As a result of continued annual growth in global air traffic passenger demand - February 2017 saw a year-on-year of close to six percent increase in revenue passenger kilometers on international routes - the number of airplanes that are involved in accidents is on the increase. Although the United States is ranked among the 20 countries with the highest quality of air infrastructure, the U.S. also reports the highest number of civil airliner accidents worldwide.
In terms of fatal accidents, it seems that aviation safety experienced some decline on a couple of parameters, however, air transportation is still the safest way of travel. There were 0.39 jet hull losses per one million flights in 2016, up from 0.32 jet hull losses per one million flights in 2015 and higher than the five-year period rate 2011-2015 of 0.36 hull loss accidents per million jet flights.
Just under 90 percent of all fatal crashes occurred in Africa and Asia in 2012. That year, North America reported 29 accidents, none of which were fatal. There were 90 accidents in scheduled commercial air transport in total in 2013. Regarding the total number of accidents, 2012 experienced a 21 percent year-over-year decrease from 2011, while air traffic remained relatively stable over the same period.
The year 2014 is memorable in the aviation’s safety performance for the tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370 and the shooting down of MH17, which lead to 298 fatalities. However, the number of fatal accidents among all aircraft types is lower, only 12 accidents occurred in 2014 compared to 17 in 2013.
In 2015, only four fatal accidents were recorded, all of them involving turboprop aircraft and resulted in 136 fatalities. In that year more than 3.5 billion people were transported safely on 37.6 million flights. Nonetheless, the tragic Germanwings air crash in March 2015 and Metrojet’s deliberate attack in October 2015 have sparked fresh concerns over airline safety.