With just two weeks left of 2011, figures have shown the year to be the safest for air travel since records began.
A study by the International Transport Association (IATA) has revealed the number of fatal air crashes fell from 23 in 2010 to 22 this year, as a result the number of deaths have dropped significantly.
Last year 786 passengers and airline crew members were killed in air accidents, however the figure dropped to 486 this year.
Gunther Matschnigg, senior vice president for the safety, operations and infrastructure at IATA said: “As of the end of November, global safety performance is at the best level recorded, and is 49 per cent better than the same time last year”.
Figures for the IATA date back to as far as 1945, when the collation of records began.
European flying has been exceptionally safe this year, as no fatal crashes have occurred on European soil so far this year.
North Asia is the only global region to have an unblemished year.
Accident rates have dropped in every region of the world, apart from the CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States – Russia and the former Soviet republics), where records show 1.39 crashes per million take-offs have occurred.
However in 2010 the region reported a crash-free year.
In 2011, the global accident rate stands at 2.16 crashes per million take-offs.
According to statistics Africa remains the most dangerous continent in which to fly. This year, the accident rate for the country stands at 3.93 crashes per million take-offs, however this is an improvement when compared to last years figure of 8.26.
Until the 30th November, Africa had held an unblemished fatality record.
Mr Matschnigg added: “Overall, African performance is 52 per cent better, that is a great achievement”.
Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh