TORONTO – With yet another plane lost in Indonesia, many people may be wondering if 2014 is on track to be remembered as the year of airline disasters.
But the fact is, 2014 is the year with the fewest airline accidents since 1942.
According to Aviation Safety Network, as of Dec. 29, there have been only 19 fatal airliner hull-loss accidents — where the body of the aircraft was lost. The number of fatalities, however was 526, the highest since 2011. Last year, there were 265 fatalities (with 29 accidents), the lowest since 1945. And that’s with 3.1 billion passengers.
The accidents of 2014 have been somewhat 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.
In July, two other flights were lost — TransAsia Airways flight GE222 and Air Algerie AH5017. Flight GE222 was flying through the back end of Typhoon Matmo. It is unknown what caused pilots to lose control of Flight AH5017.
Though Europe has the most fatalities, based on departures only, Africa is the least safe continent in which to travel, accounting for 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.