IATA: Western-built jet aircraft accident rate second lowest in aviation history

The accident rate for Western-built jet aircraft in 2009 was the second lowest in aviation history, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The 2009 global accident rate, which is measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jet aircraft, was 0.71. That is equal to one accident for every 1.4 million flights.

According to the IATA, this is a significant improvement of the 0.81 rate recorded in 2008 or one accident for 1.2 million flights. The 2009 rate was the second lowest in aviation history, just above the 2006 rate of 0.65. Compared to 10 years ago, the accident rate has been cut 36 percent from the rate recorded in 2000.

In absolute numbers, 2009 saw:

  • 2.3 billion people flew safely on 35 million flights (27 million jet, 8 million turboprop)
  • 19 accidents involving western built jet aircraft compared to 22 in 2008
  • 90 accidents (all aircraft types, Eastern and Western built) compared to 109 in 2008
  • 18 fatal accidents (all aircraft types) compared to 23 in 2008
  • 685 fatalities compared to 502 in 2008

“Safety is the industry’s number one priority. Even in a decade during which airlines lost an average of US$5 billion per year, we still managed to improve our safety record,” Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said in a news release. “Last year, 2.3 billion people flew safely. But every fatality is a human tragedy that reminds us of the ultimate goal of zero accidents and zero fatalities.”

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