African airlines are the safest in the world for the third consecutive year

RwandAir
  • This is according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for the 2018 safety performance of the commercial airline industry.
  • Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO revealed that for a third consecutive year, airlines in Sub-Saharan Africa experienced zero jet hull losses and zero fatalities in 2018.
  • Currently, Ethiopian Airways, with a fleet of 96 passenger aircraft and freighters and more than 60 fleets on order, is Africa’s most profitable airline.

This is according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for the 2018 safety performance of the commercial airline industry which shows continuing safety improvements over the long term.

While releasing the safety report Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO revealed that for a third consecutive year, airlines in Sub-Saharan Africa experienced zero jet hull losses and zero fatalities in 2018 compared to the rest of the world.

"For a third consecutive year, airlines in Sub-Saharan Africa experienced zero jet hull losses and zero fatalities in jet operations. The all-accident rate was 2.71, a significant improvement over the rate of 6.80 for the previous five years. Africa was the only region to see a decline in the all-accident rate compared to 2017. However, the region experienced 2 fatal turboprop accidents, neither of which involved a scheduled passenger flight," said De Juniac.

The report is certainly a boost to African airlines which have in recent years been battling for business with Middle Eastern and European airlines. Currently, Ethiopian Airways, with a fleet of 96 passenger aircraft and freighters and more than 60 fleets on order, is Africa’s most profitable airline.

The state-owned carrier is essentially Africa’s largest airline and flies to over 20 in-country locations, 58 destinations in Africa, and more than 100 cities in five continents globally.

The global airline industry witnessed an increase in accidents last year compared to 2017, suggesting a downward trend in aviation safety, however, a broader dataset over a longer period shows this to be false.

"Last year some 4.3 billion passengers flew safely on 46.1 million flights. 2018 was not the extraordinary year that 2017 was. However, flying is safe, and the data tell us that it is getting safer. For example, if safety in 2018 had remained at the same level as 2013, there would have been 109 accidents instead of 62; and there would have been 18 fatal accidents, instead of the 11 that actually occurred," De Juniac continued said.

There are about two dozen national airlines in Africa with several other small and private airlines crisscrossing the African airspace.

Flying continues to be the safest mode of transport and going forward the world can begin looking at Africa for safety lessons.

"Flying continues to be the safest form of long-distance travel the world has ever known. Based on the data, on average, a passenger could take a flight every day for 241 years before experiencing an accident with one fatality on board,"

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