Gdoc/Admin
Data InsightsAirline hijackings, once relatively common, are rare today
May 29, 2024Esteban Ortiz-Ospina

Airline hijackings, once relatively common, are rare today

Bar chart displaying airliner hijackings and deaths globally from 1942 to 2021. The top bar chart, labeled 'Incidents,' shows the number of hijackings per year. There's a noticeable peak in incidents during the late 1960s and early 1970s, with a gradual decline thereafter. The number of incidents drops significantly after the year 2000. The lower bar chart, labeled 'Fatalities,' shows the number of deaths per year due to hijackings. After 2001, the number of fatalities decreases. The data source is the Aviation Safety Network (2023), and the chart is credited to OurWorldInData.org/terrorism, under CC BY license

Airline hijackings are often considered a very visible and prominent form of modern terrorism, with the 9/11 attacks in the United States in 2001 being a well-known tragic example.

Historical data from the Aviation Safety Network shows that airline hijackings have a long history but have become much less frequent than in the past.

Between 1968 and 1972, hijackings reached a peak, with over 305 incidents recorded globally within those five years.

In 2021, the most recent year with available data, there were 3 incidents, none involving fatalities.

Explore this data