TL;DR: Commercial airplane incidents are not happening more frequently. Air travel remains exceptionally safe, with strict regulations ensuring high safety standards. Recent incidents involving Boeing jets have attracted media attention, skewing public perception.

Main Points:

  • Air Travel Safety: Air travel is the safest mode of transport with low accident rates.
  • Recent Incidents: Boeing jets have experienced non-fatal incidents, increasing media coverage.
  • Public Perception: Media attention can skew the perception of safety.
  • Charter Jet Safety: Private charter jets are also safe, especially when brokers and carriers set and maintain high standards.

Just like any other mode of transportation, safety has to be a top priority for successful air travel. It’s not pleasant to think about, but injury or death related to traveling in a vehicle, aircraft or not, is one of the very worst possible outcomes for a trip.

So, have commercial airplane incidents and accidents happened more frequently in recent years? Is there legitimate concern about declining safety standards and increased risk? Let’s take a closer look.

Air Travel is Especially Safe

The good news is that air travel is exceptionally safe overall. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) states that “flying is the safest mode of transport.”

The most recent full-year safety statistics published by the IATA for 2023 list no fatal accidents occurring with jet aircraft. Only one fatal accident occurred with a turboprop aircraft.

The IATA also published a full table of accident statistics, listing 2023, 2022, and the five-year average for 2019-2023. In 2023, total accidents, fatal accidents, and fatality risk percentages were all below the five-year average. In 2022, some metrics slightly exceeded the five-year average but were close.

In terms of major accidents and incidents, it doesn’t appear that commercial airplane incidents are happening more frequently. In the long term, commercial air travel has been recognized as especially safe. In the last few years, there has not been a substantial increase in key safety metrics like total accidents or fatal accidents.

Passengers and crew members are both exceptionally safe on airplanes. For IATA member airlines in the past five years, an accident occurred on one out of every 1.4 million flights. For all airlines across the globe in the same timeframe, an accident occurred for one out of every 880,000 flights.

In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) closely oversees air safety standards and enforcement. FAA standards like Part 121 and Part 135, among many other rules and regulations, set safety requirements for commercial and charter air travel.

Strict rules and regulations help make air travel exceptionally safe. However, that doesn’t mean that accidents or incidents on airplanes never happen. Additionally, news coverage of airplane incidents recently can skew the perception of accident frequency.

A private jet soars above the clouds

Recent Airplane Incidents

While air travel is exceptionally safe, it’s not completely free from aviation accidents or incidents.

If you searched “airplane incidents today” in your web browser recently, or simply checked the homepage of your favorite news org, you might have come across the air safety controversy related to Boeing.

As Newsweek shares, several Boeing aircraft have experienced safety-related issues in the first quarter of 2024.

That started with an Alaska Airlines flight using a Boeing 737 Max 9 losing its rear door plug in flight. NPR explains that the rapid decompression caused by that loss sucked a variety of objects out of the opening, but no serious injuries or fatalities occurred. However, that was in part due to no one sitting in the row where the door plug was lost.

That accident led to increased news attention, with more airplane incident reports, analysis, and follow-up coverage in prominent places. So, we can say all of the following are true in relation to airplane incidents and accidents:

  • Boeing has recently experienced a relatively high number of airplane incidents and accidents with its jets used by a variety of airlines, although none of them have led to fatalities or crashes.
  • Commercial air travel has especially strict safety standards. Boeing’s issues meeting those standards have attracted significant attention in the media.
  • That increased attention can change some people’s perceptions of how safe air travel is and the frequency of aviation incidents, whether consciously or subconsciously.

Is Charter Jet Travel Safe?

In general, traveling on private charter jets is safe. Choosing a broker that prioritizes safety and sets standards above and beyond the legal regulatory requirements can lead to an even safer experience, both on the ground and in the air.

Stratos Jet Charters, Inc., is committed to a safety-first culture, prioritizing high standards that exceed legal requirements.

You can keep yourself safer on a charter jet flight by following the instructions of the crew during your trip. Remembering these simple safety tips can also lead to a more secure experience on a charter flight.

Ready to book your flight with an exceptionally safe private jet charter broker? Use our Free Private Jet Charter Cost Estimator!