Aircraft accident rates at all-time low

There was just one accident involving a commercial jet for every 4.4 million flights that were taken last year, according to IATA.

There was just one accident involving a commercial jet for every 4.4 million flights that were taken last year, according to IATA.

In publishing its annual analysis of the global commercial aviation sector’s safety performance, the body confirmed that during 2014 accident rates – measured in hull losses – were at the lowest in the sector’s history.

However, while the number of fatal accidents fell to 12, against an average of 19 per year between 2009 and 2013, the total number of deaths caused rose to 641 compared with 210 fatalities in 2013 and the five-year average of 517, following a series of tragic incidents including the losses of MH370, AH5017 and QZ8501.

Despite the rise in fatalities, IATA’s data confirms that safety performance improved in all regions across the work, with fewer accidents and hull losses in comparison with the five-year average.

"Any accident is one too many and safety is always aviation’s top priority. While aviation safety was in the headlines in 2014, the data show that flying continues to improve its safety performance," said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Key IATA findings for 2014:

  • •    More than 3.3 billion people flew safely on 38.0 million flights (30.6 million by jet, 7.4 million by turboprop)
  • •    73 accidents (all aircraft types), down from 81 in 2013 and the five-year average of 86 per year
  • •    12 fatal accidents (all aircraft types) versus 16 in 2013 and the five-year average of 19
  • •    16 per cent of all accidents were fatal, below the five-year average of 22 per cent
  • •    Seven hull loss accidents involving jets compared to 12 in 2013 and the five-year average of 16
  • •    Three fatal hull loss accidents involving jets, down from six in 2013, and the five-year average of eight
  • •    17 hull loss accidents involving turboprops of which nine were fatal
  • •    641 fatalities compared to 210 fatalities in 2013 and the five-year average of 517
  • •    The world turboprop hull loss rate improved to 2.30 hull losses per million flights in 2014 compared to 2.78 in the five years 2009-2013.
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