New research has revealed more people died in commercial plane crashes last year than in 2019.
This comes despite the number of flights plummeting due to the pandemic.
Dutch aviation consultancy To70 found that 299 people were killed in commercial crashes worldwide last year, rising from 257 in 2019.
Tracking site Flightradar 24 reported that commercial flights had dropped by 42 per cent last year.
According to a statement released by To70, the figures include all deaths from large passenger aircraft accidents – including acts of unlawful interference, like the shooting down of aircraft.
The figures for 2020 include the shooting down of a Ukraine International Airlines flight by Iranian armed forces last January.
Iran plans to give $150,000 (£110,000) to the families of each of the 176 people killed – more than half of all those killed in plane crashes last year.
It also includes the deaths of 98 people in May when a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight crashed in the city of Karachi.
An initial report blamed “human error” for the accident.
To70 found that the number of accidents fell to 40 from a total of 86 the previous year.
Only five of those 40 accidents proved fatal.
“While the accident rate for 2020 remains low, the circumstances around a number of the accidents is cause for concern,” To70 said.
“Three of the five fatal accidents in 2020 and several of the non-fatal ones relate to aeroplanes that left the paved surface of the runway; runway excursions.
“Following the trend of other runway excursions these events have been contributed to by events leading up to the final approach and landing.
“The Turkish accident in February and the Indian one in August both occurred in heavy rain.
“The latter also, reportedly, landed with a strong tailwind.
“The accident in Pakistan in May followed an initial hard landing and go-around that appears to have damaged the engines, resulting in the undershoot on the subsequent approach.”
The fatal accident rate for large aeroplane in commercial air transport is 0.27 fatal accidents per million flights.
That is a rate of one fatal accident every 3.7 million flights.
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