WASHINGTON (AP) - An airline industry group counts fewer airline crashes last year compared to 2008.
But, the International Air Transport Association says there were nearly 700 deaths in 2009, compared to about 500 the year before.
There were 18 fatal airline accidents last year, five fewer than in 2008. Two-thousand nine's major accident rate was the second lowest ever.
The Air France crash over the Atlantic, the Yemeni Airways crash in the Indian Ocean and a plane crash out of Tehran account for most of the deaths.
An official at the Flight Safety Foundation says the current accident rate is only about half what it was in the 90s, thanks in part to technological advances.
But, Jim Burin says the disturbing thing is that almost all the improvement in the accident rate took place in the first half of the past decade.