Is The Airbus A320 Safe To Fly?

After news broke late Wednesday night that EgyptAir Flight MS804 had disappeared from radar during a flight from Paris to Cairo, many concerns and questions were raised. Since the plane, which was reportedly carrying 69 people (59 passengers and 10 crew members), was an Airbus A320, some are now wondering if the Airbus A320 is a safe plane model. The short answer is that while no plane is perfect, the Airbus A320 has a pretty stellar safety record in the grand scheme of things. Update: On Thursday morning, Egyptian aviation officials confirmed with the Associated Press that the EgyptAir plane has crashed. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity with AP, said the "possibility that the plane crashed has been confirmed," since flight MS804 never arrived at any of the airports. The officials told AP they will now be searching for debris from the plane.

The model has gotten its fair share of scrutiny because, as The Washington Post noted in a March 2015 article, the "short-haul, single-aisle A320 has also been at the center of a dozen fatal accidents since 1988." In fact, that article was pegged to an Airbus A320 model crashing into the French Alps. However, that same article also noted that the Airbus A320 had just 0.14 fatal accidents for every 1 million takeoffs, according to a Boeing study. "In terms of accident rates, it's one of the safest jets built. There are no reasons to question its record," aviation consultant and vice president of analysis at Teal Group Richard Aboulafia told The Washington Post.

According to that same Washington Post article, an Airbus A320 takes off every 2.3 seconds.