New airline safety figures show decline in fatal accidents

/ 03:36 PM March 12, 2017

New figures show decline in fatal air travel accidents in 2016. Image: Michal Krakowiak/Istock.com via AFP Relaxnews

New airline safety performance statistics released for 2016 should serve to reassure both air travelers who harbor fears of flying, and frequent flyers.

The International Air Transport Association released the latest figures for aviation accidents and found that, overall, the accident rate—measured in accidents per one million flights—showed a slight improvement from 2015, dropping from 1.79 to 1.61.


When it comes to the rate of fatal aviation accidents, 2016 saw 10 fatal plane accidents and 268 fatalities—higher than 2015, which lost 136 flyers, but still below the five-year average.

Between 2011 and 2015, there were 13.4 fatal accidents and 371 fatalities per year.


While IATA monitors safety performance year to year, analysts point out it’s important to look at the bigger picture and compare long-term trends in five- to 10-year increments.

“Last year, some 3.8 billion travelers flew safely on 40.4 million flights. The number of total accidents, fatal accidents and fatalities all declined versus the five-year average, showing that aviation continues to become safer,” said IATA CEO and director general Alexandre de Juniac in a statement.

“We did take a step back on some key parameters from the exceptional performance of 2015, however, flying is still the safest form of long distance travel. And safety remains the top priority of all involved in aviation.”

The major jet accident rate, measured in hull losses per one million flights, was 0.39 in 2016, equivalent to one major accident for every 2.56 million flights.

That figure is slightly higher than the rate of 0.32 achieved in 2015, and above the five-year average of 0.36.

Meanwhile, analysts highlighted the notable progress of safety aviation in Sub-Saharan Africa, which posted its best performance within the last decade with zero passenger fatalities and zero jet hull losses. JB/rga



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