Last year was “one of the safest years ever for commercial aviation”, with an average of one fatality every 5.58 million flights.

The news comes from Dutch aviation consulting firm To70, which found that there were 86 accidents involving large commercial planes in 2019.

These included eight fatal incidents which resulted in 257 deaths.

In 2018, there were 160 accidents, including 13 fatal ones resulting in 534 deaths.

The worst crash of 2019 was on 10 March when 157 people were killed on an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX plane.

The aircraft type was grounded soon afterwards, as that crash had followed one the previous October near Indonesia which killed 189 people.

To70 said that, while the aviation industry was focused on future threats such as drones, it still needed to “focus on the basics that make civil aviation so safe: well-designed and well-built aircraft flown by fully-informed and well-trained crews”.

The other main crashes of 2019 were a Fokker 100 in Kazakhstan in an accident that killed 12 people and an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 that caught fire during an emergency landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport,
killing 41 people.

Aviation deaths have fallen dramatically around the world, from more than 1,000 deaths worldwide as recently as 2005.

2017 was the safest year so far, with only two fatal accidents resulting in 13 deaths, none of them from passenger jets.

The figures include passengers and air crew, as well as anyone killed on the ground in a plane accident.

They do not include accidents involving military flights, training flights, private flights, cargo operations and helicopters.

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