International air travel is no longer a luxury. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), airlines carried roughly 83 million passengers per day in 2018, and passenger numbers are projected to grow by an average of 3.3 percent each year.
The past few years have seen a rapid expansion of new airports, opening in places like Dubai, Johannesburg, São Paulo, Cape Town, Las Vegas, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing, Macau, Yokohama, Berlin, Stockholm, Shanghai, Warsaw, and Amman. According to the latest IATA World Air Travel Statistics 2018 report, the number of scheduled air passengers carried worldwide grew by an average of 2.4 percent from 2017 to 2018, with Chinese carriers accounting for 18 percent of this growth.
With thousands of new routes in each year, there are always inevitably reports of bad things happening to planes. A knock-on effect is, understandably, anxiety by air travelers, particularly when flight incidents are seemingly first reported in the media.
But such incidents are extremely rare, and much, if not all, of them could be easily avoided.