The world’s airlines experienced just six fatal accidents in 2017, resulting in the deaths of 19 passengers and crew, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s latest Safety Performance report.
The result was down from nine fatal aircraft accidents and 202 fatalities in 2016.
“2017 was a very good year for aviation safety,” IATA chief executive and director general Alexandre de Juniac said.
“We saw improvements in nearly all key metrics — globally and in most regions. And our determination to make this very safe industry even safer continues.”
In all, there were 45 accidents in 2017, down from 67 accidents in the prior year, the IATA figures showed.
Overall, about 4.1 billion travellers flew safely on 41.8 million flights in calendar 2017, with the industry body noting that the 2017 figures for fatalities and total accidents was down from the five-year average between 2012-2016.
There were four jet hull losses in 2017, compared with 13 in the prior year.
(A hull loss is 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.)
Of the six fatal accidents in 2017, five involved turboprop aircraft and one involved a cargo jet. No passenger jets were involved in fatal accidents in 2017.
Consequently, IATA said, the rate for major jet accidents (measured in jet hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.11 in 2017, which it says is the equivalent of one major accident for every 8.7 million flights.
IATA has about 280 member airlines that collectively represent about 83 per cent of global air traffic. The industry body noted its member airlines had zero fatal accidents in 2017.
Airlines have to be certified by the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) before they can be members of the association.
There have been two fatal airline incidents so far in 2018.
Earlier this month, 71 people died when an Antonov An-148-100 operating Russia-based Saratov Airlines flight 6W 703 crashed shortly after takeoff from Domodedovo Airport bound for Orsk.
The February 11 crash of the Saratov Airlines An-148 has been preliminarily concluded to be a result of pitot-static pressure icing, which would have given an incorrect airspeed indication. More in the link below.https://t.co/m8W9jwGI0p pic.twitter.com/WdjD83RvT6
— Russian Avia Insider (@RusAviaInsider) February 16, 2018
Also this month, Iran’s Aseman Airlines flight EP 3704, flown by an ATR 72-212, crashed en route from Tehran to Yasuj killing all 66 passengers and crew on board.
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) February 18, 2018
“In 2017 there were incidents and accidents that we will learn from through the investigation process, just as we will learn from the recent tragedies in Russia and Iran,” de Juniac said.
“Complementing that knowledge are insights we can gain from the millions of flights that operate safely. Data from these operations is powering the development of predictive analytics that will eventually enable us to eliminate the conditions that can lead to accidents.