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Commercial Airline Accidents Drop in 2020

For the first time in 15 years, there were zero loss of control inflight (LOC-I) accidents in the airline industry during 2020, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  In its report, IATA also noted that the total number of accidents last year (38 overall; five fatal) decreased from 52 overall and eight fatal crashes in 2019.

Despite fewer accidents taking place, however, the accident rate was higher than average because total flight operations decreased by 53 percent due to the global pandemic.  IATA said there were 1.71 accidents per million flights in 2020 compared to the five-year average of 1.38 accidents per million flights in the commercial airline industry.

“The severe reduction in flight numbers magnified the impact of each accident when we calculate rates,” said IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. “But numbers don’t lie, and we will not allow this to become a trend. We will have even sharper focus on safety during this period of reduced operations and as flight schedules are rebuilt when the world reopens.”