Wednesday, 2 January 2019

556 people died in commercial aircraft crashes during 2018

Analysis and research done by The Aviation Safety Network found that there was a total of 15 fatal airliner accidents, resulting in 556 fatalities during 2018. Yet, despite several high-profile accidents, 2018 proved to be one of the safest years on record.  

The ASN looked at all worldwide fatal commercial aircraft accidents, including passenger and cargo flights involving civil aircraft of which were certified to transport 14 or more passengers. Consequently, the April 11th accident involving an Algerian Air Force IL-76 transport plane which claimed the lives of 257 people has not been included in the totals. However, if including military transport aircraft the total number fatalities would be 917 people in 25 fatal accidents.

2018 proved to be the third safest year ever by the number of fatal accidents and the ninth safest in terms of fatalities. The safest year in aviation history was 2017 with 10 accidents and 44 lives lost.
Looking at that five-year average of 14 accidents and 480 fatalities, last year was worse on both accounts.


Twelve accidents involved passenger flights, three were cargo flights. Three out of 15 accident aeroplanes were operated by airlines on the E.U. “blacklist”, up by two compared to 2017. Given the estimated worldwide air traffic of about 37,800,000 flights, the accident rate is one fatal accident per 2,520,000 flights. 

Reflecting on this accident rate, Aviation Safety Network’s CEO Harro Ranter stated that the level of safety has increased significantly: “If the accident rate had remained the same as ten years ago, there would have been 39 fatal accidents last year. At the accident rate of the year 2000, there would have been even 64 fatal accidents. This shows the enormous progress in terms of safety in the past two decades.”

Looking back at the past five years, one thing is clear: Loss of Control accidents are a major safety concern as this type of accident was responsible for at least ten of the 25 worst accidents. Most of those accidents were not survivable.


The Aviation Safety Network is an independent organisation located in the Netherlands. Founded in 1996. It has the aim to provide everyone with a (professional) interest in aviation with up-to-date, complete and reliable authoritative information on airliner accidents and safety issues. ASN is an exclusive service of the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF). The figures have been compiled using the airliner accident database of the Aviation Safety Network, the Internet leader in aviation safety information. The Aviation Safety Network uses information from authoritative and official sources.   
  



556 people died in commercial aircraft crashes during 2018