July 24, 2014 3:54 pm

Infographic: Is 2014 the year of airline accidents?

A woman walks at the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne, eastern Ukraine Friday, July 18, 2014.

AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

TORONTO – With four airline accidents in four months culminating in the deaths of more more than 650 people, many people may be asking themselves how safe it is to fly.

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But the accidents have been unusual: The missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, with all passengers presumed dead, disappeared from radar and has yet to be found. Because the plane was unable to be tracked, investigators aren’t even sure where the plane went down.

And once again, it was the unfortunate Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was tragically shot out of the sky over Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 on board.

For the most recent accidents – the loss of TransAsia Airways flight GE222 and Thursday’s likely loss of Air Algerie AH5017 – weather may have played a part. Flight GE222 was flying through the back end of Typhoon Matmo; weather may have also played a part in the Air Algerie loss.

Though Europe has the most fatalities, based on departures only, Africa is the least safe continent in which to travel, accounting for only three per cent of departures, and one-fifth of all fatal airline accidents.

But even with the recent spate of accidents and the high loss of life, 2013 was one of the safest years on record. According to Aviation Safety Network, the number of fatalities in 2013 (265) is well below the ten-year average of 720.

Here’s a look at some aviation statistics.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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