PIA safety record

22 Aug 2020


THIS is with reference to the recent Pakistan International Airlines crash in Karachi. The facts on aviation safety reported in the early 1990s in the international media are brought out for the regulatory authorities, operators and public at large.

According to a report published in the Herald Tribune, the world’s safest airlines are American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines System, Lufthansa and South West Airlines, which have an accident rate of less than one for every 2.5 million flights.

Additionally, Continental Airlines, Japan Air Systems, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, Trans World Airlines and US Air, have an accident rate of less than one per two million flights.

Moreover, All Nippon Airways of Japan, America West, Ansett Australia, Canadian Airlines and Saudia, had a zero accident rate for one to two million flights over the last 10 years.

Medium to small airlines who stood out were Alaska Airlines, Finnair, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Swissair. These airlines have recorded 0.60 to one million flights over the last 10 years and had no accident.

American Airlines led the list with a record of nine million flights and no accident. No other airline is, nor ever has been, close to this record. India and Colombia are the two of the world’s most dangerous countries for air travel as their rate of fatal accident is 10 times higher than the world average.

If North American and European carriers had same 10 years accident ratio as Colombia and India there would have been one fatal crash every 12 days in North America and one per month in Europe.

Additionally, the safety record of PIA is on the trailing edge having eight major accidents with 0.23 million flights to its credit.

Wg-Cdr (r) Sajjad Ahmad

Montreal, Canada

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2020