2023 was ‘Safest year for flying’ says IATA

An airliner approaches to land at dusk.
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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its 2023 Annual Safety Report for global aviation.

Aviation continues to make progress on safety with several 2023 parameters showing “best-ever” results. IATA described 2023 as the ‘safest year for flying’ based on several parameters.

Overall, there were no hull losses or fatal accidents involving passenger jet aircraft in 2023. However, there was a single fatal accident involving a turboprop aircraft, resulting in 72 fatalities.

There were 37 million aircraft movements in 2023 (jet and turboprop), an increase of 17% on the previous year.

The report provides insights into various safety parameters, highlighting achievements and areas for improvement within the aviation industry.

Overall Safety Performance in 2023

The year 2023 marked significant progress in aviation safety, with notable achievements and a few challenges.

Notably, there were no hull losses or fatal accidents involving passenger jet aircraft, signifying a remarkable milestone for the industry.

However, a single fatal accident involving a turboprop aircraft resulted in 72 fatalities, indicating the ongoing need for vigilance and improvement.

Key Highlights

The 2023 Annual Safety Report outlined several key highlights, underscoring the industry’s commitment to enhancing safety standards.

2023 was considered the safest year for flying based on several parameters.

One significant improvement was seen in the all accident rate, which decreased to 0.80 per million sectors, the lowest rate in over a decade.

Moreover, the fatality risk also improved, reflecting positively on the safety measures implemented by aviation stakeholders.

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IATA data for 2023

Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA, emphasized the paramount importance of aviation safety. While celebrating the achievements of 2023, Walsh also acknowledged that challenges persist. The industry must still make continuous efforts to further enhance safety standards.

The IATA head reiterated the industry’s commitment to making flying ever safer for passengers and crew members.

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Regional Safety Performance in 2023

The safety performance across different regions varied in 2023, with improvements noted in several areas.

While regions like North America and Asia-Pacific faced challenges, others saw significant progress in reducing accident rates and enhancing safety measures.

Analyzing regional safety performance provides valuable insights for targeted interventions and improvements.

North America

Despite a rise in the all accident rate in 2023, North America maintained a better-than-average safety record.

Challenges such as landing gear collapses were noted, highlighting areas for focused attention and improvement.


Asia-Pacific witnessed an increase in the all accident rate, primarily due to a fatal accident in Nepal.

However, efforts to maintain safety standards remain a priority, with a focus on addressing areas contributing to accidents.


Africa saw notable improvements in safety performance, with a reduced all accident rate and no fatalities reported in 2023.

Initiatives like the Focus Africa initiative and CASIP are driving efforts to enhance aviation safety across the continent.

View of the terminal area at a European airport.
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Middle East and North Africa

While improvements were observed in the Middle East and North Africa, concerns regarding Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) interference emerged as a critical area needing attention.

Commonwealth of Independent States

The Commonwealth of Independent States witnessed a significant improvement in the all accident rate, reflecting positively on safety measures implemented within the region.


Europe demonstrated commendable safety performance, with a reduced all accident rate and no fatalities reported since 2018.

However, challenges such as landing gear collapses highlight the importance of continuous vigilance.

North Asia

North Asia experienced a notable improvement in safety performance, with a decrease in both the all accident rate and fatality risk.

This positive trend underscores the effectiveness of safety initiatives within the region.

Latin America and Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean reversed an increase in accidents from the previous year. This positive result indicates a renewed focus on safety measures and standards.

Initiatives to Enhance Aviation Safety

Various initiatives and efforts, such as the Focus Africa initiative and CASIP, are playing a crucial role in enhancing aviation safety globally.

Collaborative efforts between industry stakeholders and regulatory bodies are essential for sustaining and improving safety standards.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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