Airline group: More deaths in 2014 from fewer accidents

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HONG KONG (AP) — The number of deaths in jetliner disasters spiked last year despite there being fewer accidents in total, an international airline industry group said Monday.

The International Air Transport Association said in its annual safety report that 641 people died in airline accidents in 2014. Its figures don't include the 298 people killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed over Ukraine.

There were 2010 deaths in 2013 and the five year average is 517 deaths.

IATA said last year was marked by two "extraordinary and tragic events" both involving Malaysia Airlines: Flight 17 and earlier in the year the disappearance of Flight 370 which was carrying 238 people.

The IATA numbers don't include Flight 17 because the plane was shot down by anti-aircraft weapons and was therefore not classified as an accident.

The number of fatal airplane crashes fell to 12 last year from 16 the previous year and the five-year average of 19.

The group said there was one accident for every 4.347 million flights, a record low.