The aviation industry’s all accident rate, measured in accidents per one-million flights, improved to 1.61 in 2016, from 1.79 in 2015.
The latest data published by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) on Friday, further showed that the major jet accident rate, measured in hull losses per one-million flights, was 0.39 in 2016, which was equivalent to one major accident for every 2.56-million flights.
This was slightly worse than the rate of 0.32 achieved in 2015, as well as the five-year rate of 0.36.
There were ten fatal accidents involving a total of 268 fatalities in 2016, compared with an average of 13.4 fatal accidents and 371 fatalities per year in the previous five-year period.
"Last year, some 3.8-billion travellers flew safely on 40.4-million flights. The number of total accidents, fatal accidents and fatalities all declined versus the five-year average, showing that aviation continues to become safer,” Iata director-general Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement on Friday.
In 2016, sub-Saharan Africa had its best performance of the last decade, with zero passenger fatalities and zero jet hull losses.
The all accident rate for the region was 2.30 per one-million departures, compared with an average of 9.73 per one-million departures a year for the previous five years.
The continent also saw continuing improvement in turboprop safety, with a turboprop hull loss rate of 1.56. There was one nonfatal turboprop hull loss.
"Sub-Saharan African airlines delivered a very strong performance in 2016. But we must not rest on this success. Safety is earned every day. The lesson in Africa’s improvement is that global standards like the Iata Operational Safety Audit (Iosa) make a difference,” De Juniac noted.
He added that African nations should maintain this strong momentum by making Iosa and the Iata Standard Safety Assessment a part of their airline certification process.