Airline travel still safest, says IATA
Every day, approximately 100,000 flights take to the sky and land without incident. Last year more than three billion people flew and there were 210 fatalities. Airline travel is still the safest despite a very sad ‘black week’ for the aviation industry that has claimed more than 460 lives in three separate crashes, head of apex aviation body said in a statement. “Our number one priority is safety. And despite the events of the past seven days, flying is safe. Regrettably, we have surpassed that number already this year. But even so, getting on an aircraft is still among the safest activities that one can do,” the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General and CEO ,Tony Tyler said.
“With three tragedies in such quick succession, many people will, understandably, be asking questions about aviation safety,” the Director General said, adding: “The greatest respect that we can pay to the memory of those involved, is to leave nothing unturned in our quest to understand the cause and to take steps to ensure that it is not repeated.”
The head of the Geneva-based group, which represents about 200 global airlines, will attend a special high-level meeting on 29th July, to discuss issues surrounding the downing of Malaysia Airline flight, MH17. The first incident involved Malaysia Airlines flight, presumed to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile over eastern Ukraine on July 17.
Other crashes include a Taiwanese aircraft on 23rd July and an Air Algerie plane on 24th July.
Tyler said: “This was a terrible crime. But flying remains safe. And everyone involved in global air transport is fully dedicated to making it even safer.”
Emirate airline president Tim Clark called for an international meeting of carriers to agree upon a response to the downing of a Malaysian airliner, including a potential rethink of the threats posed by regional conflicts. Clark also said domestic regulators worldwide may decide to be more involved in giving their carriers guidance on where it is safe to fly.
“The international airline community needs to respond as an entity, saying this is absolutely not acceptable and outrageous, and that it won’t tolerate being targeted in internecine regional conflicts that have nothing to do with airlines,” Clark told Reuters.