Air travel is one of the safest ways to get around the world, however, this year did see an increase in air travel related fatalities by 900%.
But before you start to get worried or reconsider those holiday plans, there are some important facts you need to know.
Why are airline fatalities up 900%?
According to a report from the Aviation Safety Network, in 2018 there were 555 deaths due to accidents involving airlines, across 16 incidents. This is a 900% increase when compared to 2017.
However, the key part of that above paragraph is where the 16 incidents took place:
- 195 deaths took place in Iran, Nepal, and Russia. These countries are all known for using old planes and especially in Iran’s case, with little or no maintenance.
- 112 deaths occurred in a single crash from José Martí International Airport in Cuba.
- 189 deaths from Lion Air Flight 610, which crashed after takeoff due to a sensor error on the Boeing 737 Max 8.
- One death on Southwest Flight 1380, where debris shattered a window in a freak accident.
You will notice that none of these accidents happened in Europe or North America (apart from the one death above).
And more passengers are flying than ever before. In 2018 there was 45 million flights and 4.5 billion passengers. Essentially 2/3 of the population of the world rode a plane. Yet only 555 passengers died.
Plus, planes are safer than ever before. With every passing year, airlines are able to create better routes (to avoid major storms), train better pilots and use technology to make flying safer.
What we are saying here is that your risk of being involved in an incident, let alone dying, is decreasing more and more with every passing year.
How can you travel safer?
It is not just the airlines and the aviation governing bodies that are hard at work to make flying safer, but also up to you to do your part.
- Be sure to pack your batteries for devices in your carry on, and ensure that they are reputable build quality. This is to prevent fires as we saw on a recent China Southern flight.
- Stay up to date on weather conditions and don’t fly during bad storms unless you have to. Whilst in the western hemisphere it is likely that flights would be cancelled, in other places it might not.
- Fly onboard airlines that are regularly maintained and use tried and true planes.
- Watch the safety demonstration when you board.
Let us know in the comments what you think!