Aviation safety

Aviation faced a tough gig anyway after 346 lives were lost on Boeing 737 max jets between October 2018 and March 2019.  But an unintended consequence of COVID lockdowns is the destruction, temporarily, of 1 of the fastest growth segments of the global economy; namely air travel for passengers and cargo. This is even more serious than it might appear because 30% of the world’s shipments by value travel on jets. Fewer jets, fewer slots, fewer airports = less trade and less cargo = another bullet into the heart of the global economy. However, there is some good news. Rooted in fact, air travel remains the safest way to move long distance, period. Last year’s crashes don’t fundamentally change the statistic that there are only 0.05 fatal accidents per 100million miles travelled on planes (compared to 1.32 when driving) But public perception remains stubbornly rooted in pulp fiction propagated by the popular media that plane crashes abound & the risks are high. In an effort to join the fight to get us all flying again, let’s add in a sprinkling of some facts; a primary reason that air travel is so safe is that airlines are perhaps the only industry in the world that rewards mistakes – every single error or problem that a flight experiences is recorded & reviewed on a no blame basis.  As a result, aviation has an exemplary culture all designed to maximise safety – every decade since the 1970’s has seen fewer accidents even though the number of flights increased exponentially. Then, let’s address the elephant in the room – Boeing.  Reading its latest report to shareholders dated 31 January 2020 we can see pretty impressive root and branch change across the company with one single goal – eradicate the incidence of system failures. And, rather like the day after a heinous terror attack, the location impacted is probably the safest place on earth due to the volume of safety measures taken there – I suggest to you that 2020 will be the safest year on record to jump on a plane. #jumpon

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