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.
All of our activities are subject to numerous audits and certification processes, in particular those of International Air Transport Association (IATA), whose IOSA Operational Safety Audit is a benchmark within the industry. The IOSA audits for the Air France and KLM certification renewal were carried out at the end of 2018.
To achieve the highest attainable standard of flight safety, each airline continuously updates and reinforces their respective Safety Management Systems (SMS) which define the measures to be put in place to manage aviation risks.
Vocational training is primarily focused on the required safety knowledge and skills. This includes safety training for pilots, cabin crews, professional training for maintenance and ground staff, and pilot-handling skills training.
Air France’s Integrated Management System
More generally, Air France has developed and is pursuing the deployment of an Integrated Management System (IMS), enabling synergies between all the progress-oriented and risk management approaches: Flight Safety, Health and Safety in the Workplace, Customer Service Quality, Operational Performance, Environment and Sustainable Development, Food Safety and Security. In 2016, Air France’s Global Certification was confirmed, covering the following international standards: ISO 14001/Environment, ISO 22000/Food Hygiene, OHSAS 18001/ Vocational Health & Safety.
The IMS is the steering vector in management of the businesses, aimed at an ongoing improvement in results. It ensures:
- Compliance with the legal, regulatory and standards-based requirements
- Analysis and management of risks within the framework of a coordinated approach.
- Safe functioning, transversal consistency and overall steering oriented towards the ongoing improvement of all the relevant processes in these areas.
IMS Company Performance contracts were used as reference documents for the purpose of management reviews. In 2017, the priority given to control over sub-contractor activities was clearly formalized in these contracts and was supplemented and developed in 2018 to reflect the new legislation.
Annual target-based contracts, signed between the division’s Executive Vice-President or Vice-President and the CEO, established safety management (like compliance indicators) and safety performance indicators. Contract monitoring takes place twice a year, and quarterly committee meetings are held in the operational divisions and at corporate level. During these meetings progress made on the action plans and indicators is presented, and further action is decided on.
These targets are also used for the setting of collective and individual objectives.
In 2018, Air France set a goal of developing an even stronger safety-first culture. A number of actions were launched, aimed at:
- Improving the knowledge of the in-field realities through LOSA (Line Operation Safety Audit)-type observation campaigns and expanding the information source input to the risk models (audits, flight analysis, external surveillance, etc.);
- Reinforcing trust between the different players to further encourage engagement through concrete and high-profile management actions to promote safety-first practice;
- Reinforcing inter-company cooperation.
KLM’s Integrated Safety Management System
KLM deploys a similar approach to that of Air France.
To reach its objective and become one of the leaders in term of safety, KLM has developed 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 (among others, the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT)).
KLM continuously aims to improve its integrated, performance-based safety management system on the basis of the evaluation of risks and results, enabling risk-based decision making at all levels of KLM. Its Safety Culture program, which includes promotion, communication, theoretical and practical training and learning interventions, is continuously updated and used throughout the company to enhance awareness, as well as the attitudes and behaviors relevant to safety at all levels. The establishment of the Integrated Safety Services Organization (ISSO) in October 2016, further professionalized this integrated approach to safety and compliance throughout the company, increased the level of expertise across all domains in the safety and compliance processes, and pushed KLM’s ISMS to the next level.
The Corporate Safety Committee within the KLM Board of Directors meets quarterly to analyze the Safety indicators for KLM. The results of an in-flight observation campaign, the LOSA (Line Operations Safety Audit), a practice already used by other airlines in the United States, Asia and Australia, were published at the end of 2017 and are the subject of an action plan which forms an integral part of the ongoing process to improve flight safety.
In 2018, KLM increased its focus on occupational safety hazards by renewing the main occupational safety polices that provide structure for required mitigating action. Also, in 2018, KLM renewed its Environmental Safety ISO 14001 certificate and subsequently started to fulfill the ISO High Level Structure Management System requirements.
Integrate a company-wide awareness
Building a company-wide awareness of safety culture in all the processes and across all the companies of the Group is an ongoing process which is producing positive results.
At Air France, the Safety Attitude program was created in 2018, to be deployed across the company over several years, starting in 2019. This program will underscore the vital importance of human and organizational factors: mobilization of line management, a culture of transparency, respect of procedures and effective training initiatives. Furthermore, an “AirSafe” training program covering the human factors behind errors was established within Air France and deployed in 2018. To the same end, the biannual Flight Safety workshops, a communication initiative attended by 1,200 employees, aim to reinforce the awareness of potential risk situations.
In KLM, to monitor and manage all these complex Safety Management System processes and support the relevant employees, an information system was implemented in 2017. In 2018, the main focus was on “Just Culture” principles. A structured program is being implemented within KLM, involving everyone from top level management to front-line operators.
Our Group security procedures are in place to protect customers, employees and assets (aircraft, facilities and IT systems). These include 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.
To ensure the highest level of protection for customers and employees in over 100 countries and 200 cities, our security departments constantly monitor international geopolitical developments. Designated teams are responsible for ensuring continuous flight operations and, where necessary, implementing additional security measures.
We aim to guarantee food services that are healthy and hazard-free for the consumer. Air France and KLM both deploy quality-control procedures to comply with these requirements. The related regulations are, moreover, increasingly exacting.
Risk control relating to food safety is managed by a centralized department at Air France. The management system is based on four processes. One is transversal and applies to all divisions: regulatory intelligence, risk analysis and defining of the measures to control these risks, employee training in best hygiene practices, 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 processes are deployed across all the relevant business lines in which food security reference frameworks enable the circulation of information. These reference frameworks ensure the application of the measures within their individual business lines and report back on the functioning and effectiveness of the measures relating to Food Safety together with the related action plans.
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 between 400 and 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 also 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, enabling the monitoring of current events in this area. These bodies also track performance via indicators and defined action plans, with a view to ensuring a continuous improvement.