GENEVA (AP) _ Airlines recorded their safest year in 2004, with 428 people killed out of the 1.8 billion passengers who flew, the International Air Transport Association said.
''2004 was the safest year ever for air transport,'' said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA director-general and CEO.
He said the number of accidents rose to 103 from 99 in 2003 while global traffic increased 15 percent.
But the number of fatalities has been declining steadily from a peak of 1,418 deaths in 1996, said IATA spokesman Anthony Concil. That number _ compiled only from Western-built aircraft _ was from 1.3 billion passengers flown. Concil said the number killed in non-Western-built aircraft in 1996 was unavailable, but it would have raised the total even higher.
The previous safest year was 2003, when 663 people were killed among 1.6 billion passengers flown.
That, in turn, was an improvement on the 974 killed among 1.6 billion passengers flown in 2002, Concil said.
Bisignani said IATA is pushing to reduce the accident rate even more through a system of safety audits.
''Air transport is safe,'' he said. ''And we are committed to make it even safer.''
Airliner crashes killed 828 people last year, 13 percent more than in 2009, as the number of fatal accidents rose by five to 28, a study released on Tuesday shows.The fatality figure was 4 percent...
The airline industry, which will probably suffer net losses of $4.68 billion this year, could break even in 2006 if fuel prices drop sufficiently, the International Air Transport Association said.
The industry fuel bill rose from $44 billion in 2003 to $63 billion in 2004. At $57 per barrel, the industry fuel bill for 2005 will top $97 billion.
Airlines have reduced non-fuel unit costs by 14 percent since 2001. As a result the break-even price of oil has risen from 22 dollars per barrel in 2003 to 48 dollars per barrel in 2005.