IATA says airline fatalities up in 2016

IATA logo.

There was an increase in the number of aviation-related fatalities in 2016, new figures show.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Safety Performance report said there were 10 fatal accidents involving all aircraft types that resulted in 268 deaths in the 12 months to December 31 2016.

The result was up from four fatal aircraft accidents and 136 fatalities in the prior year.

Of the 10 fatal accidents, five involved jet aircraft and five involved turboprop aircraft.

IATA chief executive and director general Alexandre de Juniac conceded the industry “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,” de Juniac said in a statement.

“And safety remains the top priority of all involved in aviation. The goal is for every flight to depart and arrive without incident. And every accident redoubles our efforts to achieve that.”

Overall, about 3.8 billion people flew safely on 40.4 million flights in 2016.

IATA said there were 13 jet hull losses in 2016, which represented on average one hull loss for every 2.56 million jet flights in 2016. There were 10 jet hull losses in 2015.

A hull loss was defined as “an accident in which the aircraft is destroyed or substantially damaged and is not subsequently repaired for whatever reason including a financial decision of the owner”, IATA said.

IATA has about 265 member airlines and represents roughly 83 per cent of global air traffic.

The industry body noted the the 2016 figures for fatalities and total accidents was down from the five-year average between 2011-2015.

Airlines have to be certified by the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) before they can be members of the association.

IATA senior vice president for safety and flight operations Gilberto Lopez Meyer discusses the 2016 report on the industry body’s YouTube channel.