Africa recorded four turboprop accidents, no jet hull loss in 2021


  • IATA urges continent to implement ICAO SARPs
  •  Crashed airlines not on IOSA registry


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today released 2021 safety performance data for the commercial airline industry showing strong improvement in several areas compared to both 2020 and to the five years 2017-2021.

According to the report, there is a reduction in the total number of accidents, the all-accident rate, and fatalities.

At year-end 2021, some 28 African countries (61% of the total[ii]) had 60% or greater SARPS implementation. In addition, a focused multi-stakeholder approach to specific states will be important to addressing repeated occurrences.

Airlines based in sub-Saharan Africa experienced four accidents in 2021, all with turboprop aircraft, three of which resulted in 18 fatalities. None of the operators was on the IOSA registry. There were no jet hull loss accidents in 2021 or 2020.

The continent recorded no jet hull loss in 2020 and 2021, The global average jet hull loss rate declined slightly in 2021 compared to the five-year average (2017-2021). Five regions saw improvements, or no deterioration compared to the five-year average.

2021 2020 5-year average


All accident rate (accidents per one million flights) 1.01 (1 accident every 0.99 million flights) 1.58 (1 accident every 0.63 million flights) 1.23 (1 accident every 0.81 million flights)
All accident rate for IATA member airlines 0.44 (1 accident every 2.27 million flights) 0.77 (1 accident every 1.30 million flights) 0.72 (1 accident every 1.39 million flights)
Total accidents 26 35 44.2
Fatal accidents[i] 7
(1 jet and 6 turboprop) 
5 7.4
Fatalities 121 132 207
Fatality risk 0.23 0.13 0.14
IATA member airlines fatality risk 0.00 0.06 0.04
Jet hull losses (per one million flights) 0.13 (1 major accident every 7.7 million flights) 0.16 (1 major accident every 6.3 million flights) 0.15 (1 major accident every 6.7 million flights)
Turboprop hull losses (per one million flights) 1.77 (1 hull loss every 0.56 million flights) 1.59 (1 hull loss every 0.63 million flights) 1.22 (1 hull loss every 0.82 million flights)
Total flights (million) 25.7 22.2 36.6


The Director-General of IATA, Willie Walsh disclosed that the priority for Africa is the implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS).

IATA members and airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry which includes all IATA members who experienced zero fatal accidents last year.

“Safety is always our highest priority. The severe reduction in flight numbers last year compared to the 5-year average magnified the impact of each accident when we calculate rates. Yet in the face of numerous operational challenges in 2021, the industry improved in several key safety metrics. At the same time, it is clear that we have much work ahead of us to bring all regions and types of operations up to global levels of safety performance,” said Walsh.

Region 2021 2020 2017-2021
Africa 0.00 0.00 0.28
Asia Pacific 0.33 0.62 0.29
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) 0.00 0.00 0.92
Europe 0.27 0.31 0.14
Latin America and the Caribbean 0.00 0.00 0.23
Middle East and North Africa 0.00 0.00 0.00
North America 0.14 0.00 0.06
North Asia 0.00 0.00 0.03
Global 0.13 0.16 0.15



To show high improvement in air safety,    there were no runway/taxiway excursion accidents, for the first time in at least 15 years.

A runway incursion is an aviation incident involving improper positioning of vehicles or people on any airport runway or its protected area.

When an incursion involves an active runway being used by arriving or departing aircraft, the potential for a collision hazard or Instrument Landing System (ILS) interference can exist.

At present, various runway safety technologies and processes are commonly employed to reduce the risk and potential consequences of such an event.

A runway excursion on the other hand is a runway safety incident where an aircraft makes an inappropriate exit from the runway.

Runway excursions include runway overruns, where an aircraft is unable to stop before it reaches the end of the runway.

Turboprop hull loss rates by region of the operator (per 1 million departures) show that five regions showed improvement or no deterioration in the turboprop hull loss rate in 2021 when compared to the 5-year average. The only regions to see increases compared to the five-year average were the CIS and Africa.

Region 2021 2020 2017-2021
Africa 5.59 9.77 5.08
Asia Pacific 0.00 0.00 0.34
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) 42.53 0.00 16.81
Europe 0.00 0.00 0.00
Latin America and the Caribbean 0.00 2.35 0.73
Middle East and North Africa 0.00 0.00 1.44
North America 0.00 1.74 0.55
North Asia 0.00 0.00 0.00
Global 1.77 1.59 1.22

Although sectors flown by turboprops represented just 10.99% of total sectors, accidents involving turboprop aircraft represented 50% of all accidents, 86% of fatal accidents, and 49% of fatalities in 2021.

The overall increase in the fatality risk in 2021 to 0.23 is owing to the rise in fatal turboprop accidents. There was one fatal accident involving jet aircraft last year and the jet fatality risk in 2021 was 0.04 per million sectors, an improvement over the 5-year average of 0.06.

The overall fatality risk of 0.23 means that on average a person would need to take a flight every day for 10,078 years to be involved in an accident with at least one fatality.

Wole Shadare
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