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Air transport industry safety performance improves in 2018

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In 2018, more than four billion passengers worldwide were carried safely on 38 million flights.

There were 13 major accidents involving commercial airline operations, which resulted in a total of 523 fatalities. This represented an overall loss rate of one major accident for every three million flights.

Looking more closely at the data, there were seven major accidents involving large western-built commercial airline jets, which resulted in a total of 304 fatalities, representing a loss rate for this category of operations of one major accident for every five million flights.

Asia Pacific carriers experienced two major accidents involving large western-built commercial airline jets, which resulted in 190 fatalities.

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) member airlines experienced zero major accidents during 2018.

Turning to turboprop aircraft operations worldwide, there were five major accidents in 2018 involving commercial airlines, which resulted in a total of 148 fatalities, including one accident involving an Asian operator which resulted in 51 fatalities.

Turboprop operations play an important role in the development of new routes and connectivity to relatively inaccessible regions. Overall safety performance for turboprop operations has benefitted from collective efforts to address specific risk factors and operational challenges. AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman said: “Aviation safety is always our first priority and responsibility. With the demand for air travel growing continuously, the world’s airlines are now responsible for safely transporting 12 million passengers a day, with a total of 4.5 billion passengers expected to take to the skies this year. Flying is extraordinarily safe, and major accidents are rare events, but the industry experienced a number of fatal accidents in 2018 which reinforce the need to maintain and further enhance the highest safety management practices and standards.”

“Attaining ICAO’s global aviation safety objectives requires active collaboration of regulators and industry, at all levels, to establish proactive safety management systems across the industry, identify evolving safety priorities and address common operational challenges,” added Herdman. “Governments and industry need to work closely together to tackle existing aviation infrastructure capacity constraints and congestion, whilst investing in the future to ensure that the air transport system is able to meet the expected growth in demand. The AAPA strongly supports measures to reinforce the effectiveness of safety oversight within the region and enhance aviation safety performance through regional and national safety teams.”

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