2013 safest year in commercial aviation history

14 Jan 2014 by Clement Huang

Global airline safety performance continues its upward trend with 2013 proving to be one of the safest years in commercial aviation history. Click here for “Navigating a Turbulent Past”, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific’s report on Asian airline safety from the November issue.

According to the Aviation Safety Network (ASN), there were a total of 29 fatal airline accidents reported last year, which resulted in a record low 265 fatalities. Around 20 per cent of the number of fatalities occurred on November 17, when a Boeing 737 operated by Russian carrier Tatarstan Airlines crashed while on approach to Kazan, killing 50.

Africa remains the least-safe continent, as it accounts for one-fifth of all fatal accidents – despite only accounting for 3 per cent of all global departures.

The improvement in airline safety is attributed to the stringent and clear guidelines set forth by international bodies. “Since 1997 the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, probably for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organisations such as ICAO, IATA, Flight Safety Foundation and the aviation industry,” said ASN president Harro Ranter.

Meanwhile, has revealed that Qantas is the safest commercial carrier in the world. The industry website offers a systematic rating system that takes into account a number of different factors related to audits from aviation governing bodies and fatality records. According to the website, Qantas’ recognition comes from its fatality free record since 1951. Other carriers that made the top 10 list (in descending order) were Air New Zealand, Emirates, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Eva Air, ANA and Royal Jordanian. also pointed out that out of the 448 airlines surveyed, over 137 have attained the top seven-star safety rankings, while only 50 have three stars or less.

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Clement Huang

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