I thought I'd compare the accident rates of these two similar, competing, very successful aircraft.
737 A320 Introduced 1968 1988 Number Built 8104 6171 Accidents/Incidents 329 60 Hull Loss Accidents 154 23 Fatalities 4287 782
These figures are from the respective Wikipedia pages. I assume they have not been the subject of edit-war falsification by fanboys of planemakers.
I wondered what might be the reason for the 737 seeming a much less safe plane.
The 737 design is 20 years older?
- But it's still in production, so 1988...current 737s can be built with many of the same safety features found in an A320 produced the same year. Were 3,500 of those fatalities in the first 20 years?
There are lots more older less-safe 737s being flown by corner-cutting budget airlines in third-world kleptocracies?
- Are there that many 40-year old 737s in the hands of incompetent airlines?
The 8,104 737s have, on average, flown many times more cycles than the 6,171 A320s?
- But they address the same market, why would their usage differ so markedly?
The 737s have, together, flown many times more passenger-miles than the A320s?
- See above. Plus I imagine older 737s have mostly been retired.
My speculation doesn't seem very convincing to me. Is there a better explanation supported by reputable studies?