You can rest a little easier on your next flight, comfortable in the knowledge that commercial aviation continues its rise in safety and maintenance of its mantle as the safest form of long-distance travel.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for the 2018 safety performance of the commercial airline industry which shows continuing safety improvements over the long term, but an increase in accidents compared to 2017. While the fact that 2018 was a worse year for safety than 2017 may seem to suggest a downward trend in aviation safety, a broader dataset over a longer period shows this to be unfounded.
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Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO said "Last year some 4.3 billion passengers flew safely on 46.1 million flights. 2018 was not the extraordinary year that 2017 was. However, flying is safe, and the data tell us that it is getting safer. For example, if safety in 2018 had remained at the same level as 2013, there would have been 109 accidents instead of 62; and there would have been 18 fatal accidents, instead of the 11 that actually occurred."
De Juniac continued that "Flying continues to be the safest form of long-distance travel the world has ever known. Based on the data, on average, a passenger could take a flight every day for 241 years before experiencing an accident with one fatality on board."
Of particular interest is what IATA's Airline Safety Performance report says about Africa:
"For a third consecutive year, airlines in Sub-Saharan Africa experienced zero jet hull losses and zero fatalities in jet operations. The all accident rate was 2.71, a significant improvement over the rate of 6.80 for the previous five years. Africa was the only region to see a decline in the all-accident rate compared to 2017. However, the region experienced 2 fatal turboprop accidents, neither of which involved a scheduled passenger flight."
This is a testament to the improving systems and processes that are occurring with many African airlines and in many African countries. That being said there is always room for improvement though for now there is much to be proud of with a largely incident-free airspace over the African continent.
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Check out the infographic below for some more information.
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