio-economic and engineering fields, this approach makes it possible to analyze all types of complex databases, thanks to the development of computer technologies. In particular, the ability to manage and synthesize a large set of criteria makes this method very useful in risk assessment. For example, similar techniques have been successfully used by international organizations such as the World Health Organization, to assess epidemic risk and rate priorities for immunization programs (Weekly Epidemiological Record. 2007 May 4;82(18):153-60).

Mathematical multi-criteria analyses have been selected by ATRA for the following reasons:

– management of both quantitative and qualitative variables

– no arbitrary weighting system

– transparency

– meaningfulness of results

– reproducibility and objectivity

ATRA has developed a unique experience and expertise in scientific multi-criteria analyses and risk assessment, allowing to generate innovative meaningful information in the aviation world.