International Terrorism and Civil Aviation - Box

International Terrorism and Civil Aviation - Box

Airplane Hijackings in 2001

Worldwide, there were 9 airliner hijackings resulting in 265 occupant fatalities in 2001. The vast majority-265 fatalities-resulted from the terrorist attacks of September 11, when 4 U.S. airliners were hijacked and crashed in the United States.

Two of the other hijackings took place in Africa, two in Asia, and one in Latin America. Crew and passengers overpowered the hijackers in three of these incidents resulting in no fatalities. However, three occupant fatalities occurred during the March 2001 hijacking of a Russian airliner en route from Istanbul, Turkey. The plane was diverted to Medina Airport, Saudi Arabia, where one hijacker, one flight attendant, and one passenger were killed before Saudi security ground forces regained control of the plane.

Hijacking and other terrorism-related fatalities are generally reported separately from aviation accident fatalities. In 2001, there were 36 civilian aviation accidents not involving terrorism, in which 870 occupants of the planes were killed.

1 An occupant is a passenger, crew member, and/or hijacker onboard the aircraft.

SOURCE: Aviation Safety Network, Accident Database, available at, as of April 2002.