MIAMI — In 2014, airliner accident statistics from the Aviation Safety Network (ASN) showed a record low total of 21 fatal airliner accidents, resulting in 990 fatalities. ASN is a service offered by the Flight Safety Foundation, whose purpose is to provide impartial, independent, expert safety guidance and resources for the aviation and aerospace industries.

The numbers posted in 2014 make it the safest year ever by number of fatal accidents and the 24th safest year ever in terms of fatalities. Most accidents involved cargo flights (10) and passenger flights (eight). The worst accident last year happened on July 17 when a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 (flight MH17)  crashed in Ukraine, killing 298.

The low number of accidents comes as no surprise, according to ASN President Harro Ranter: “Since 1997 the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organisations such as ICAO, IATA, Flight Safety Foundation and the aviation industry,” he said in a press release.

ASN found that Africa still is the least safe continent, accounting for 43 percent of all fatal airliner accidents. This despite the continent only having approximately three percent of all world air traffic. Statistics for 2014 are based on a selection of worldwide fatal accidents involving civil aircraft with a minimum capacity of 14 passengers.