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Rating agency identifies safest airlines

Aug. 30, 2011 at 9:31 PM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A Swiss agency rating airline safety has released its list of the top 10 airlines based on criteria contributing directly or indirectly to general safety.

The independent Air Transport Rating Agency said in a release Tuesday it bases its ratings on a number of factors including passenger and employee data, number of aircraft operated, average age of aircraft flown, total mileage flown, maintenance capability and the number of accidents in the last 10 years.

The 2011 list, compiled from 2009 data, includes -- in alphabetical, not rating order -- Air France-KLM; AMR Corp. (American Airlines, American Eagles); British Airways; Continental Airlines; Delta Airlines; Japan Airlines; Lufthansa; Southwest Airlines; United Airlines; and US Airways.

ATRA is independent from airlines, manufacturers, regulatory authorities, trade unions and not-for-profit organizations, its release said.

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