Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Last year was safest yet for commercial jet airliners

The most recent fatal passenger accident in the world was in November 2016

2017 was a safe year for commercial jet airlines with no fatal accidents (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
2017 was a safe year for commercial jet airlines with no fatal accidents (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

There were no accidental deaths on commercial passenger jets last year, making 2017 the safest on record for commercial air travel, according to analysts.

Dutch aviation consulting firm To70 and the Aviation Safety Network both reported on Monday there were no commercial passenger jet fatalities in 2017.

"2017 was the safest year for aviation ever," said Adrian Young of To70.

To70 estimated that the fatal accident rate for large commercial passenger flights is 0.06 per million flights, or one fatal accident for every 16 million flights.

The Aviation Safety Network reported there were no commercial passenger jet deaths in 2017, but 10 airliner accidents resulted in 44 fatalities onboard and 35 on the ground, including cargo planes and commercial passenger turboprop aircraft.

That figure includes 12 people killed on December 31, when a Nature Air Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft crashed after takeoff into a mountainous area near Punta Islita, Costa Rica.


Read more:

Nine members of two families killed in Costa Rica plane crash


In comparison, there were 16 accidents and 303 deaths in 2016 on airline services.

The deadliest incident last year occurred in January, when a Turkish cargo jet smashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan as it tried to land at a nearby airport in dense fog, killing 35 on the ground and all four onboard.

The Aviation Safety Network said 2017 was "the safest year ever, both by the number of fatal accidents as well as in terms of fatalities".

In the last two decades, aviation deaths have been steadily falling. As recently as 2005, there were 1,015 deaths aboard commercial passenger flights worldwide, the Aviation Safety Network said.

The United States last recorded a fatal airline passenger jet crash in February 2009, when Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed short of the runway in Clarence Center, New York, killing 49 onboard and one person on the ground.

In 2016, 412 people were killed in the United States in aviation accidents - nearly all in general aviation accidents and none on commercial passenger airlines.

The last fatal passenger jet airliner accident worldwide took place in November 2016 near Medellin, Colombia, and the last commercial passenger aircraft crash to kill more than 100 people occurred in October 2015 in Egypt.