IATA announced the publication of the 2020 Safety Report and released data for the 2020 safety performance of the commercial airline industry.

  • The total number of accidents decreased from 52 in 2019 to 38 in 2020. 
  • The total number of fatal accidents decreased from 8 in 2019 to 5 in 2020. 
  • The all-accident rate was 1.71 accidents per million flights. This is higher than the 5-year (2016-2020) average rate which is 1.38 accidents per million flights.
  • IATA member airlines’ accident rate was 0.83 per million flights, which was an improvement over the 5-year average rate of 0.96. 
  • Total flight operations reduced 53% to 22 million in 2020. 
  • Fatality risk remained unchanged compared to the five-year average at 0.13.

 

With a fatality risk of 0.13 for air travel, on average, a person would have to travel by air every day for 461 years before experiencing an accident with at least one fatality. On average, a person would have to travel every day for 20,932 years to experience a 100% fatal accident.

For the first time in more than 15 years there were no Loss of Control Inflight (LOC-I) accidents, which have accounted for the largest share of fatalities since 2016.

The global average hull loss rate rose slightly in 2021 compared with the five-year average (2016-2020) despite improvement in five regions.

 

Region

2020

2016 - 2020

Global

0.21

0.20

Africa

0.00

0.28

Asia Pacific

0.62

0.30

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

1.37

1.20

Europe

0.31

0.14

Latin America and the Caribbean

0.00

0.39

Middle East and North Africa

0.00

0.34

North America

0.00

0.10

North Asia

0.00

0.03

 

Six regions showed improvement or no deterioration in the turboprop hull loss rate in 2020 when compared to their respective five-year averages. Accidents involving turboprop aircraft represented 29% of all accidents and 40% of fatal accidents in 2020.

 

Region

2020

2016 - 2020

Global

1.59

1.07

Africa

13.02

4.93

Asia Pacific

0.00

0.58

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

0.00

13.75

Europe

0.00

0.00

Latin America and the Caribbean

2.35

0.73

Middle East and North Africa

0.00

1.44

North America

0.00

0.30

North Asia

0.00

0.00

 

Safety in Africa

​​​Airlines based in sub-Saharan Africa experienced six accidents last year, two of which were fatal, both involving turboprop aircraft. This is the same number of fatal accidents that occurred in 2019. Nevertheless, the fatality risk increased because there were fewer flights last year. There were no hull loss accidents involving jet aircraft in 2020. 

IATA continues to work closely with key stakeholders in the region. IATA and African Airlines Association (AFRAA) joined forces with the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) on a three-year safety project to provide technical support to the African air operators of states party to the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) to ensure they achieve and maintain global aviation safety standards.

Safety in CIS

Airlines based in the CIS region experienced no fatal accidents in 2020, which was a significant improvement compared with 2019. The jet hull loss rate for CIS airlines in 2020 improved compared with 2019 but declined compared to the five-year average 2016-2020 and was the highest among regions. CIS airlines experienced no turboprop hull loss accidents in 2020, a significant improvement over 2019 and the five-year average.

IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)

The all-accident rate for airlines on the IOSA registry was nearly three times better than that of non-IOSA airlines for 2020 (1.20 vs. 3.29). The 2016-2020 average of IOSA airlines versus non-IOSA airlines was more than twice as good (0.99 vs. 2.32). All IATA member airlines are required to maintain their IOSA registration. There are currently 438 airlines on the IOSA Registry of which 142 are non-IATA Members.

 

Credit | iStock
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