WASHINGTON: The number of people killed in big commercial aircraft accidents in 2020 stood at 299 globally, even though more than 50 percent of the number of crashes dropped, a Dutch consultancy company said Friday.
To70, an aviation research company, recorded 40 collisions involving large commercial passenger aircraft in 2020, five of which were fatal, resulting in 299 deaths. There were 86 collisions in 2019, of which eight were fatal, resulting in 257 deaths.
In 2020, To70 said, big commercial aircraft had 0.27 fatal accidents per million flights, or one fatal accident per 3.7 m flights, up from 0.18 fatal accidents per million flights in 2019.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the drop in accidents came in the wake of a rapid decline in airlines. In 2020, Flightradar24 announced that commercial flights it recorded globally dropped 42pc to 24.4m.
The 176 people killed in January 2020 when a Ukrainian plane was shot down in Iranian airspace accounted for more than half of all the fatalities in the To70 study.
The second deadliest incident of the year happened in Pakistan
A Pakistan airliner which crashed in May, killing 98, was the second deadliest incident.
The large commercial aircraft affected by the figures are used by virtually all travellers on airlines, but small commuter aircraft in service are exempt.
Aviation fatalities have been declining dramatically over the past two decades. The Aviation Safety Network (ASN) said, as recently as 2005, there were 1,015 deaths on commercial passenger flights worldwide.
An total of 14 fatal collisions have occurred in commercial passenger and freight aircraft over the last five years, resulting in 345 deaths annually, ASN said.
In 2017, with only two fatal collisions involving regional turboprops, aviation had its safest year on record worldwide, resulting in 13 deaths and no fatal passenger jet crashes.
Since February 2009, the United States has not seen a deadly US passenger airline collision and has had one fatality in that time due to a US passenger airline accident.