The world’s economy grows and so does the air travel industry. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, the air travel has increased to approximately 2.2 billion passengers last year. The European air travel grew by 6.4 percent and it accounts for almost 40% of world’s international traffic. On the other hand, the North American air traffic grew 2.9 percent and it makes up some 59 percent of world’s domestic travel. The number of cargo flights is also on the rise.
The air travel industry continues to grow in numbers but it is also safer than it used to be. The number of accidents in 2007 was 20.5 % lower than the number of accidents that happened in 2006. There were 164 crashes in 2006 whereas last year there were only 136 serious accidents. It is the lowest number of accident since 1963. There were 965 people killed in plane crashes in 2007, which is a 25% drop compared with the year 2006. Majority (32%) of the crashes took place in North America. There were 23% crashes in Asia, 14% in Africa, 10% in South America, 10% in Europe, 9% in Central America and 1% in Oceania.
The situation is steadily improving, nevertheless, there are some countries that improve its airline safety rather slowly. Among these are Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia or Colombia. One of the safest continents for air travel is Europe. There were no major accidents in Europe during 2007. Most of the accidents involved small propeller-powered planes. The large jet powered planes accounted for much less accidents but as the bigger planes carry significantly more passengers, there are also more victims when such a plane crashes. All people involved in the industry want to decrease the number of accidents. However, as the density of the traffic rises it may be still more difficult task to do.