Even with the number of airplane crashes fell by more than 50 per cent in 2020, there was an increase in the number of people killed in large commercial airplane crashes to reach 299 globally, according to a report prepared by a Dutch consulting firm.
There were 40 accidents involving large commercial passenger planes in 2020, said aviation consulting firm To70. Out of these give accidents were fatal in nature which resulted in the death of 299 people globally. In comparison, there were 86 accidents globally of which eight were fatal in nature resulting in the death of 257 people.
A major part of 2020 witnessed a sharp decline in flights because of the travel restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic. There was a drop of 42 per cent in the total number of commercial flights it tracked worldwide in 2020 to 24.4 million, according to a report from Flightradar24.
The death of 176 people in January 2020 in an incident when a Ukrainian plane was shot down in Iranian airspace accounted for more than half of all deaths in 2020 according to the To70 review. The crash of a Pakistan airliner in May was the second largest deadliest incident last year in which 98 people were killed.
Large passenger airplanes covered by the statistics are used by nearly all travellers on airlines but exclude small commuter airplanes in service.
There has been a dramatic drop in aviation deaths over the last two decades. According to the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), there were 1,015 deaths aboard commercial passenger flights globally as recently as in 2005.
ASN said that on an average, there have been 14 fatal air crashes every year for commercial passenger and cargo planes while an average of 345 people were killed every year globally because of those accidents over the last five years as have been officially recorded.
The global aviation industry saw its safest year on record globally in 2017 – a year when there were only fatal accidents that involved regional turboprops. These accidents resulted in the death of 13 people. There were also no incidents of any fatal crashes of any passenger jets in the year.
What was note worthy was that no fatal passenger airline crash has taken place in the United States since February of 2009 with only one person being killed because of a US passenger airline accident in that period.
(Adapted from TheWire.in)