COVID-19 Safety Rating for Airlines and Airports

In August 2020, Skytrax launched the COVID-19 Safety Ratings for Airlines and Airports, providing professional investigation and validation of airline and airport COVID-19 hygiene and safety measures.

Edward Plaisted of Skytrax: “After seeing some questionable ratings of airline and airport COVID-19 standards, often based on little more than reading an airline or airport’s COVID-19 policies, it was necessary to introduce reality by providing COVID-19 Safety Ratings based on the actual airport and airline travel experience and assessment. We all know that there is often a disconnect or gap between theory and practice, and to determine accurate safety ratings this needs to be assessed through a detailed evaluation. Meaningful COVID-19 safety auditing needs more than just generic inspection and testing, and requires specialist aviation experience and knowledge if it is to be complete. With over 30 years of air transport standards analysis, Skytrax are leaders in these areas of testing, inspection and certification.”

COVID-19 Health Rating for Airlines and Airports

As customers assess their desire and options to travel by air again, they will look to airports and airlines promoting customer safety as their top priority. An important factor is the ability to identify those airports and airlines that have been independently assessed and certified for going above and beyond to deliver on these safety statements.

Today more than ever, airports and airlines must demonstrate their commitment to delivering excellence in their hygiene and safety measures to ensure customer and staff safety and inspire confidence in air travel.


Skytrax COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating covers potential customer risk and concern elements across the airport and onboard environment. The Airline Safety Ratings also incorporate relevant areas from the IATA Health Safety Standards Checklist, ICAO CART Take-off guidance and WHO recommendations.

Airport assessment includes check-in services and facilities, airline lounges, boarding procedures, deplaning procedures, baggage claim, arrival, and transfer options. The airport service elements cover airline provided options, not areas under direct control of the airport operator. Aside from the cleanliness objective, this evaluates service processes for reducing customer and staff contact wherever practically possible. Onboard, cabin cleanliness heads up the analysis for all common surface contact areas, customer and staff use of face masks and PPE, and protocols to control this, adapted cabin service procedures including catering, in addition to assessing amenities and cleanliness of essential comfort items.



Skytrax COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating is based on of an airport’s COVID-19 hygiene and safety measures. Assessing the enhanced and new safety protocols introduced by airports during COVID-19 to enhance customer and staff safety, the ratings evaluate enhanced cleaning measures, social distancing control, and hand hygiene facilities to offer another layer of reassurance to customers.



Where possible, ATP testing is used to measure surface contamination across the high touch areas in both the airport and onboard environment. High touch surfaces are tested to analyse any variance in surface contamination levels.

While ATP systems do not detect viruses directly, COVID-19 infected material that contains biological residues will be detected by an ATP system. Other methods exist for evaluating cleanliness, but ATP bioluminescence is the only method that combines quantitative data collection with scientific measurement and still delivers speedy results.



The A-Z of Airline COVID-19 policies is the guide to Coronavirus safety policies for over 200 airlines. You can view the safety policies and measures that each airline has introduced at the airport and onboard flights during COVID-19, to maximise customer safety during the coronavirus pandemic.


To make enquiries about further information for the Skytrax COVID-19 Health Rating, please use this form and a member of our team will get back to you.

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