Despite the Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane crash, the number of air fatalities worldwide dropped sharply in 2019, according to provisional figures from Germany’s Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC).
In 2019, 293 persons died in accidents involving civilian transport planes. This was just over half the number of victims (559) recorded in 2018.
The worst plane disaster was on 10 March, when 157 persons lost their lives in the Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash near Addis Ababa.
The year was the third safest in the history of civil aviation since World War II. Only 2013 and 2017 had fewer fatalities.
According to JACDEC’s Jan-Arwed Richter, the drop in fatalities compared to 2018 was due to the grounding of the 737 MAX. Keeping this type of plane in the air would “very probably” have led to a new accident, he said.
JACDEC has been recording and analyzing major civil aviation accidents and incidents for about 30 years now. Its assessments cover planes that weigh over 5.7 tonnes or have more than 19 seats.