EU-registered aircraft: 121 deaths in the EU in 2021


In 2021, 121 people died in aviation accidents on EU territory involving aircraft registered in the EU Member States, representing a 0.8% drop compared with 2020 (122 deaths).

This information comes from data on air transport safety published by Eurostat today. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.



Like in the last five years, most of the air accident fatalities in 2021 (93% or 112 deaths) involved aircraft with a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of less than 2 250 kg in the ‘general aviation’ category. This subcategory comprises small aeroplanes, dirigibles, para- and motor-gliders, ‘microlights’, small helicopters, as well as hot air balloons.

Most of the deaths (77 %) in the category under 2250 kg were registered in France (46 fatalities) and Germany (40 fatalities).

The ‘general aviation’ category involving large aircraft over 2 250 kg MTOM was the second category with the most deaths (7 % or 9 deaths).

No deaths were recorded involving the other two aviation categories:  ‘commercial air transport’ and ‘aerial work’.

For more information:

Methodological notes:

  • Provisional data.
  • MTOM: maximum take-off mass.
  • General aviation: of all civil aviation operations other than commercial air transport and specific types of aerial work operations.
  • Aerial work: the operation of aircraft for specialised services, such as agriculture, construction, photography, surveying, search and rescue, as well as aerial advertisement.