Global figures for airline fatal accidents in the first six months of this year have soared from an all-time low in the same period of 2007.
The number of resulting crew and passenger deaths, however, has almost halved compared with January-June 2007, because there were far fewer casualties per accident with many of the crashes involving pure freighters.
The total number of fatal airline accidents to 30 June is 18 compared with 11 at the same point last year, and the respective figures for fatalities are 175 compared with 312.
Regionally, Africa and Latin America recorded the highest numbers of fatal accidents with five each.
The worst accidents so far have been the 21 February crash of a Santa Barbara Airlines ATR42-300 in Venezuela which killed all 46 people on board, and the 10 June Sudan Airways Airbus A310-300 accident at Khartoum in which some 30 of the 225 people on board died. Since the latter date Sudan has seen two more fatal accidents within its borders, both involving Soviet-era freighters. Sudan has now banned aircraft in that category.
There will be a full analysis of airline accidents and safety developments in the first half of this year in Flight International's 21-27 July issue.