2014 was the safest year in aviation, says IATA

The year 2014 had the lowest accident rate in the history of aviation, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Tony Tyler, IATA Director-General.

Tony Tyler, IATA Director-General.

The 2014 global jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.23, which was the lowest rate in history and the equivalent of one accident for every 4.4 million flights.

This was an improvement over 2013 when the global hull loss rate stood at 0.41 (an average of one accident every 2.4 million flights) and also an improvement over the five-year rate (2009 – 2013) of 0.58 hull loss accidents per million flights jet.

“While aviation safety was in the headlines in 2014, the data shows that flying continues to improve its safety performance,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General.

The year 2014 will be remembered for two extraordinary and tragic events – MH 370 and MH 17. Although the reasons for the disappearance and loss of MH 370 are unknown, it is classified as a fatal accident, one of 12 in 2014.

The destruction of MH 17 by anti-aircraft weaponry, however, is not included as an accident under globally-recognized accident classification criteria. The four aircraft involved in the events of 9.11 were treated in the same way.

“To the flying public an air tragedy is an air tragedy, regardless of how it is classified. In 2014 we saw a reduction in the number of fatal accidents and that would be true even if we were to include MH 17 in the total. The greatest tribute that we can pay to those who lost their lives in aviation-related tragedies is to continue our dedication to make flying ever safer,” said Tyler.

There were 12 fatal accidents involving all aircraft types in 2014 with 641 fatalities, compared with an average of 19 fatal accidents and 517 fatalities per year in the five-year period (2009-2013).

The 2014 jet hull loss rate for members of IATA was 0.12 (one accident for every 8.3 million flights), which outperformed the global average by 48% and which showed significant improvement over the five-year rate of 0.33.

Airlines in sub-Saharan Africa had zero jet hull loss accidents in 2014. The 27 Sub-Saharan airlines on the IOSA registry are performing more than 10 times better than non-IOSA operators in terms of all accidents (1.95 per million flights versus 19.62).

2014 safety by the numbers:

  • 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% of all accidents were fatal, below the five-year average of 22%
  • 7 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
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