Just a decade ago, passengers were 10 times as likely to die when flying on an American plane. The risk of death was even greater during the start of the jet age, with 1,696 people dying — 133 out of every 100 million passengers — from 1962 to 1971. The figures exclude acts of terrorism.
Asia remains one of the fastest-growing regions for aviation in the world. Even with slowing economies in Japan and China, airlines there saw 3.7 percent more passengers than a year ago, according to the International Air Transport Association.
Finding enough experienced pilots to meet a growing number of flights is becoming a problem. A 2012 report by aircraft manufacturer Boeing said the industry would need 460,000 new commercial airline pilots in the next two decades — with 185,000 of them needed in Asia alone.
“The Asia-Pacific region continues to present the largest projected growth in pilot demand,” the report said.
Associated Press writers Joan Lowy in Washington, D.C., Scott Mayerowitz in New York and Pauline Arrillaga in Phoenix contributed to this report.