The Boeing 737 is still one of the safest aircraft ever

The tragic crash of a brand new Boeing 737-800 off the coast of Jakarta this week has triggered a number of stories in the media that cast doubt on the safety of the Boeing 737.

Headlines like "aircraft model at centre of Indonesia plane tragedy bound for our skies" could add unnecessary stress to travellers who are nervous about flying.

But in reality, the odds of a 737 flight resulting in a death are higher than 3.1 million to one.

Yes, the same type of aircraft involved in the incident does fly into and out of New Zealand, and has done for decades, but travellers shouldn't be alarmed.

The newer 737-800's have been purchased by Qantas, Fiji Airways and Virgin Australia, as well as industry giants American Airlines, Qatar, Ryanair and United Airlines.

Aviation expert Neil Hansford told the Sydney Morning Herald said there is no reason to be concerned about the overall safety of the aircraft

"The 737 is the most produced aircraft in aviation history; there is more of them flying than any other aircraft in the world, they are incredibly well made," Mr Hansford said.

Boeing 737 facts:

  • There are more than 2000 Boeing 737s in the air at any one time, every single day
  • A 737 takes off somewhere in the world every two seconds
  • More than 16.8 billion passengers have travelled on a 737 since 1967
  • As of 2014, Boeing 737s had flown more than 184 million flights
  • Only 60 of those 184 million flights resulted in a fatality, which is just 0.000032 percent

The aircraft that crashed in Indonesia had only been flying since early August.

It's been reported that it experienced a technical issue on its previous flight which had been attended to by maintenance staff.

There's no doubt the aircraft manufacturer Boeing and the airlines that fly 737s will be watching developments closely - but the statistics strongly suggest there's little cause for concern.  

The Boeing 737 is a great aircraft - 16.8 billion people can't be wrong.