AirAsia flight QZ8501 disappearance caps difficult year for airline industry

Number of fatal incidents involving large passenger jets is at record low but nature of disasters has been a wake-up call

Despite the fact that flying remains, as the aviation industry likes to stress, statistically the safest form of transport, the likely loss of a third airliner in the space of 10 months appears to have made 2014 the deadliest year for passengers in almost a decade.

The still unexplained disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in March and the shooting down of the same airline’s flight MH17 over war-torn eastern Ukraine four months later cost 239 and 298 lives respectively.

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