Civil Aviation safer in 2019


THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – According to To70‘s 2019 Civil Aviation Safety Review, past year was a much more safer year for civil aviation, despite the Boeing 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia on March 10, in which 157 people were killed. There were fewer accidents among the airlines, To70 said on Wednesday.

2019 Safer Year For Aviation
Image: To70

Safer year

Flight safety past year was dominated by problems in relation to the 737 MAX, but the number of accidents and fatalities in general was relatively low in comparison to 2018.

A total of 86 aircraft accidents occurred in 2019, 8 of which were fatal. A total of 257 people died. In 2018, there were 160 accidents and 534 fatalities. However, the best year ever in terms of flight safety is still 2017, when only 13 people died in a total of 2 accidents.

According to To70, the accident rate for 2019 was 0.18. That amounts to 1 fatal accident per every 5.58 million passenger flights. The accident rate in 2018 was still 0.20.

Major aircraft accidents in 2019

The biggest accident in 2019 occurred on March 13, when a Boeing 737 MAX 8 from Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after departure from Addis Ababa Airport, due to problems with the new MCAS system. All 157 passengers were killed. That much-discussed accident – the second within 5 months with an aircraft of this type – led to the worldwide flight ban for the 737 MAX.

On May 5, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 caught fire after a hard landing at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport. A total of 41 people died in the sea of ​​flames. The number of deaths was higher because some passengers in the front part of the aircraft delayed evacuation by disembarking with their luggage.

Three other crashes resulted in a total of 55 casualties. On March 9, 14 people died in Colombia in an accident with an old Douglas DC-3 Dakota. On November 24, a Dornier 228 crashed in a residential area in Congo, killing 29 people (10 of them on the ground). In the accident last week with a Fokker 100 of Bek Air in Kazakhstan on December 27, 12 people were killed.

Accidents with large passenger aircraft in 2019 with more than 10 fatalities:

Date (2019)TypeCountry of ManufactureOperatorLocation of AccidentFatalities
9 MarchDouglas DC-3United StatesLASERColombia14
10 MarchBoeing 737 MAXUnited StatesEthiopian AirlinesEthiopia157
5 MaySukhoi Superjet 100Russia / CISAeroflotRussia41
24 NovemberDornier 228GermanyBusy BeeCongo29 ☆
27 DecemberFokker 100NetherlandsBek AirKazachstan12

☆ 19 on board, plus 10 on the ground.

Important questions

Despite the positive safety review for 2019, To70 emphasizes that a number of important questions still need to be answered in relation to the Boeing 737 MAX. The agency refers to the responsibility that aviation authorities place on aircraft builders, and the provision of information and training procedures when introducing new systems. According to To70, the question must also be asked whether the Boeing 737 MAX is not a further development of the 737 series.

“We expect these questions to be answered and the 737 MAX is likely to return to service in 2020,” Adrian Young of To70 said.

About To70 

To70 is one of the world’s leading aviation consultancies from the Netherlands, with offices in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America. The company provides pragmatic solutions and expert advice to the global aviation community, based on high-quality data-driven analyses. For more information, visit


(Head photo: Adrian Pingstone – Wikimedia Commons)

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