Last year was "the safest year ever" for airline operations in terms of the rate of fatal accidents, Ascend reported, though it noted that the severity of several accidents resulted in the number of passengers and crew killed increasing "significantly" from 2008. The UK-based consultancy and information services provider released its annual safety report yesterday, providing assessments for both 2009 and the 10-year period ended Dec. 31. It reported that the fatal accident rate in 2009 was 1 ...

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