2014 Aviation Disaster: Air Travel Safe Anymore?

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This past week has certainly been the worst week in aviation history. While the corpses of the ill fated MH 17 passengers are yet to reach their families, another aviation disaster has made it to the headlines, haunting the aviation industry, and the world.  The Algerian plane that crashed is the third in line to meet a disastrous fate this week.

In just a span of seven days three flights have crashed. After the MH 17 disaster, TransAsia Airways’ flight crashed in Taiwan, killing more than 40 people. Now, it is Air Algerie crash, being the latest in these series of disaster. News reports claimed that the plane was found in Mali’s Gossi region; 116 people were on board, but nothing is known of the casualties as yet.

There is still mystery over the disappearance of MH370 which went missing in March this year. The Malaysian Airlines has been hit the hardest, as after a gap of only four months, its flight MH 17 was shot down over Ukraine with 298 people on board. While the blame game continues, it is still unclear as to who shot the plane down.

We have seen three air disasters in a week’s time and we hope it ends just there.

The series of air crash misfortunes that we have witnessed this year makes me wonder: Has flying become less safe? I will, and you may too, think twice the next time you board a plane.

Aviation Safety Network has described 2014 as one of the safest years in terms of number of crashes. It said that, while the number of fatal plane accidents this year including Algerian plane is still below the ten-year average, the number of people killed in air travel disasters has increased significantly this year, majorly because of the two Malaysian Airlines disasters.

Figures reveal that aviation fatalities have soared 300 percent from 2013. According to International Air Transport Association, which represents 240 of the world’s airlines, more than three billion people flew safely on 36.4 million flights in 2013.

It is said that United Nations Civil Aviation Body, International Air Transport Association (IATA) and other agencies will meet in Montreal in the coming week to discuss about air travel safety.

While we raised the questions about air travel safety, we may never fully understand as to why some of the air disasters have happened, the way they have. Questions still remain unanswered. There is endless speculation, conspiracies and never ending theories.

Fears loom over our minds as we pray for safe flying experiences, but after this series of incidents, we surely must brace ourselves when we fly.

Valentina Telien Kom

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