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IATA releases 2019 Airline Safety Report

written by Sandy Milne | April 7, 2020

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released the 56th Annual Safety Report (2019). The data documents the continued trend towards safety in aviation across recent years, even as a record 4.54 billion travellers took to the skies in 2019.

Across the year, the total number of accidents, fatalities and fatal accidents all fell from 2018 (and the five-year trend line running 2014-18).

This was despite the loss of Ethiopian Airlines’ flight ET 302, which led to the grounding of the 737 MAX. ET 302 accounted for 157 of the 240 fatalities to passengers and crew in 2019.

“The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is aviation’s highest priority,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and chief executive. “The release of the 2019 Safety Report is a reminder that even as aviation faces its deepest crisis, we are committed to making aviation even safer.

“Based on the 2019 fatality risk, on average, a passenger could take a flight every day for 535 years before experiencing an accident with one fatality on board. But we know that one accident is one too many. Every fatality is a tragedy and it is vital that we learn the correct lessons to make aviation even safer.”

The number of accidents by region. (IATA)

Loss of control in-flight and hard landings caused the highest number of fatalities in 2019, reinforcing the need to continue identifying technical risks and take appropriate action to mitigate them.

The data provided also gives specifics for some 439 airlines registered on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), and those not party to it. All-accident data collected shows that the incident occurrence rate for those on the IOSA registry was nearly half that of non-IOSA airlines.


Data provided also details information on:

  • accident classifications;
  • jet hull loss rates; and
  • non-fatal accidents.


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