Air travel: Less accidents, more fatalities

IATA releases 2014 air travel safety performance
Despite a number of highly publicised tragedies in the air during 2014, the year saw the lowest global aircraft accident rate in history, according to figures released by the International Air Transport Association.
Measured in hull losses per one million flights, the rate was 0.23 last year, the equivalent of one accident for every 4.4 million flights. This was an improvement over 2013 when the global hull loss rate stood at 0.41 (one accident per 2.4 million flights) and an improvement over the five-year rate in 2009-2013 of 0.58 hull loss accidents per million flights jet.
The statistics include the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished from radars a year ago.
But there were more fatalities in 2014 – as many as 641 fatalities during the year, compared to 210 in 2013 and the five-year average of 517. There were 12 fatal accidents involving all aircraft types in 2014, compared to an average of 19 per year in the five-year period.
All of the world’s regions showed improvement in 2014 – except one, Europe, which maintained its rate of 0.15 jet hull losses per one million sectors. All regions saw their safety performance improve compared to the 2009-2013 five-year rate:
1. Africa (from 6.83 to 0.00)
2. Asia-Pacific (from 0.63 to 0.44)
3. CIS (from 2.74 to 0.83)
4. Europe (from 0.24 to 0.15)
5. Latin America and the Caribbean (from 0.87 to 0.41)
6. Middle East-North Africa (1.82 to 0.63)
7. North America (from 0.20 to 0.11)
8. North Asia (from 0.06 to 0.00)
The CIS had the worst performance (0.83) among regions, but it showed strong improvement over three consecutive years: 6.34 (2011), 1.91 (2012), 1.79 (2013).
TTG Nordic
[pictured: Aftermath of controlled air crash involving no passengers; photo courtesy Discovery Channel]