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Flying is still the safest way to travel

Will you get on a plane again. Aviation fatalities soar 300%, but experts insist 2014 is still one of the safest years in history.

In a week that has seen three major air disasters, just days before the busiest weekend for airports over the summer holidays, questions are being raised about the safety of air travel.

After a Swiftair flight crashed today, killing 119 people on board, a TransAsia Airways jet fell from the sky yesterday with 47 dead, and the Malaysia Airlines jet that was shot down over Ukraine last week with 298 fatalities, travellers are asking whether it is safe to fly.

Aviation experts claim 2014 is one of the safest years in air transport history in terms of the number of crashes.

However, figures reveal fatalities from air disasters have soared by 300 per cent from last year, including the three major plane crashes in the past week.

There have been 763 passengers and crew killed in plane disasters so far this year – 498 higher than the 265 people that died in 2013.

The figure is 396 higher than the 10-year average to July of 376.

It also makes July the fifth worst month in aviation history in terms of aviation disaster fatalities.

However, air travel experts are urging holidaymakers that it is still safe to fly.

Harro Ranter, president of the Aviation Safety Network, described 2014 as ‘among the safest years in modern aviation history – since 1946’.

He added the number of fatal plane accidents this year – including today’s Algerian jet – is 12 – five below the ten-year average to July 24.

The 12 incidents in the past seven months include the TransAsia aircraft that crashed while trying to land on an island off Taiwan, killing all 47 people on board.

The figure is down from the 10-year average of 17 fatal crashes.

Mr Ranter said: ‘The recent accidents do not suggest that there is a specific common underlying safety issue.’

However, figures by the network, which tracks crashes and fatalities worldwide, reveal the number of people killed in air travel disasters has increased significantly already this year, due to the two Malaysia Airlines disasters.

The total number of passengers and crew killed on board the missing MH370, and on board the MH17 flight which was shot down while flying over Ukraine is 517.

Ranter told http://www.thestar.com: ‘It has been an exceptional year because of these two high-profile accidents, which really mark the safety profile of this year.

‘[The number of fatal crashes is] quite significantly below the 10-year average, although the number of fatalities is markedly higher because of these two high-profile accidents.’

According to International Air Transport Association, which represents 240 of the world’s airlines, more than three billion people flew safely on 36.4 million flights last year.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2704018/BREAKING-NEWS-Algerian-airline-loses-contact-plane-carrying-110-people-disappears-radar-flying-Burkina-Faso-Algiers.html#ixzz38PtCvznP
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