Air safety declined slightly in 2018, IATA says

8 Mar 2019 by Robert Curley
Stansted airport

Air travel was statistically slightly less safe in 2018 than 2017, although major accidents still only occurred once in every 5.4 million flights, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The rate of accidents per one million flights rose to 1.35 last year from 1.11 per million on 2017, according to IATA’s annual Airline Safety Performance report. However, the 2017 rate was a record low, and 2018’s rate was still lower than the 1.79 accidents per million flights reported between 2013 and 2017.

Worldwide, there were 11 fatal jet accidents in 2018, resulting in 523 fatalities.

“Last year some 4.3 billion passengers flew safely on 46.1 million flights; 2018 was not the extraordinary year that 2017 was,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“However, flying is safe, and the data tell us that it is getting safer.

“For example, if safety in 2018 had remained at the same level as 2013, there would have been 109 accidents instead of 62; and there would have been 18 fatal accidents, instead of the 11 that actually occurred.”

Putting the data in perspective, de Juniac noted that a passenger could take a flight every day for 241 years before experiencing an accident with one fatality on board.

“Flying continues to be the safest form of long distance travel the world has ever known,” he said.

Safety review infographic

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