2017 was the safest year in the history of commercial air travel. Data released by The Aviation Safety Network
reveals that there were no crashes involving commercial airliners
anywhere in the world last year, despite the volume of air traffic reaching a historic high. When acts of suicide, sabotage and hijacking are excluded, the year saw 14 air accidents with 59 deaths. That represents an improvement on 2016 when there were 17 accidents and 258 fatalities.
The worst incident of 2017 occurred in January when a Boeing 747 cargo plane crashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan, resulting in the deaths of all four crew and 35 people on the ground. The accident with the most onboard fatalities happened at on New Year's Eve when a Cessna 208 Caravan crashed in Costa Rica, killing all 12 people onboard. The Aviation Safety Network did not include accidents involving helicopters and military aircraft. Therefore, incidents such as the crash of a Myanmar Air Force Y-8 transport aircraft in June that killed 122 people was omitted.
The most recent accident involving a commercial airliner
happened in Colombia in November 2016. It involved an Avro RJ85 operated by LaMia with 71 of the aircraft's 77 occupants losing their lives. The following infographic shows the trend in fatalities from 1972 to 2017. 2005 was the last year where there were more than 1,000 deaths on commercial flights and the trend has continued on its downward trajectory. Currently, the accident rate stands at one fatal passenger flight accident per 7,360,000 flights.