Safety is our absolute priority. It is essential for both customers and staff and imperative for the sustainability of air transport.
Safety covers all measures taken to reduce the risks associated with aviation. Aviation security aims to combat criminal and terrorist acts against passengers, employees and aircraft.
With some 85 million meals and snacks served every year to our customers and flight crews, food safety is a major commitment of our companies.
COVID-19: Special measures
As the world faces an unprecedented health crisis, comfort, well-being and health of our customers and employees remain our highest priority. The Group has put special measures in place to guarantee your safety when traveling with us. Latest updates on the measures implemented are available on our commercial websites: airfrance.fr, klm.com and transavia.com
Flight Safety is paramount for Air France-KLM. It is key to retaining the trust of both customers and staff, and imperative for the long-term viability of its operations and of air transportation as a whole.
All of the Group’s activities are subject to numerous checks and certifications, in particular via the supervisory actions carried out by the Civil Aviation authorities in each country and via the International Air Transport Association (IATA), whose IOSA Operational Safety Audit is a benchmark within the industry. Air France and KLM’s IOSA certifications were renewed in 2019 ; the next renewal audit is foreseen for 2020, their certification being scheduled for renewal in 2021.
To achieve the highest attainable standard of Flight Safety, each company updates and reinforces its Safety Management System (SMS) which concretely defines the modalities in place to manage aviation risks.
Management of flight safety risks
Air France and KLM both use the evaluation method for operational risks recommended by the European Aviation Safety Agency. They have deployed this method in all the operational entities and at all levels of the company. Managing flight safety risks enables, through systems compiling flight parameters and situation reports, threats to be identified, risks to be evaluated, the implementation of remedial measures and the monitoring of the results. It enables proactive management of risks in order to maintain them below the acceptable level. An internal quality assurance procedure continuously evaluates the proper functioning of flight safety management.
More broadly, Air France develops synergies between an array of progress-oriented and risk management approaches – Flight Safety, Health & Safety in the Workplace, Customer Service Quality, Operational Performance, Environmental and Sustainable Development, Food Safety & Hygiene. This quality-based approach is the vector for the steering and management of the businesses, aimed at a continuous improvement in results.
KLM deploys a similar approach. To reach its objective of achieving a leadership position on safety, KLM has an Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS) covering occupational safety, operational safety and security, and environmental safety. This ISMS is outlined in KLM’s Integrated Safety Management Manual (ISMM) and has been approved by the Dutch Civil Aviation authorities as part of the Air Operator Certificate.
KLM continuously improves its integrated, performance-based Safety Management System based on the evaluation of risks and results, guaranteeing that decisions at all levels of KLM integrate risks. Its Safety Culture program, which includes promotional and communication initiatives, theoretical and practical training and learning interventions, is continuously updated and deployed throughout the company to enhance safety awareness and the relevant safe attitude and behavior at all levels. The Integrated Safety Services Organization (ISSO) continues to professionalize this integrated approach and to increase the level of expertise in all domains across all the safety and compliance processes throughout the company, and brings KLM’s ISMS to the next level.
Corporate Flight Safety Committees, chaired by the Executive Vice-Presidents responsible for the operational entities, meet every quarter in Air France. Their task is to approve the action plans established to apply the orientations set by the companies, the results of inquiries and the results of supervisory acts.
These committees are also tasked with sharing information on the emergence of new Flight Safety issues originating from feedback or risk analysis, by ensuring that the resources and action plans in place are adapted to the issues.
Flight Safety Committee meetings are also held four times a year at the level of each company, to evaluate the effectiveness of the existing action plans.
At KLM, the Corporate Safety Committee within the KLM Board of Directors meets every quarter to analyze the Safety Indicators. In 2019, KLM continued its focus on Occupational Safety Hazards by renewing the main Occupational Safety Policy to provide structure for the required mitigating action. After four occupational policies implemented in 2018, 2019 saw the establishment of ten Occupational Policies, including the recommended implementation provisions and plans. In 2019, KLM also initiated fulfilment of the ISO High Level Structure Management System requirements.
Together with the aviation industry stakeholders at Schiphol Airport (e.g. airport authorities and Dutch Air Traffic Control), KLM carried out a number of joint safety risk assessments during 2019 and conducted mitigating actions to improve safety around the airport. These activities are performed within the joint sector Integrated Safety Management System, a unique collaboration between the aviation players at the airport which had been established in 2018.
Developing a Safety-first culture
Building a company-wide awareness of the prerequisite for a safety culture across all the operations is a gradual yet ongoing approach aimed at raising the ambition of the airlines in the Air France-KLM Group. Vocational training is a cornerstone of this culture and thus primarily takes into account the skills and expertise to be acquired in matters of safety: safety training for pilots and cabin crew, and training for the maintenance professions and ground operations.
Air France is targeting the development of an ever-stronger safety-first culture since this is an area in which it must make continuous progress by accepting no compromise.
Therefore the Safety Attitude program was launched at the end of 2018, aimed at further reinforcing this culture and promoting industry best practices. The Safety Attitude program began with a comparative study of five benchmark companies, supplemented by an analytic phase carried out by an independent body. 22,500 employees from all the Air France business lines replied to a questionnaire and more than 600 people were interviewed. This in-depth analysis enabled the identification of focus areas to support the unity of all employees around a shared Safety-first Culture embedded in operations, based on transparency and trust. To this end, a three-year program of concrete actions adapted to each business line has been structured: mobilization of line management, a culture of transparency, respecting procedures, evaluation of non-technical skills, inter-business-line exchanges.
Security includes various measures, such as risk analysis of Air France-KLM’s business and operations, and the systematic inspection of aircraft, passengers, baggage, cargo, and employees. These procedures are subject to strict regulations and are carried out with a constant concern for the privacy of passengers and employees.
Our security departments constantly monitor international geopolitical developments. Designated teams are responsible for ensuring continuous flight operations and, where necessary, implement additional security measures.
Throughout our network, we ensure the highest level of protection for our customers, employees, and assets (aircrafts, facilities and IT systems). To this end, our security departments are implementing the regulatory measures required. In addition, they continuously assess the threat, analyze the risks in order to put in place all the necessary additional protective measures and monitor their effect. Each year, audits are conducted in our network to ensure that security risks are taken into account within the organization of the stopover, catering, cargo, and also among subcontractors.
Every year, the Air France-KLM Group serves some 85 million meals and snacks to its customers and flight crews. The company aims to guarantee food services that are healthy and hazard-free for the consumer. The related regulations are increasingly exacting. This is why food safety is a key priority for the Group. Air France and KLM both deploy quality-control procedures to comply with these requirements.
The management system is based on four processes, managed by a centralized department at Air France. The first one is transversal and applies to all divisions: regulatory intelligence, risk analysis and defining controlling measures, employee training, establishment and updating of the reference standards, monitoring of the action plans, etc. The three other processes are operational and their specifications depend on the type of activity: on-board services, water on board and services in the lounges.
The management measures are deployed by a Food Safety contact appointed in each relevant entity. They are the guarantors that the measures have been applied within their business lines and report back on functioning and associated action plans. The management measures are regularly monitored through indicators and decision-making committees ensuring the effectiveness of the provisions in place relating to Food Safety.
Partnerships with food suppliers are established following very strict specifications and remain subject to close monitoring. Some hundred hygiene audits of world-wide caterers and around 15,000 in-house microbiological inspections are carried out every year to monitor food supplies, together with 400 to 500 annual analyses of water for a total volume of 19,000 tons of water embarked on departures from Paris.
In 2006, Air France became the first airline in the world to attain the ISO 22000 certification. An annual audit carried out by an external body verifies that the management system complies with the standard and with regulatory requirements. Based on a three-year plan, internal audits are carried out across all the relevant business lines.
A series of key indicators, one per operational process, form part of a monthly overview presented to the Executive Committee. Any malfunctioning flagged, notably by flight crews or customers, is examined in order to implement remedial and/or preventive measures. Throughout the year, numerous meetings of in-house steering bodies are held to enable the monitoring of events in this area. These bodies also track performance via indicators and defined action plans, aimed at ensuring continuous improvement.
At KLM, risk control of food safety is managed in several ways. Firstly, all KLM caterers are audited at least once a year by an external company specialized in food safety for inflight catering. These audits are executed by specialized auditors, and are unannounced and on-site. The audit verifies compliance with the QSAI Food Processing Safety and Food Processing Quality standards, based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. E-audits are conducted to check traceability completeness and effectiveness at all KLM caterers. In addition, all food suppliers are referenced based on very strict specifications and are the subject of close microbiological monitoring, carried out by KLM’s in-house ISO17025-accredited laboratory.