Monday Morning Optimism 5/8/2023
Safer Air Travel
Airplane hijackings have always been pretty rare, but the number has fallen sharply over the past half-century, from a peak of 86 in 1969 to just 3 in 2021. By my very back of the envelope math (really, don’t quote this next stat), you were about 43,000% more likely to be on a hijacked plane in ’69 than you are now.
Both hijackings and hijacking-related fatalities have become exceedingly rare since 9/11. From 2002 to 2021, just 5 people died in hijackings. In the 20 years prior to 9/11, 461 died in plane hijackings.
This is just a tiny part of a long-term improvement in aviation safety. In 1970, there were about 6.5 fatal accidents per million commercial flights. As of 2020, that fell to less than 0.4 fatal accidents per million commercial flights. For context, the rate of fatal aviation accidents is less than half the rate of fatal skiing accidents.
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