Coming & Going: Major airline safety improves in 2010

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coming & Going

Better airline safety, more Megabus service, a busier BWI

Airline travel gets safer

Last year marked the safest year ever for major airlines, with the lowest accident rate for Western-built jets in aviation history.

There was one accident for every 1.6 million flights, an improvement over the one per 1.4 million flights recorded in 2009, according to the International Air Transport Association. The lowest previous accident rate was in 2006.

Perhaps most interestingly, the accident rate is down 42 percent from the rate recorded 10 years ago.

The IATA, a trade group representing 230 airlines, reported that 2.4 billion people flew safely on 36.8 million flights last year. There were 17 hull loss accidents - in which the aircraft is destroyed or damaged beyond repair - involving Western-built jets, compared with 19 the previous year.

There were more accidents among both Eastern- and Western-built jets: 94 in 2010 compared with 90 the previous year. Twenty-three of those were fatal, up from 18 in 2009. And there were 786 fatalities, compared with 685 in 2009.

There were also regional differences in the accident rates for Western-built jets. North America, Europe, North Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet republics) had the best rates. Africa had the worst.

Runway excursions, when an aircraft goes off the runway during takeoff or landing, were the most common cause of accidents, accounting for 21 percent of all accidents in 2010.

The bus is now boarding

Megabus is tweaking servi ce from Washington to two fair cities.

The low-fare bus company is adding five daily trips Thursday through Monday on its Philadelphia route, bringing the total number to 13. Service starts March 31. On the New York route, travelers can go express on as many as 10 daily trips Friday through Sunday. (The bus typically stops in White Marsh, outside Baltimore.) Nonstop service starts April 1. Info: www.megabus.com

And over at BoltBus . . . starting tomorrow, the bus will pick up and drop off on the corner of F Street and New Jersey Avenue NW instead of the parking lot at H and 10th streets. The new location, one block from Union Station, is temporary due to construction at the old spot; service should resume from there once construction is complete.

Banking on culture

On the first full weekend of every month, Bank of America customers can skip museum admissions with a wave of their cards. More than 150 cultural institutions in 87 cities in 29 states are participating in the program.


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