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IATA chief: flying still safest form of travel, despite 2016 data

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IATA chief: flying still safest form of travel, despite 2016 data

Airline passengers, especially frequent flyers, can breathe a sigh of relief: airline travel is still the world’s safest mode of transport, according to IATA, despite a rise in the number of fatalities last year.

Latest statistics from  the International Air Transport Association (IATA), based on data from over 40 million flights, announced 268 victims in 10 plane crashes for 2016, as compared to 136 deaths for four aircraft accidents in 2015.

Last year, 3.8 billion passengers opted for plane travel, a figure up by 9% in comparison to 2015.

“The number of total accidents, fatal accidents and fatalities all declined versus the five-year average (between 2011 and 2015), showing that aviation continues to become safer,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “We did take a step back on some key parameters from the exceptional performance of 2015. However, flying is still the safest form of long distance travel,” he added.

IATA statistics do not take into account accidents caused by “deliberate acts”, like the Germanwings crash, and only concern either commercial passenger jets or freight flights, not test flights.

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