Airlines’ safest year with just 15 crashes

Have your say

This year has been the safest-ever 12 months for air travel, according to figures out yesterday.

The number of fatal crashes in 2012 and the number of people killed in those crashes fell sharply compared with 2011.

And the fatal accident rate of one per 2.5m flights made 2012 the safest year on record and almost twice as safe as 2011, flight advisory service Ascend said.

The figures, which relate to airliner safety, showed that there were 15 plane crashes involving deaths in 2012 compared with 25 last year.

The number of people killed in fatal accident crashes this year was 362 compared with 403 last year.

Nearly three-quarters of the deaths came in two incidents this year. A total of 127 people were killed when a Bhoja Air Boeing 737 crashed near Islamabad airport in Pakistan on April 20.

Then on June 6, a total of 153 people, plus 10 on the ground, died when a Dana Air plane crashed on approach to Lagos airport in Nigeria.

Ascend said the passenger death rate for the last five years was about one per 6.1m passengers carried, while for the period 2000 to 2009 the rate was one per 3.7m and for the 1990s it was one per 1.8m.

Insurance claims for loss of airliners in 2012 are around $980m (about £612m) – the lowest level since 1991.

Paul Hayes, head of safety at Ascend, said: “2012 does not represent a new norm for the world airlines.

“Nonetheless, airline fatal 
accident rates have been steadily improving and on average, 
operations are now twice as safe as they were 15 years ago.

“About 335 fewer passengers and crew were killed each year in the last decade than during the 1990s.”