Despite last year’s high-profile MH370 and MH17 disasters, 2014 was the safest year in the history of air travel, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
While more people died in the two fatal Malaysia Airlines accidents than the average in recent years, the number of accidents compared with the number of flights was a record low, Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and chief executive officer, confirmed.
“While aviation safety was in the headlines in 2014, the data show that flying continues to improve its safety performance.”
IATA, which represents about 250 airlines, said in an annual safety report that there were 12 fatal accidents in 2014 with 641 fatalities, compared with 19 fatal accidents and 517 fatalities per year in the five-year period between 2009 and 2013. Basically, there was one airline accident for every 4.4 million flights.
However, the report did not include the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine last July. Tyler stated that the flight was classified as an act of aggression rather than an accident.
“To the flying public an air tragedy is an air tragedy, regardless of how it is classified. In 2014 we saw a reduction in the number of fatal accidents — and that would be true even if we were to include MH17 in the total. The greatest tribute that we can pay to those who lost their lives in aviation-related tragedies is to continue our dedication to make flying ever safer.”