How many plane accidents are there every day

A bad accident happens on every two millionth flight

July 25, 2019 was a record day. More than 230,000 flights were carried out worldwide on that Thursday - more than ever before. On average, there are still 106,000 flights per day. These gigantic numbers have to be kept in mind when looking at the latest data on aircraft accidents.

In the past year there were 20 fatal accidents worldwide, killing a total of 283 people. This is shown by the Aviation Safety Network statistics, which consider all commercial flights with aircraft for 14 and more passengers. 2019 was extremely safe again. In the previous year there had been more than 500 deaths (see graphic).

The trend is clear and continues

It also shows that the positive trend of the past decades is continuing. In the 2010s there were an average of 422 deaths per year, in the noughties it was twice as many. In the 1990s, as many as 1200 passengers died in accidents every year.

This is all the more impressive as the number of flights has multiplied in the same time. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization Icao, it was 14 million in 1990; in 2000 it was 20 million, and today there are 39 million flights worldwide. This means that the chance that an aircraft will have a bad accident is now statistically 1 in 2 million.

Lots of accidents in North America

Eleven of the 20 fatal accidents in 2019 occurred in North America last year. There were 25 dead. Aviation Safety Network attributes this to the numerous flights with smaller airlines to sparsely populated areas in Canada and the USA. There were 157 deaths in Ethiopia - all of them were killed in the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max, after which the aircraft type was grounded worldwide. 43 in Russia (including 41 in the Superjet accident at Moscow-Sheremetyevo airport), 19 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 14 in Colombia and most recently twelve in the Bek Air accident in Kazakhstan.