Deliberate acts cause more airline deaths in 2015

There were more airline deaths worldwide due to deliberate acts in 2015 than from accidental air crashes, for the second year in a row, according to an industry tally.

There were only eight accidental airline crashes last year, accounting for 161 passenger and crew deaths — the fewest crashes and deaths since at least 1946.

The tally by Flightglobal, an aviation news and industry data company, excludes a German airliner that was deliberately flown into a mountainside in the French Alps last March, and a Russian airliner packed with tourists that exploded over Egypt in October.

The toll for those two incidents was 374 killed.

In 2014, the toll from a Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared and another that was shot down over Ukraine in 2014 was 537 deaths compared to 436 accident deaths that year.

Although some years are better than others, the fatal accident rate has been improving for many years.

The global fatal accident rate for all types of airline operations in 2015 was one per 5 million flights, the best year ever.

The previous best year was 2014, with a fatal accident rate of 1 per 2.5 million flights.

Airline operations are now about four or five times safer than they were 20 years ago.


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