The tragic accident that saw a Germanwings Airbus A320 crash near the French Alps on March 24, was the second major incident involving a commercial airliner in 2015. 144 passengers and 6 crew members were believed to be on board, when the aircraft travelling from Barcelona to Düsseldorf crashed in the Alpes-de-Hautes-Provence department in Southern France. The number of casualties has yet to be confirmed, but according to news reports there have likely been no survivors.
Despite a spike in aviation accidents in 2014, the number of fatalities in airliner accidents has been trending downwards thanks to significant improvements in flight safety. According to data compiled by the Aviation Safety Network
, 1972 was the worst year on record for the aviation industry, when 2,373 people lost their lives in 72 hull-loss accidents.