Airlines With Back-To-Back Airframe Losses


Losing two airliners of the same type (Boeing 777s) by the same airline (Malaysia Airlines) in the span of just four months immediately conjures up a sense of 'lightning striking twice.'  Out of curiosity, we wondered if this was the first time an airline had suffered two or more losses of the same type of commercial jetliner within a short timeframe. Surprisingly, it's not. 

An analysis into Aviation Week Intelligence Network's Fleet database revealed several more instances. Most seem to have taken place during the early days of commercial jet aviation, likely when safety standards weren't quite what they are today. The Malaysia Airlines loss appear to be the first of its kind in 30 years.


1952-54: BOAC (Comet 1s on 10/26/52, 5/2/53, 7/25/53, 1/10/54 and 4/8/54)

1962: Air France (707-300s on 6/3/62 and 6/22/62)

1965: United Air Lines (727-100s on 8/16/65 and 11/11/65)

1966: Aeronaves de Mexico (DC-8-50s on 8/13/66 and 12/24/66)

1968: Pan Am (707-300s on 6/12/68, 12/12/68 and 12/26/68)

1969: Mexicana (727-100s on 6/4/69 and 9/21/69)

1970: United Arab Airlines (Comet 4Cs on 1/14/70 and 2/9/70)

1972: Japan Airlines (DC-8s on 6/14/72 and 9/24/72)

1973: Varig (707-300s on 6/9/73 and 7/11/73)

1973/74: Aviaco (Caravelle 10Rs on 3/5/73 and 8/13/73)

Pan Am (707-300s on 7/22/73, 11/3/73, 1/30/74 and 4/22/74)

Varig (707-300s on 6/9/73 and 7/11/73)

1977: Japan Airlines (DC-8-60s on 1/13/77 and 9/27/77)

1979: Garuda (F28-1000s on 3/6/79 and 7/11/79)

1981: Aeromexico (DC-9-30s on 7/27/81 and 11/8/81)

1982: Aerotal Colombia (727-100s on 8/4/82 and 11/28/82)

Japan Airlines (DC-8-60s on 2/9/82 and 9/17/82)

1984: Garuda Indonesia (DC-9-30s on 6/11/84 and 12/30/84)

2014: Malaysia Airlines (777-200s on 3/8/14 and 7/17/14)

Source: Aviation Week Intelligence Network's Fleet database


Discuss this Blog Entry 6

on Jul 22, 2014

It is however the first back to back widebody hull loss.

on Jul 23, 2014

Would you include the dual loss of Kalitta 747's in 2008?
N704CK serial number 22299/462
N714CK serial number 22446/519

on Jul 23, 2014

Where are the numerous USAirways hull losses?

on Jul 23, 2014

I noted two of the most ironic back-to-back crashes was missing from your database. It does in all respects I believe, qualify to be mentioned.

December 24, 1968, Allegheny Airlines Flight 736, a CV-580 crashed on approach to the Bradford, PA (BFD) airport, resulting in multiple fatalities.

January 6, 1969, Allegheny Airline Flight 737, a CV-580 crashed on approach to the Bradford, PA airport, resulting in multiple fatalities.

Both flights crashed within two weeks of each other, both flights crashed at the same airport, both flights involved the same equipment, CV-580's.

This I believe is worth putting in Aviation Week's Fleet database.

on Jul 24, 2014

So a quick succession in losses by one airline has happened a lot before, but this is the first in 30 years. That in itself doesn't bode well. I don't blame the airline in either case, yet, but it sounds like they're in for some trouble in the public confidence and ticket sales.

on Jul 28, 2014

This is unique in that the tripple 7 had never had a fatal accident in 20 years of service until this year. The Asiana accident this year was the result of mind boggling negligence as a trainee pilot was allowed to fly a perfectly functioning plane into the ground by letting the airspeed drop 30 knots below approach speed. Then MAS had these 2 back to back disasters which killed almost 600 people, and were caused by flying into a war zone with known anti aircraft missile fire, and transporting an illegal cargo of volatile Lithium batteries. I will never fly either of these airlines. The 777 was idiot proof, but these guys have invented the super-idiot.

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