From one perspective, 2018 was an especially deadly year for aviation, with 555 people dying in 16 airline accidents, an increase of 900 per cent from 2017.
However, that’s still a tiny fraction of the 4.5 billion passengers who flew on about 45 million flights last year, Forbes reports.
While 2017 was dubbed “the safest year ever, both by the number of fatal accidents as well as in terms of fatalities” by the Aviation Safety Network, the 2018 death toll was the highest since 2014, when 692 people died in airliner accidents.
The October 29 crash of a Lion Air flight near Jakarta, Indonesia that killed 189 people was the most recent and deadly crash; it reportedly was caused by faulty readings given by sensors about the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Other major incidents included the crash of a Cubana de Aviación 737-200 in Havana that killed 112 in May, and the depressurizing of the cabin of a Southwest Airlines 737 in April that resulted in a passenger being fatally sucked out a window — the first accident-related death in Southwest history.