'Safety' and buying flights

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Fleets, finances, aviation authorities and so on: There are many factors at play when it comes to judging the stability and safety of airlines. When combined, they reveal a snapshot of the conditions in which an airline operates. In doing so, the emphasis is placed on the here and now, since nobody can be 100 percent certain of what the future will bring, as much as we would like this to be possible.

Statistics, seal of quality or certifications: How can we recognise if one airline is safer than other providers?

A possible indicator is the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which has strict rules that are considered the industry standard. However, just 405 airlines are certified worldwide. Even the 'blacklist' compiled by the EU around twice a year does not on its own fulfil the requirements of safety-conscious companies. An individual safety audit compiled on site at the airline’s facility is most reliable, but even this indicator soon reaches its limit. That’s to say that an audit process needs a lot of time, is costly and doesn’t pay off when an airline only carries out a few individual flights. 

This is exactly where Pro Sky offers support to flight buyers with a wide range of audits – each with an individual focus or an adapted depth of information.

Overview: Audit levels at Pro Sky
Pro Sky Audit Levels

The Pro Sky Status Rating - clear and efficient

The Status Rating is an information service that Pro Sky offers corporate clients free of charge. Data on the stability of an airline is pooled in a traffic light format. This is based, for instance, on details of the age of the fleet and financial data, as well as further indicators of the company’s maturity or previous accidents. 

An interesting fact: When it comes to accidents, Pro Sky just takes into consideration the frequency within a set time period, not the causes. Here is Pro Sky CEO Armin Truger’s take on this: 'Every incident has negative implications for an airline’s reputation. Corporate customers are particularly sensitive to this matter and ask themselves how passengers perceive airlines. They want to avoid a negative image being transferred to their own company. As a result, every accident has an impact on the assessment.' 

The PRO SKY Status Rating calls attention to possible problem areas during the offer stage itself. Everything is clearly summarised in one value and visually displayed in traffic light colours. This means that buyers can make a more informed decision on a product that corresponds to their company’s own requirements.

Individually – the broader safety report

When it comes to flights for employees to more exotic destinations, for example, buyers frequently want very detailed information on the airlines available. In such cases, Pro Sky creates an individual analysis of the providers and summarises the results in a report. This also incorporates, for instance, publications from authorities such as the FAA or organisations like the ICAO. In addition, possible certifications (e.g. IOSA registration through the IATA) are taken into consideration. 'Even membership of a global airline alliance can be an important criterion,' explains Marcus Handlos, Head of Airline Relation Management at Pro Sky. To achieve this status, airlines have to go through an extensive entry process and meet the admission criteria of the respective alliance. This varies from implementing required IT systems to common safety standards.

What’s more, Pro Sky collaborates with special providers for flight safety information. They provide very detailed background information on the risk factors of the airlines under the microscope. Pro Sky summarises all these insights in the safety report. Along with the extent of information on offer, this report surpasses the Status Rating with regard to another important factor: For the most part, flight buyers at companies also receive a concrete recommendation on who to choose.

IT-supported compliance with relevant travel guidelines 

As well as individually assessing airlines, the individual composition of booking processes can bring added value when it comes to buying flights. For example, the Flight Safety System which Pro Sky has developed for a company’s travel management. Together with customers, flight professionals devised a set of criteria oriented to corporate security guidelines. The system analyses data from around 1,500 air carriers around the world that have aircraft with more than 25 seats.

Armin Truger, Pro Sky CEO: 'The Flight Safety System automatically filters certain airlines and aircraft out of booking screens. As a result, travel management saves itself the effort of checking each individual case – real added value for the booking process.'

Highly detailed – audit interviews and on-site inspections

When it comes to very individual customer wishes, Pro Sky goes one step further. Along with desktop research, selected topics can be explored in more depth through direct communication with airlines. For example, this can be background information on safety management’s organisational structure, training procedures for cockpit crews or operating details such as the maintenance intervals of individual aircraft. 

Ultimately, extensive on-site audits are the highest level of analysis. 'Some companies employ their own staff who can represent the complete spectrum from audits to on-site inspections' says Marcus Handlos, offering an insight into the practice. Pro Sky coordinates on-site checks with experienced partners for all customers with this requirement that don’t have their own auditors.