IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani says the first three quarters of 2007 represent a "big step backwards" for airline safety.
Speaking at the US FAA's international safety forum in Washington DC, Bisignani reports that the average accident rate (hull loss per 1 million flight hours) for IATA-member airlines so far this year has risen to 0.9, the highest rate since 2002.
IATA represents 240 airlines carrying 94% of the world's scheduled international traffic.
Hull loss accidents in Africa increased to 6.04 from 4.31 last year, marking the worst record for the first three quarters. Behind Africa is the.Asia-Pacific region with 3.27 hull losses per million flight hours, followed by Brazil with 2.52.
There have been no hull loss accidents in the Middle East, northern Africa and Russia for the year to date, Bisignani says.
To counter the negative trend, Bisignani says, IATA has launched safety partnerships in Brazil and Indonesia and has opened an office in Nigeria.