Aviation safety in former Soviet Union low

Despite the 2 crashes of Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in 2019, flying remains the safest mode of transport. In 2018, some 4.3 billion passengers flew safely on 46.1 million flights. There is 1 accident for every 740,000 flights according to 2018 safety data of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Flying is getting safer

Moreover, flying is getting safer overall. If safety in 2018 had remained at the same level as in 2013, there would have been 109 accidents instead of the 62 that actually occurred. Also, there would have been 18 fatal accidents instead of 11.

Regional differences

But there are major regional differences in safety. In other words, it makes a large difference where you fly. The most dangerous region for flyers is Russia, which is the reincarnation of the former Soviet Union. Its kleptocratic rulers have corruption institutionalized. As a result, safety certificates, pilot licenses and diplomas of aircraft engineers are simply for sale.


On Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index 2018, Russia ranks very low: 146 (out of 183) with a score of 28 (out of 100). It is tie with Guinea, Iran, Lebanon, and Papua New Guinea. The Putin clan puts flyers' lives at risk to enrich themselves.

Small wonder that IATA data shows that the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is the most dangerous region to fly. The CIS is the former Soviet Union excluding the 3 Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (that are now members of the European Union). Thus, it is Russia plus 11 other former soviet republics.

Hull losses

Aviation safety is often measured in terms of hull losses. These are accidents that damage the aircraft beyond economical repair, resulting in total losses.

The table below shows that the world turboprop hull loss rate is 0.60 per million flights in 2018. In 4 regions it is zero: Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, and North Asia. In the Middle East/North Africa it is considerably higher: 5.86. And in the CIS it is the highest: 7.48.

Russian roulette

If you are in Russia, you may want to travel by train rather than by plane. The latter comes close to Russian roulette. But the bright side is that each member of the Putin clan has built a large personal wealth.

Turboprop hull loss rates by region (per million departures)
Region 2018   
Africa 0.00
Asia Pacific 0.32
Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS)
Europe 0.00
Latin America and the
Middle East and North Africa 0.00
North America 0.10
North Asia 0.00
Industry 0.19

Related: "Russian roulette"

Tags: aviation safety, former Soviet Union, hull loss rate

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