Six-month safety figures maintain gradual improvement

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Worldwide airline fatal accidents in the first six months of 2013 maintained the all-time best figure of nine, while the number of fatalities involved set a new low of 58.

Such a short period has limited statistical significance in its own right - especially since safety has become so good that the numbers are tiny - but in comparison with the same period in each year for the last decade, the trend indicates that an established gradual improvement is being maintained.

The very low fatalities figure this year so far will probably prove to be a matter of chance. The first six months of last year was more typical, with 338 casualties in the period. The low figure results from the fact that none of the passenger aircraft that crashed happened to be large, and they were carrying small passenger loads. Nevertheless, survivability in modern hulls continues to be a favourable factor. The Lion Air Boeing 737-800 that crashed into the sea short of the runway at Denpasar in Indonesia caused injuries among its seven crew and 101 passengers, but no fatalities.

A complete analysis of airline safety in the first half of 2013 will be available to Pro subscribers ahead of its publication in Flight International's 30 July-5 August issue and Flightglobal.com's registered area the FG Club