Find out what our Safety team say about aviation's safety performance.

Nick Careen

Senior Vice President Operations, Safety and Security

Mark Searle

Director Safety, Operations, Safety and Security

Andreas Poehlitz

Chair, IATA Accident Classification Task Force

Executive Summary

Download the full 2023 IATA Annual Safety Report executive summary (pdf)

In a significant achievement, 2023 saw no fatal accidents or hull losses for jet aircraft, leading to a record-low fatality risk rate of 0.03 rate per million sectors.

The commercial aviation sector recorded an exceptionally safe year in 2023, surpassing a series of outstanding years from 2014 onwards. A total of 30 total accidents, were registered marking a decrease from previous years, but underscoring the ongoing need for continued diligence. Of those accidents, passenger flights were involved in 77% of cases. 

The commercial aviation industry suffered 30 total accidents in 2023, an improvement from 42 accidents in 2022. The all accident rate decreased from 1.30 per million sectors in 2022 to 0.80 in 2023. Overall, there was an average of one accident for every 880,293 flights. 

By upholding the $1 million USD damage threshold since 2005, IATA and the aviation industry have effectively raised the standard for what constitutes an accident. Despite the industry's growth and the potential for more accidents to meet these criteria, this stringent approach, has still resulted in a notable decrease in aircraft damage, both on the ground and in flight.

Despite this positive trend, it's crucial to emphasize that the aviation industry must remain vigilant. Any accident, regardless of its severity or frequency, highlights the critical importance of maintaining a proactive approach to safety, identifying and addressing potential safety issues and emerging trends, as well as implementing safety measures to reduce the likelihood of an accident.

Fatal Accidents

A single fatal loss of control inflight accident occurred in 2023, on a turboprop aircraft, resulting in 72 fatalities. This is reduced from five fatal accidents in 2022 and an improvement on the five-year average (2019-2023) which was five. The fatality risk declined to 0.03 in 2023 from 0.11 in 2022 and 0.11 for the five years, 2019-2023. At this level of safety, on average a person would have to travel by air every day for 103,239 years to experience a fatal accident.

10 Year Accident Data

Taking a longer-term view, the industry has improved its overall safety performance over the last ten years by 61%, with an accident rate in 2023 of 0.80 accidents per million sectors, compared to 2.06 in 2014. In 2013, there were 11 fatal accidents that resulted in 638 fatalities. Over the past five years, there have been an average of about five fatal accidents per year for commercial aircraft (passengers and cargo) resulting in an annual average of 143 fatalities. IATA continues its focus on supporting aviation stakeholders to continuously reduce the industry fatality risk.

Investigation Reports

IATA analysis of accident investigations from 2018 to 2022 showed only 54% of the accidents had an investigation report published. The current shortfall in compliance prevents the aviation industry's various stakeholders from accessing vital information that could significantly improve flight safety.