All commercial planes need to meet very strict safety standards laid out by a government safety regulator (such as the FAA for U.S.-made aircraft, or EASA for EU-made aircraft), and generally speaking, each new generation of aircraft is safer than the previous one.
An IATA spokesperson told Far & Wide: “If we look back through history, each new generation of aircraft brings an increased level of safety, but aviation already is extremely safe.”
So why, with all these measures in place, did two Boeing 737 Max planes recently crash in Ethiopia and Indonesia, killing a total of 346 passengers? In part, greed played a role.
According to investigators, the planes lacked two key safety features that, if installed, may have prevented the tragedies. And those features weren’t part of the planes because Boeing charges airlines a premium to include them. As an aviation consultant told "The New York Times": “Boeing charges for [these features] because it can. But they’re vital for safety.”
Thankfully, swift action was taken around the world to ground this model of Boeing pending further investigation. At the time of publication, the model was still not being used by most countries, including the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Boeing is now making one of the safety features standard on its planes.