Airbus A320: How safe is the passenger plane involved in the EgyptAir MS804 crash?


The EgyptAir plane from Paris to Cairo, which is believed to have crashed in the Mediterranean Sea with 66 passengers and crew on board, is an A320 Airbus that comes with one of the aviation industry's best safety records.

It is said Flight 804 vanished 10 miles after it entered Egyptian air space, around 175 miles off the country's coastline north of the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria.

But despite the tragic incident, the aircraft model is known for its solid safety record.

Here's everything you need to know about Airbus A320:

1. The Airbus A320 is a short-haul workhorse with one of the industry's best safety records.

2. The model is a twin-engine, single-aisle plane that can seat 150 passengers in a standard two-class configuration. It is powered by engines made by CFM International or International Aero Engines.

3. It comes from the world's best-selling single-aisle aircraft family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321.

4. The 6,000-strong fleet has accumulated more than 150 million flight hours in more than 85 million flights.

5. While accidents caused by mechanical failure are rare, A320s have been involved in 68 incidents since being introduced in 1988, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

Here are some of the most recent incidents involving an Airbus A320:

March 2016

A man leaving the hijacked aircraft of Egyptair from pilot window at Larnaca airport in Cyprus.
(Petros Karadjias/AP)

A male passenger hijacked a plane and forced it to make an unauthorised landing in Cyprus in March. None of the 64 crew and passengers on board the EgyptAir flight from Alexandria to Cairo were harmed.

March 2015

Germanwings A320 Airbus.
(Tommy Desmet/AP)

In March last year, 150 passengers and crew died when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed Germanwings flight 4U9525 into the French Alps.

Lubitz had locked the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately set the plane on a collision course with the mountainside.

December 2014

AirAsia Airbus A320-200 passenger jet.
(Vincent Thian/AP)

An Airbus A320 operated by AirAsia Indonesia crashed into the Java Sea on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore in December 2014. All 162 people on board flight QZ8501 were killed.

The crash was caused by a problem with the rudder control system, coupled with the pilots' response, according to Indonesian investigators.

January 2009

US Airways flight 1549 in Hudson River.
(Kathy Willens/AP)

An A320 ditched into the Hudson River in New York after hitting a flock of geese and suffering an engine failure in January 2009.

Captain Chesley Sullenberger was hailed a hero after safely landing the aircraft in the water. None of the 150 passengers and crew were seriously hurt.