Some 86 accidents involving large passenger aircraft were recorded in 2019, according to new analysis from aviation consultants To70.
Of these, eight were fatal, with the loss of 257 lives – a fall of nearly 50 per cent.
In contrast, there were 160 accidents, 13 of which were fatal, resulting in 534 fatalities, in 2018.
The figures compare to an historic low in 2017, with only two fatal accidents involving regional turboprops (out of 48 accidents) that resulted in the loss of 13 lives.
Despite two high-profile accidents this past year, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max and an Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet, and an accident to a Fokker 100 just before the year’s end, fatal accidents to large passenger aircraft remain rare events.
Only two other accidents, a piston aircraft in March and a turboprop in November, resulted in more than ten casualties.
An estimated 4.2 per cent growth in air traffic for 2019 over 2018 means that the fatal accident rate for large aeroplanes in commercial air transport is just 0.18 (2018: 0.20) fatal accidents per million flights.
That is an average of one fatal accident every 5.58 million flights.