IATA Data Shows 2017 Really Was Extraordinary For Aviation Safety

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

The year 2017 was a banner one for aviation safety. There was one major jet accident for every 8.1 million flights and a total of just 19 accident fatalities – none of which involved a passenger jet -- in a total of 41.8 million flights.

 "2017 was a very good year for aviation safety. Some 4.1 billion travellers flew safely on 41.8 million flights,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

 “We saw improvements in nearly all key metrics -- globally and in most regions. And our determination to make this very safe industry even safer continues. In 2017, there were incidents and accidents that we will learn from through the investigation process, just as we will learn from the recent tragedies in Russia and Iran. The industry knows that every fatality is a tragedy. Our common goal is for every flight to take-off and land safely."

 IATA released data for the 2017 safety performance of the commercial airline industry. A few more key points:

  •  There were 6 fatal accidents with 19 fatalities among passengers and crew. This compares with an average of 10.8 fatal accidents and approximately 315 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period (2012-2016). In 2016, there were 9 fatal accidents and 202 fatalities.
  • None of the 6 fatal accidents involved a passenger jet. Five involved turboprop aircraft and one involved a cargo jet. The crash of the cargo jet also resulted in the deaths of 35 persons on the ground, as well as the crew of the jet. 
  • IATA member airlines experienced zero fatal accidents or hull losses in 2017 with jet or turboprop equipment.
Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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