Passenger deaths on scheduled flights reach lowest level in 60 years – UN

Passenger deaths on scheduled flights reach lowest level in 60 years – UN

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Air passenger deaths from accidents in 2004 on scheduled services – excluding those caused by unlawful acts – were the lowest in almost 60 years, and less than half those of 2003, according to preliminary statistics released by the United Nations civil aviation agency today.

There were nine aircraft accidents involving 203 passenger deaths on scheduled services for planes with a maximum take-off mass of more than 2,250 kilos last year, the lowest since 1945, compared with 466 passenger fatalities in seven accidents in 2003, the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said.

Because of the significantly lower number of passenger deaths and the significant increase in the total scheduled passenger traffic in 2004, the accident rate for scheduled air services measured in passenger fatalities per 100 million passenger-kilometres decreased to about 0.005 from approximately 0.015 in 2003.

For non-scheduled operations, there were 18 accidents involving 207 passenger deaths for aircraft with a maximum take-off mass of more than 2,250 kilos compared with 217 deaths in 25 accidents in 2003.

Regarding security, 16 acts of unlawful interference were recorded in which 91 persons were killed and eight injured. These included four recorded incidents of sabotage or attempted sabotage, two of which were carried out simultaneously by suicide bombers on aircraft in flight on 24 August 2004 in Russia, killing 90 passengers and crew.

There was also one successful hijacking compared with three in 2003. The number of airport attacks or attempted airport attacks decreased to four last year from 10 in 2003, one of which was an attack within the terminal building.