The overall feel of the airline industry is becoming very depressing. Every time something good happens, it’s quickly erased with terrible news. This time, a TransAsia plane has crashed into the Keelung River in New Taipei City. This brings up bad memories from last year, when other aircrafts were lost as well.
The issue isn’t just that this one TransAsia plane went down while it was en route to Singapore. It’s that planes seem to be dropping out of the sky without warning. Airline experts keep telling people that they live in the golden age of aircraft safety. Yet, it seems like there is a plane crash to report nearly every month with hundreds of people dying.
While it’s easy to understand why people believe that flying is becoming more lethal, this is far from the truth. One thing that makes it feel like flying is becoming more lethal is the media. It’s much easier for everyone to stay connected, so when a plane goes down, it gets worldwide coverage. Within minutes of a plane going down, nearly everyone has already heard about it.
If people look at the number of recent fatalities and crashes compared to the massive amount of airline passengers, it would seem that the airline industry is pretty safe. In fact, more than 3.2 billion people fly every year.
Despite all of the bad airline news in 2014, it was still the safest year ever for airlines. There was only one fatal accident per 2.38 million flights, compared to the 1.91 million flights in 2013. It should at least be noted that these figures don’t include the Malaysian fight that was lost over the Ukraine. This is because this flight is being considered a war loss and not an accident.
The Aviation Safety Network said that there were 21 fatal crashes in 2014. These numbers include the Ukraine crash. This is down form the 29 fatal crashes that were reported in 2013 and still lower than the 23 crashes that were reported in 2012.
While there were more airline crashes in 2013, more people died in 2014, nearly 1,000 people. This is about 300 more than the 700 who were killed in 2013. These are terrible figures, but they are much better than the 2,370 people who died in airline crashes in 1972, when fewer people were flying.