Air crash death toll climbs in 2010
A total of 28 fatal air crashes killed 828 people last year, 13% more than in 2009, a study released yesterday has shown. The death toll was also 4% worse than last decade’s annual average of 794 deaths, aviation consultant Ascend said in its report, cited by Bloomberg. The highest death toll from a single crash involved an Air India Express Boeing 737, which crashed on landing at Mangalore in May, killing 152 passengers and six crew. While the four worst crashes, accounting for 472 deaths, or 65% of the total, involved western-built jets, they also featured carriers from emerging economies, Ascend’s Safety Director Paul Hayes noted.
“Worldwide, you have an accident rate of a bit more than one for every million flights,” Hayes told Bloomberg. “But if you look at Western Europe or North America it’s probably closer to one in 15 million.”
Other fatal incidents in 2010 included the crash of an AirBlue Airbus A321 near Islamabad, which killed 146 passengers and six crew, and one involving an Afriqiyah Airways A330, which crashed in Tripoli killing all but one of the 104 people on board. An Ethiopian Airlines B737 also crashed into the sea after taking off from Beirut, claiming the lives 82 passengers and eight crew, while in China a Henan Airlines plane crashed near Yichun Lindu Airport in Heilongjiang province, killing 42 people.
For insurers, liabilities and hull losses came to US$2.15 billion in 2010, more than the US$2.1 billion value of premiums, the Ascend report added.