The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is aviation’s highest priority. The release of the 2020 Safety Report is a reminder that even as aviation faces its deepest crisis, we are committed to making aviation even safer. Based on the 2020 fatality risk of 0.13, on average, a passenger could take a flight every day for 461 years before experiencing an accident with one fatality on board. But we know that one accident is one too many. Every fatality is a tragedy and it is vital that we learn the correct lessons to make aviation even safer.

The airline industry saw its safety performance improve in 2020 with regard to some key metrics, as the number of total accidents, fatal accidents and fatalities all declined compared to 2019 as well as to the five-year trend lines. Airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry—which includes all IATA airlines—outperformed airlines that are not on the registry. 

Loss of control-inflight had zero accidents in 2020 and inflight damage caused the highest number of fatalities, reinforcing the need to continue identifying risks and threats and take steps to mitigate them.

The 57th edition of the Annual Safety Report (2020), includes in-depth review of these and other global and regional aviation statistics, including:

  • Essential insight into global and regional accident rates and contributing factors
  • Accident Classification Technical Group (ACTG) determined actions with recommendations, guidelines and measures aimed at preventing accidents
  • Regional overview of the safety metrics and corresponding activities for targeted risk management


Did you know?

  • An estimated 1.795 billion passengers flew safely on about 22 million flights in 2020
  • There were 38 aircraft accidents and 132 fatalities in 2020
  • The all accident rate (including Substantial Damage and Hull Loss accidents for IATA and non-IATA jets and turboprops) went up from 1.11 in 2019 to 1.17 accidents per million sectors. There is a continued reduction in accidents, when considering a rolling five-year average rate from 2.24 (2011-2015) vs. 1.38 (2016-2020).
  • The number of fatalities in 2020 decreased compared to 2019 (132 vs. 240)
  • The all accident rate for airlines on the IOSA registry was 1.20 per 1 million

Download the IATA Safety Report 2020