IATA: Banner Year For Commercial Aviation Safety


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its annual safety report on Feb. 28, noting that 2023 was the safest year ever for commercial air travel.

In its analysis, the trade group stated that there were no hull losses or fatal accidents involving passenger jet aircraft in 2023 despite a 17% uptick in aircraft movements compared to the previous year. IATA found there was one accident for every 1.26 million flights—the lowest rate in over a decade. To contextualize the level of risk, the group said an individual would need to fly daily for 103,239 years to experience a fatal accident.

While there were no fatalities in passenger-jet related incidents last year, IATA did make mention of a crash of a turboprop aircraft in Nepal that killed 68 passengers and four crew members. Still, the numbers show a total of 29 accidents in 2023 that did not involve fatalities or loss of the plane, as compared to 42 accidents in 2022 in which five were fatal.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh cautioned the industry against complacency. “A single fatal turboprop accident with 72 fatalities, however, reminds us that we can never take safety for granted. And two high profile accidents in the first month of 2024 show that, even if flying is among the safest activities a person can do, there is always room to improve. This is what we have done throughout our history. And we will continue to make flying ever safer,” Walsh remarked.

Amelia Walsh
Amelia Walsh is a private pilot who enjoys flying her family’s Columbia 350. She is based in Colorado and loves all things outdoors including skiing, hiking, and camping.