Plane Crash Deaths Rise in 2020 Despite COVID-19 Pandemic
GUWAHATI: The number of people killed in large commercial airplane crashes rose in 2020 to 299 worldwide despite a sharp decline in flights due to the coronavirus pandemic, a Dutch consulting firm has found.
In 2020 there were 40 accidents involving large commercial passenger planes, five of which were fatal, resulting in 299 fatalities. In 2019, there were nearly double the number of accidents – 86 – eight of which were fatal, resulting in 257 fatalities, said a
viation consulting firm To70.
Large commercial airplanes had 0.27 fatal accidents per million flights in 2020, To70 said, or one fatal crash every 3.7m flights – up from 0.18 fatal accidents per million flights in 2019.
More than half of all deaths in the To70 review were the 176 people killed in January 2020 when a Ukrainian plane was shot down in Iranian airspace. The second deadliest incident was the crash of a Pakistan airliner in May in which 98 people died.
Large passenger airplanes covered by the statistics are used by nearly all travellers on airlines but exclude small commuter airplanes in service.
Over the past two decades, aviation deaths have fallen dramatically. As recently as 2005, there were 1,015 deaths aboard commercial passenger flights worldwide, the Aviation Safety Network (ASN) said.
Over the past five years, there has been an average of 14 fatal accidents for commercial passenger and cargo planes resulting in 345 deaths annually, ASN said.
In 2017, aviation had its safest year on record worldwide with only two fatal accidents involving regional turboprops that resulted in 13 deaths and no fatal crashes of passenger jets.
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