New statistics reveal 2019 was one of the safest years for commercial aviation, despite a second crash involving the Boeing 737 Max.
The Aviation Safety Network has found there were 20 fatal airliner accidents, which caused 283 deaths, in 2019.
Although that makes last year the seventh safest for accidents and third best for fatalities, the number of accidents has increased to above the five-year average of 14.
This makes about one fatal accident per two million flights worldwide.
Out of the 20 crashes, 13 involved passenger flights and six were for cargo, and one was operated by an airline on the EU “blacklist”, down by two compared to 2018.
This is despite the Boeing 737 Max Ethiopian Airlines crash in March 2019, which killed 157 people.
A Boeing 737 Max Lion Air flight also crashed in October 2018, causing 189 deaths, and the aircraft has now been grounded.
"If the accident rate had remained the same as ten years ago, there would have been 34 fatal accidents last year," said Harro Ranter, Aviation Safety Network’s chief executive.
"At the accident rate of the year 2000, there would even have been 65 fatal accidents. This shows the enormous progress in terms of safety in the past two decades."
2017 was the safest year in aviation history, with 10 accidents and only 44 lives lost.