Aviation Safety Study

Our review of trends and developments in aviation losses and safety

Aviation safety affects everybody, from passengers and pilots to ground handlers and airline chief executives, to freight companies and the myriad companies who use their services to transport goods around the world. The global population depends on a safe and efficient commercial aviation network. Since the launch of scheduled commercial aviation operations 100 years ago, through the beginning of the jet age 60 years ago, to the present day, stakeholders in the aviation industry have worked continuously to improve the sector’s safety performance.

The Aviation Safety Study from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) is our report identifying the latest trends and key developments in aviation safety.

With some 58 million jobs across the globe and $2.4 trillion in economic activity dependent on the aviation sector, its safety is critical to the health of the global economy. It is estimated over a third of the value of goods traded internationally are delivered by air. Moreover the industry is growing.

By 2050 it is estimated that some 16 billion passengers – equivalent to more than double the current global population of around seven billion – will need to be flown yearly, an anticipated increase of 384% compared with the 3.3 billion passengers expected to fly during 2014. In 1960 just 106 million passengers flew worldwide. In 2014, 50 million tons of freight will be flown across almost 50,000 routes[4]. By 2050 this is expected to increase significantly to 400 million tons.

Aviation incidents will always captivate both media and public attention as 2014’s tragic and extraordinary activity has demonstrated – by the end of August three of the 10 major non-natural catastrophe insurance losses of 2014 could be attributed to plane crashes. However, the recent air disasters don’t necessarily reflect any major systemic problems with safety. This year’s loss activity is contrary to the low catastrophe rate of recent years with 2012 ranked as the safest year of flying since the beginning of the jet age in 1952.

Although the aviation sector has experienced robust growth since the dawn of this era, the past 60 years have seen an ongoing decline in fatal accidents, underpinned by a continuous improvement in safety.

Capt. Andrew Kinsey, Senior Marine Risk Consultant - Allianz Risk Consulting, joins the AGCS Podcast to discuss the findings of the sixth annual Safety & Shipping Review.

There were 94 losses in 2017. 21 losses came from bad weather.

$1.6bn cost of losses resulting from human error, based on analysis of 15,000 marine insurance claims.

Friday is the most frequent day for shipping losses over the past decade (175) with Saturday (143) the safest day at sea. Friday 13th can be unlucky with five ships lost, including three on January 13, 2012 – one of which was Costa Concordia.

November is the busiest month for losses (36) in the top hotspot over the past decade – South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines – a third were directly caused by typhoons (12).

Annual survey identifying business risks

Technology is breeding new threats as well as business models. Traditional risks such as natural catastrophes continue to challenge while other threats such as cyber, neck-and-neck with business interruption at the top of the Allianz Risk Barometer 2019 for the first time, reputational risk, increasing exposure to intangible assets and volatility and consolidation in the corporate environment evolve daily.

Top 3 risks in the Marine & Shipping sector in 2019

  1. Natural catastrophes (34%) - 2018 rank: 1 (34%)
  2. Cyber incidents (32%) - 2018 rank: 2 (31%)
  3. Market developments (28%)  
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