IATA: One accident for every 740,000 flights in 2018

posted on 21st February 2019 by Justin Burns

The airline industry is showing continuing safety improvements over the long term but there was an increase in accidents last year compared to 2017, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported.

IATA released its data for the 2018 safety performance and said accident rate (measured in accidents per 1 million flights) was 1.35, which was the equivalent of one accident for every 740,000 flights.

This was an improvement over the all accident rate of 1.79 for the previous 5-year period (2013-2017), but a decline compared to 2017’s record performance of 1.11.

The 2018 rate for major jet accidents (measured in jet hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.19, which was the equivalent of one major accident for every 5.4 million flights. This was an improvement over the rate for the previous 5-year period (2013-2017) of 0.29 but not as good as the rate of 0.12 in 2017.

There were 11 fatal accidents with 523 fatalities among passengers and crew. This compares with an average of 8.8 fatal accidents and approximately 234 fatalities per year in the previous 5-year period (2013-2017). In 2017, the industry experienced Ssix fatal accidents with 19 fatalities, which was a record low. One accident in 2017 also resulted in the deaths of 35 persons on the ground.

IATA’s director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac said: “Last year some 4.3 billion passengers flew safely on 46.1 million flights. 2018 was not the extraordinary year that 2017 was. 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.”

He added: “Flying continues to be the safest form of long distance travel the world has ever known. Based on the data, on average, a passenger could take a flight every day for 241 years before experiencing an accident with one fatality on board. We remain committed to the goal of having every flight takeoff and land safely.”

2018 Safety Performance: 

  2018        2017         5 – year average (2013 – 2017)
On-board Fatalities (iii) 523 19 234.4
Accidents 62 46 68
Fatal Accidents 11 6 8.8
Fatality Risk (iv) 0.17 0.10 0.20