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Passenger Aviation

2023 – the Safest Year in the History of Passenger Aviation

Air travel is the safest mode of transportation. In 2023, it was the safest year in the history of flight safety of passenger aviation, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The annual safety report confirmed that, on average, a person would have to fly every day for 103,239 years before a fatal incident occurs.

According to IATA, in 2023, there was only one fatal incident – a crash of a domestic flight in Nepal, resulting in the death of 68 passengers and four crew members. Even with a 17% increase in air traffic, the accident rate decreased. Last year, there was one accident for every 1.26 million flights, compared to the five-year average of one accident for every 880,000 flights.

There were also no hull losses of passenger planes last year, meaning no irreparable damage occurred to aircraft.

However, 2024 started much worse. For instance, on January 2, an Airbus A350 of Japan Airlines caught fire on the runway at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. It collided with a coast guard aircraft, resulting in the deaths of five people.

Three days later, there was an incident involving Alaska Airlines. A Boeing 737 Max 9 lost a door plugin mid-air but safely returned to Portland International Airport after 20 minutes with no serious injuries.

This incident raised serious questions about Boeing’s quality control processes. In a preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board stated that the aircraft, delivered just 66 days earlier, left the factory without the bolts securing the door plug.

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