Air travel: 2023 Saw Lowest Fatality Risk and Accident Rate on Record

Commercial aviation in 2023 was the safest on record by several measures, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 2023 Annual Safety Report.

The fatality risk improved to a record low of 0.03 per million flights in 2023. On average a person would have to travel by air every day for 103,239 years to experience a fatal accident at this level of safety in commercial aviation, IATA said.

The accident rate improved to a record low of 0.80 per million sectors in 2023. This implies there was, on average, one accident for every 1.26 million flights IATA said.

The commercial aviation sector conducted a total of 37 million aircraft movements (jet and turboprop) in 2023, witnessing a 17% increase from the previous year. “2023 safety performance continues to demonstrate that flying is the safest mode of transport”, said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Despite the safety achievements of 2023, the aviation industry faced challenges early in 2024, with two high-profile accidents drawing global attention. Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, emphasised that such events underscore the industry’s mission to enhance safety measures. ‘Even if flying is among the safest activities a person can do, there is always room to improve,’ Walsh remarked.

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