2017 First in 60 Years Without Airline Fatalities

Flying has never been safer.
November 18, 2019

Despite a record number of passengers, statistics show that flying has never been safer. But the aviation sector’s insurance claims continue to grow.

According to the Allianz Aviation Risk Report 2020, between 1959 and 2017, there were 29,298 recorded deaths from 500 global commercial passenger jet fleet events. However, between 2008 and 2017, there were 2,199 fatalities from 37 events, or less than eight percent of the total number. In 2017, for the first time in at least 60 years of aviation, there were no fatalities on a commercial airline. Even 2018, which saw a total of 15 fatal airliner accidents, ranks as the third safest year ever.

Some of the reasons for the increased claims are good ones: Safer aircraft cost more to repair and replace when there are problems. Compounding the claims associated with the costs of safer flight, the report says, liability awards have risen dramatically. Today’s aircraft carry hundreds of passengers at a time. With liability awards per passenger in the millions, a major aviation loss could easily result in a liability loss of $1 billion or more.

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