Flying still statistically the safest way to travel – 2014 the best year ever – an annotated infographic

Good news for fans of flying: despite an apparent alarming tendency for modern planes to mysteriously drop out of the sky and collide with various unforgiving surfaces harder than was ever intended, aircraft accident rates are in fact at an historic low.

Obviously, statistics are no comfort whatsoever to anyone that has lost a loved one in a plane crash, but the unemotional world of statistics decrees that despite a number of recent high-profile commercial aviation disasters, there has never been a safer time to fly.

According to air safety analysts Ascend, the global airline fatal accident rate in 2014 was one per 2.38 million flights, making it the safest year ever. There were 19 fatal accidents in total – the lowest ever figure – resulting in 671 fatalities.

The figures exclude the July 2014 loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, on the grounds that it was shot down by a guided missile and is considered a war risk loss, not an accident. We’re not convinced about this exclusion, as surely any plane that goes down in flames is by definition “not safe”. In these troubled, terrorist-infested times, aren’t all planes potentially at risk of such an attack?

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Up, up and away

Up, up and away

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