Global Airline Deaths Double In 2005
The number of people who died in airliner crashes worldwide more than doubled last year, Flight International magazine reported last week. In 2005, 1,050 people died in 34 fatal accidents, the highest number of fatalities since 2000. In 2004, there were 464 deaths. None of the fatal crashes involved major world airlines, and many involved older aircraft flown by airlines in countries with poor safety records compared with the rest of the world. Nigeria had two fatal crashes in which 225 people died, and Sudan saw three fatal accidents, all involving old Soviet-built aircraft. "It was a disappointing 12 months given the outstanding safety performance in the previous two years," said David Learmount, Flight International's operations and safety editor. A West Caribbean Airways crash in Venezuela in August killed 160 people. Also in August, Helios Airways lost 121 lives when one of its Boeing 737s crashed into hills north of Athens. "The world's safety problems are becoming ever more clearly regionalized and related to aging technology," the report concludes.