SWISS Appoints Safety Advisory Board

SWISS has created a Safety Advisory Board of three internationally-acknowledged specialists in the aviation safety field.  The Safety Advisory Board will advise Switzerland’s new national airline on all safety-related issues.  The creation of this specialist body marks a first in the airline industry. 

The new SWISS airline has enlisted the services of three excellently-qualified and internationally-acknowledged experts in aviation safety standards for its new Safety Advisory Board.  They are:

Stuart Matthews, President & CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation;

Christian Josef Krahe, former Vice President Operations at Airbus Industrie; and

Karel Ledeboer, long-serving Senior Director at IATA, where he was responsible, inter alia, for flight operations, safety and security.


The Safety Advisory Board is a wholly independent body which will provide SWISS with totally unbiased quarterly recommendations based on the latest developments in the field of the highest international safety standards, in accordance with “best practice” principles.  The Board will also conduct assessments of the structures, workflows and staff qualifications in SWISS’s flight safety organisation.

The Safety Advisory Board will enjoy access to all the documentation it requires to perform its work.  Its recommendations will be presented directly to SWISS Executive Management and the SWISS Board of Directors.  The three-member Board, which assumes its duties this month, will also maintain direct and regular contact with the SWISS Flight Safety Officer.

“These three specialists will be our new airline’s independent mentors on all safety issues,” says André Dosé, SWISS CEO.  “They will provide us with invaluable input, and instruct us to take any action that needs to be taken to help us set new industry standards in the safety field.” 

CVs of the Safety Advisory Board members:

Stuart Matthews is President & CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation, a key international non-profit organisation dedicated to progress and development in the flight safety field.  The Foundation was established by the aviation industry and currently has over 850 members in 145 countries. 

Stuart Matthews has extensive personal links to key figures in the world aviation industry.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of the
US Commercial Aviation Safety Team, which is responsible for the implementation of the US Safety Agenda.  He is also a member of the Executive Oversight Committee, which monitors safety research at NASA.  He can draw on over 48 years of experience in the aviation field.

Christian Josef Krahe, who holds a doctorate in engineering from the Aachen Institute of Technology, served as an Engineering Test Pilot with Airbus Industrie in Toulouse from 1974 to 2000.  His main duties here involved working in a team on the development of the flight deck man/machine interface for all Airbus types.  He was also a member of the Airbus Safety Board, and was involved in various air accident investigations. 

Christian Krahe also served as a test pilot and flight instructor on all Airbus aircraft, and has accumulated some 14 500 hours of flying experience.  In addition to his flying activities, he was Airbus Vice President Sales Europe from 1992 to 1998, and served as Vice President Operations from 1998 until his retirement in September 2000.

Karel Ledeboer, a Dutch national, is an aeronautical engineer.  He completed his studies at Delft Technical University.  He had already joined KLM Royal Dutch Airlines by this time, and remained with the company for 33 years, lastly as Executive Vice President Operations. 

In 1994 he moved to IATA as Senior Director, where his brief included responsibility for infrastructure, flight operations, safety, security, engineering and airport development.  He also served as a member of the Flight Safety Foundation Board and Executive Committee in Washington D.C.