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Commercial aviation accidents statistics -
Plane accidents evolutions in history

2. Drop in aircraft accident rates

Although the number of accidents per flight has been decreasing with time, the number of fatalities per year has been variable, without dropping.

Evolution of the number of accidents and fatalities

Aircraft accidents are less likely to occur today than 20 years ago. Nevertheless, the growing number of aircraft in operation and their increasing capacity cannot result in a reduction of onboard fatalities.



Number of accidents

1 859


Number of onboard fatalities

29 368

3 848

Number of external fatalities (*)

1 198


(*)External fatalities include on-ground fatalities as well as fatalities on other aircraft involved.

3. Scheduled passenger flights are less likely to be involved in accidents than other types of flights

As journalists like to remind us, you are less likely to be involved in an accident when flying a regular flight than when taking other types of flights (unscheduled passenger and charter, cargo, ferry, test, training, and demonstration flights). The same conclusion can be drawn from the following graph:

Scheduled passenger operations and other kind of operations

The above graph also shows that scheduled passenger operations are 5 to 6 times more common than other types of operations.