2022 Airline Safety Performance by IATA
2022 Airline Safety Performance by IATA

2022 Airline Safety Performance by IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its 2022 Safety Report for global aviation. The report showed a reduction in the number of fatal accidents and the fatality risk, compared to 2021 and to the five-year average (2018-2022).

Last year saw a surge in air travel compared to 2021 as COVID-19-related travel restrictions were lifted or relaxed by most governments. In 2022, over 32 million flights were operated, an increase of 25% compared to 2021, but still 31% lower than the number of flights operated in 2019.

However, the commercial aviation industry suffered a total of 39 accidents in 2022, an increase from 29 accidents in 2021. The overall rate of accidents also increased from 1.13 per million sectors in 2021 to 1.21 in 2022. On average, there was one accident for every 826,088 flights in 2022.

IATA’s 2022 Airline Safety Report Highlights

  • In 2022, there were five fatal accidents involving loss of life to passengers and crew. This is reduced from seven in 2021 and an improvement on the five-year average (2018-2022) which was also seven.

  • The fatal accident rate improved to 0.16 per million sectors for 2022, from 0.27 per million sectors in 2021, and also was ahead of the five-year fatal accident rate of 0.20.

  • The fatality risk declined to 0.11 from 0.23 in 2021 and 0.13 for the five years, 2018-2022.

  • IATA member airlines experienced one fatal accident in 2022, with 19 fatalities.
 202220215-YEAR AVERAGE (2019-2022)
All accident rates (accidents per one million flights)1.21 (1 accident every 0.83 million flights)1.13 (1 accident every 0.89 million flights)1.26 (1 accident every 0.81 million flights)
All accident rates for IATA member airlines0.49 (1 accident every 2.1 million flights)0.61 (1 accident every 1.6 million flights)0.76 (1 accident every 1.4 million flights)
Total accidents392943
Fatal accidents5
 (1 jet and 4 turboprop)
7(1 jet and 6 turboprop)7(3 jet and 4 turboprop)
Fatalities onboard158121231
Fatality risk0.110.230.13
IATA member airlines’ fatality risk0.020.000.05
Jet hull losses (per one million flights)0.17 (1 major accident every 5.8 million flights)0.13 (1 major accident every 7.6 million flights)0.16 (1 major accident every 6.4 million flights)
Turboprop hull losses (per one million flights)1.47 (1 hull loss every 0.68 million flights)1.77 (1 hull loss every 0.57 million flights)1.12 (1 hull loss every 1.2 million flights)
Total flights (million)32.225.734.4

“Accidents are rare in aviation. There were five fatal accidents among 32.2 million flights in 2022. That tells us that flying is among the safest activities in which a person can engage. But even though the risk of flying is exceptionally low, it is not risk-free. Careful analysis of the trends that are emerging even at these very high levels of safety is what will make flying even safer,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

IATA’s Director General emphasized that safety is the topmost priority in aviation. He further added that this year’s report highlights the need to focus on special efforts for turboprop operations in Africa and Latin America. The report’s objective is to ensure every flight takes off and lands safely, regardless of the region or aircraft type.

Fatality Risk

On average, a person would have to take a flight every day for 25,214 years to experience a 100% fatal accident, given the industry’s 2022 fatality risk of 0.11. This figure represents an improvement over the five-year fatality rate, which had an average of 22,116 years.

However, despite a reduction in the number of fatal accidents, the total number of fatalities increased from 121 in 2021 to 158 in 2022. Most of the fatalities occurred in a single aircraft accident in China, which claimed the lives of 132 people. The airline involved was not an IATA member, but it was registered with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry. The second-largest loss of life happened in Tanzania in an accident involving an IATA member, resulting in 19 fatalities.

Fatal Accidents of 2022

Five accidents in 2022 resulted in fatalities, compared with seven in 2021. As a result, the fatal accident rate improved from 0.27 per million sectors in 2021 to 0.16 for 2022, which was also ahead of the 5-year fatal accident rate of 0.20. Despite the reduction in the number of fatal accidents, the number of fatalities rose from 121 to 158.

The majority of fatalities occurred in a single aircraft accident in China after a China Eastern Boeing 737 crashed in southern China, claiming the lives of 132 persons. The next largest loss of life occurred in an accident in Tanzania where a Precision Air ATR 42 turboprop crashed into Lake Victoria, resulting in 19 fatalities.

In three of the accidents, fatalities did not occur to passengers and crew, but rather to persons on the ground.

  • In an accident at Conakry airport, Guinea, a motorcycle entered the runway as the aircraft was landing and collided with the aircraft. Both people on the motorcycle died.

  • In another accident, a fire vehicle entered the runway at Lima airport in Peru as an aircraft was taking off, resulting in the deaths of two firefighters who were on the fire vehicle. 
  • A third accident occurred in Montgomery, AL, USA, when an airline ground worker was ingested into the engine of an aircraft shortly after the aircraft arrived at the gate but before both engines were shut down.

Of the 39 aircraft accidents in 2022, IATA member airlines had 10 non-fatal and one fatal accident. IATA member airlines continued to trend lower than the industry at 0.49 accidents per million sectors versus 1.21 per million sectors for the industry as a whole– a pattern also reflected in the five-year average rate (2018-2022) of [0.76 for IATA members vs. 1.26 for industry]


IOSA is the global industry standard for airline operational safety audits and a requirement for IATA membership. It is used by numerous authorities in their regulatory safety programs.

  • Currently, 409 operators are on the IOSA Registry, including 107 non-IATA Members.

  • The all-accident rate for airlines on the IOSA registry in 2022 was four times better than the rate for non-IOSA airlines (0.70 vs. 2.82).

  • The 2018-2022 accident rate of IOSA airlines versus non-IOSA airlines was more than twice as good (0.88 vs. 2.19).

“IOSA continues to be the global standard for operational safety audits. With carriers on the IOSA registry having an aggregate safety record that is four times better than non-IOSA carriers, it is clearly continuing to make a difference. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, we are transitioning IOSA to a risk-based model. By focusing on pertinent safety risks while maintaining a baseline of safety, IOSA will contribute to raising the safety bar even higher. Additionally, the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA), for operators of smaller aircraft that are not eligible for the IOSA program, ensures we look to deliver continuous improvement in safety performance across the whole aviation ecosystem,” said Walsh.

Jet hull loss rates by region of operator (per 1 million departures)

In 2022, the global average jet hull loss rate rose slightly compared to the five-year average (2018-2022). Five regions saw improvements, or no deterioration, compared to the five-year average.

Asia Pacific0.000.33026
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
Latin America and the Caribbean0.950.000.34
Middle East and North Africa0.000.000.00
North America0.000.140.06
North Asia0.460.000.12

Turboprop hull loss rates by region of operator (per 1 million departures)

The number of turboprop accidents declined in 2022 compared to 2021 but they accounted for four of the five fatal accidents last year with a loss of life to passengers and crew onboard. Although sectors flown by turboprops represented just 10.6% of the total, turboprops were involved in 36% of all accidents, 80% of fatal accidents and 16% of fatalities in 2022.

Six regions showed improvement or no deterioration, in the turboprop hull loss rate in 2022 when compared to the five-year average. The two regions to see increases compared to the five-year average were Latin America/Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Both sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America saw increases in turboprop accidents last year. Introduction and adherence to global standards (including IOSA) are key to reversing this trend. The priority for Africa continues to be an implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS),” said Walsh.

Asia Pacific0.000.000.22
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)0.0042.5313.30
Latin America and the Caribbean5.640.001.86
Middle East and North Africa0.000.001.44
North America0.000.000.35
North Asia0.000.000.00

10-Year Accident Data

Over the last decade, the industry has made significant strides in improving its safety performance, with a 48% reduction in the accident rate in 2022, compared to 2013. In 2022, the accident rate stood at 1.21 accidents per million sectors, compared to 2.31 in 2013. In 2013, there were 11 fatal accidents, leading to 173 fatalities.

Over the past five years, commercial aircraft (passengers and cargo) have averaged around seven fatal accidents per year, resulting in an average of 231 fatalities annually.

Source: IATA Press Release