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Record low for airline fatalities in 2013 no consolation to families

(Please note, this matter is not currently being litigated in Australia)

The Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation aimed at providing expert advice and assistance to the aviation industry, to help identify safety issues and address them through its data collection and information sharing activities. One of the services it provides is the Aviation Safety Network database, whose mission is to provide everyone with a professional interest in aviation “with up to date, complete and reliable authoritative information on airliner accidents and safety issues”. As a private and independent initiative of the Flight Safety Foundation, the data released by the Aviation Safety Network is considered reliable and current as it uses only officially released air safety data sources.

A few days ago the final 2013 global airliner accident statistics were released by the Aviation Safety Network. These showed that in 29 worldwide accidents, there were a total of 265 fatalities. The release indicated this was a record low, as the ten year average is about 720 fatalities per year. The global trend is for declining accident rates and declining fatalities. A notable outcome for 2013 was that the airlines which are represented on the fatal accident list for the year include a large contingent of those “black listed” by the European Union (ie, airlines which are not permitted to fly in Europe due to safety concerns). In fact, one fifth of the airlines that crashed were African airlines which feature on the EU black list.

However, the nature of these positive observations cannot adequately reflect the very real and continuing harshness of the losses suffered by families affected by air crashes in 2013.

The worst accident of the year was the Tatarstan Airlines accident on 17 November 2013, in which a Boeing 737 crashed at Kazan Airport in Russia. The accident killed all 50 on board, and Shine Lawyers Aviation Department have partnered with a Russian law firm to provide aviation legal expertise and assistance to families of those lost in the tragedy. See more about this here. Naturally, for these families, the downward airline accident trend is no consolation.


Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: January 7, 2014.

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