Not all bad news: 2016 one of safest years for flying on record

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For many, 2016 was a year of bad news, but flight safety experts in Germany and the Netherlands have pointed out one positive: Flying is becoming increasingly safer.

Last year marked one of the safest on record for civil aviation, the Hamburg-based Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) and the Dutch Aviation Safety Network (ASN) said on Sunday, citing preliminary data.

While the JACDEC counted 321 deaths worldwide in 2016, the ASN placed the figure at 325 using a different counting method based on figures correct as of December 29.

The worst aviation accident happened when a aeroplane of Bolivian flight operator LaMia crashed in Medellin, Colombia. Seventy-one people died, including 19 members of the Brazilian Chapecoense football club. The crash was caused by a lack of fuel.

Out of around 350 million passenger, cargo, research and fire-fighting flights that took place in 2016, ASN noted just 19 fatal accidents.

In 2015, when a Germanwings passenger plane came down in the Alps in a murder-suicide by the pilot that claimed 150 lives, JACDEC counted 521 deaths and ASN 560.