Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Commercial airline industry’s safest year ever

The reassuring figure of zero fatalities means that the rate of fatal accidents in commercial flights in large airplanes is down to just one per 16 million flights. The safety level that civil aviation has achieved has improved considerably over the past four years.

According to a new report:

2017 = zero fatalities.
2016 = 271 people lost their lives in seven fatal events. This included the crash of an Egyptair flight from Paris to Cairo which killed 66; and a LaMia jet carrying the Brazilian football team Chapecoense which crashed in Colombia killing 71.
2015 = 471 people died in four crashes.
2014 = 864 people died in five crashes.

The big data analysis relating to on-flight casualties comes from To70, a company that delivers consulting services to the aviation community. Two crashes which occurred on New Year’s Eve: a seaplane in Sydney which killed six; plus a Cessna Caravan which crashed in Costa Rica, killing 12, do not count in the figures since the aircraft weighed under 5,700kg. This puts these aircraft outside the threshold of commercial carriers.

To70 do document these smaller aircraft crashes. Even here the number of incidents was lower than with previous years, according to The Independent. Here the first fatalities of 2017 occurred in October when an Embraer Brasilia aircraft, operating as an air ambulance, crashed in Angola. There are other incidents reported too, such as a jet blast killing a tourist who was standing close to the runway on the Caribbean island of St Maarten.

As to which commercial airline to fly with, try British. The U.K. has the best air-safety record of any major country, with no fatal accidents involving a British airline having occured since the 1980s.

The Aviation Safety Network, based in the Netherlands, looks at crashes involving all aircraft, including the very smallest, using a digital database. In a statement to CB Insights, the analysts said: “Over the year 2017 the Aviation Safety Network recorded a total of 10 fatal airliner accidents, resulting in 44 occupant fatalities and 35 persons on the ground.”

In other words, 2017 was the safest ever,”both by the number of fatal accidents as well as in terms of fatalities.”

Avatar photo
Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

You may also like:

Tech & Science

We are approaching the final countdown to the Crew-5 Mission to the International Space Station at 12 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.


One solution many aren’t thinking about is tapping their employees to be their biggest brand ambassadors.


Elon Musk has offered to push through with his buyout of Twitter at the original agreed price.


Asian investors joined their Wall Street and European counterparts in an equity buying spree Wednesday.