IATA CEO: 'A tragic week for aviation'

25 Jul 2014 by GrahamSmith

The chief executive of the International Air Transport Association has issued a statement mourning a "tragic week for aviation".

Tony Tyler admitted that questions are now being asked about safety in the skies following three air disasters in such a short period of time, but maintained "flying is safe".

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and carrying 298 people, was shot down over Ukraine on July 17 (see news, July 17).

On July 23, a Trans Asia Airways flight crashed on Penghu Island due to adverse weather conditions, killing 48. On July 24, an Air Algerie aircraft lost contact with traffic control while making its way to Algiers from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Wreckage has been found in Mali and the 116 people are feared dead.

Tyler said: "This has been a very sad week for everyone involved with aviation... Every accident is one too many.

"The greatest respect that we can pay to the memory of those involved is to leave nothing unturned in our quest to understand the cause and to take steps to ensure that it is not repeated.

"With three tragedies in such quick succession, many people will, understandably, be asking questions about aviation safety. Our number one priority is safety. And despite the events of the past seven days, flying is safe.

"Every day, approximately 100,000 flights take to the sky and land without incident. In 2013, more than three billion people flew and there were 210 fatalities. Regrettably, we have surpassed that number already this year. But even so, getting on an aircraft is still among the safest activities that one can do."

Graham Smith

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