Commercial air travel is as safe as it has ever been, according to figures from the Aviation Safety Network.

In 2017 there was an ''extremely low'' total of 10 fatal airliner accidents.

The Netherlands-based organisation found the fatal airliner accidents resulted in the death of 44 occupants and 35 people on the ground.

''This makes 2017 the safest year ever, both by the number of fatal accidents as well as in terms of fatalities,'' the network said.

Advertisement

In 2016 it recorded 16 accidents and 303 lives lost.

Last year five accidents involved cargo flights, five were passenger flights.

Given the expected worldwide air traffic of about 37 million flights, the accident rate is one fatal passenger flight accident per 7.3 million flights.

Network president Harro Ranter said the low number of accidents came as no surprise.

"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."

As at December 31, aviation has a record period of 398 days with no passenger jet airliner accidents.

Additionally, a record period of 792 days has passed since the previous civil aircraft accident claiming more than 100 lives.

One out of 10 aircraft involved in accidents was operated by an airline on the European Union "blacklist".

Advertisement

Statistics are based on all worldwide fatal commercial aircraft accidents (passenger and cargo flights) involving civil aircraft of which the basic model has been certified for carrying 14 or more passengers.

As a result the June 7 crash of a Myanmar Air Force Y-8F transport plane that killed 122 is not included.

When including military transport aircraft as well as non-commercial flights, the total deaths would be 230 in 24 fatal accidents.

This is still the lowest numbers in modern aviation history.