Despite two major commercial aircraft incidents in 2015 — the intentional Germanwings crash in the French Alps and the allegedly terror-related Metrojet crash over Egypt — there has almost never been a safer time to get on an airplane, Condé Nast Traveler reports. Recently released numbers show that 2015 was the safest year for air travel since World War II and the London-based consultancy Ascend reported that for the first year ever, not one passenger fatality was recorded on a Western-built jet, aside from in acts of suspected violence.
Discounting the Germanwings and MetroJet Airbus events, the highest individual fatality count was 54 resulting from the crash of a Trigana Air ATR 42 in Papua during August. The second-highest, 43 casualties, also resulted from a turboprop accident when a TransAsia Airways ATR 72 came down after take-off from Taipei in February.
Ascend's annual review recorded eight fatal accidents last year, all involving turboprops from relatively small carriers, with only three accidents involving revenue passenger flights — the lowest total since 1946. [Flightglobal]
"The traditional accident rates were down, and we can attribute that to good practices and to new airplanes coming into service,” aviation consultant and former National Transportation Safety Board member John Goglia told Condé Nast Traveler. "But we still have to address the role of the human being." Jeva Lange