Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Tue March 10 2015

Report: 2014 Was The Safest Year on Record for Air Travel

Airlines & Airports | International Air Transport Association (IATA) | Donald Wood | March 10, 2015

Report: 2014 Was The Safest Year on Record for Air Travel

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

The safety of airlines is one of the biggest concerns for travelers, and the International Air Transport Associated (IATA) is reporting that commercial aviation safety improved over the last year.

According to a press release from IATA, the organization reports that the accident rate for 2014 dropped to a .23 rate, the lowest rate in history. This rate represents a significant improvement over 2013’s .41 rate, and a vast upgrade from the previous five-year average (2009-2013) rate of .58.

The rate is measured in hull losses per 1 million flights. For example, the 2014 rate of .23 equates to one accident for every 4.4 million flights. On the other hand, the average rate last year was one accident every 2.4 million flights.

That’s a substantial year-over-year improvement, and the results are a huge testament to the efforts of aviation officials, flight crews and plane manufacturers all over the world.

According to IATA, 3.3 billion people flew safely on 38 million flights in both jets and turboprops.

Unfortunately, not all the news was good. Airplane accident fatalities increased in 2014, jumping from an average of 517 fatalities from 2009-2013 to 641 last year. While fatal accidents were down to just 12 overall, several tragic incidents involving commercial airlines resulted in a higher number of fatalities.

Two of the saddest stories from 2014 were the tragic losses of flights MH370 and MH17. There is still a veil of mystery surrounding exactly what happened to MH370, but it is considered one of the 12 fatal accidents, with all 239 passengers and crew members presumed as fatalities.

The loss of MH17 did not count toward the casualty totals due to the fact that the aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft weaponry, according to IATA. That doesn’t mean the 298 people who perished in the flight have been forgotten, though.

Airline safety has improved overall around the world and that is good news for travelers. Many people are forced to travel extensively in their lines of work, and the safety of planes is a top priority for all parties involved.

Striving for zero accidents and fatalities is the ultimate goal, but the vast improvements over the last several years indicates that the airline industry is making major strides toward keeping every traveler safe when taking to the air.


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