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2012 Best in History of Continuous Safety Improvements

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the 2012 global accident rate for Western-built jets was the lowest in aviation history.

  • The 2012 global Western-built jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per million flights of Western-built jets) was 0.20, the equivalent of one accident every 5 million flights.
  • This represented a 46% improvement over 2011, when the accident rate was 0.37, or one accident for every 2.7 million flights.
  • IATA’s 240+ member airlines recorded no Western-built jet hull losses in 2012.

“The industry’s 2012 record safety performance was the best in history. Each day approximately 100,000 flights arrive safely at their destination. Airlines, airports, air navigation service providers, manufacturers and safety regulators work together to ensure every flight is as safe as possible. Their dedication and cooperation has made air travel remarkably safe. Nevertheless, there is still work to do. Every accident is one too many and each fatality is a human tragedy. The first commercial airline flight took place on 1 January 1914. Since then the very first flight the airline industry has made continuous improvement in safety its top priority,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Safety by the numbers:

  • Close to 3 billion people flew safely on 37.5 million flights (29.8 million by jet, 7.7 million by turboprop)
  • 75 accidents (all aircraft types, Eastern and Western built), down from 92 in 2011
  • 15 fatal accidents (all aircraft types) versus 22 in 2011
  • 6 hull loss accidents involving Western-built jets compared to 11 in 2011
  • 3 fatal hull loss accidents involving Western-built jets, down from 5 in 2011
  • 414 fatalities compared to 486 in 2011
  • Fatality rate slightly increased to 0.08 per million passengers from 0.07 in 2011 based on Western-built jet operations
  • IATA member airlines outperformed the industry average for accidents of all aircraft types (0.71 accidents per million flights compared to 2.01), accounting for 13 of the 75 accidents

Regional Highlights—Western-built Jet Hull Loss Rates

  • The following regions outperformed the global Western-built jet hull loss rate of 0.20: Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (0.0), Europe (0.15), Middle East and North Africa (0.0), North America (0.0), and North Asia (0.0).
  • The following regions saw their safety performance improve in 2012 compared to 2011: the CIS (from 1.06 to 0.00), Latin America and the Caribbean (from 1.28 to 0.42), Middle East and North Africa (from 2.02 to 0.0) and North America (from 0.10 to 0.0).
  • The following regions saw safety performance decline in 2012 compare to 2011: Africa (from 3.27 to 3.71), Asia-Pacific (from 0.25 to 0.48) and Europe (from 0.0 to 0.15).
  • Latin America and the Caribbean posted a second consecutive year of improvement (0.42 vs. 1.28) but the region’s rate was still higher than the world average.
  • Africa registered a higher rate, from 3.27 in 2011 to 3.71 in 2012, and it is still the worst performer by a large margin.