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Air travel in America safer than ever

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NEW YORK (AP) - The past 10 years have been the safest decade to fly U.S. airliners, if you don't count terrorism.

(Photo: Associated Press)

An Associated Press analysis of government accident data determined that there were 153 aviation fatalities in the past 10 years, excluding acts of terrorism. That's two deaths for every 100 million passengers on commercial flights.

Just a decade earlier, passengers were 10 times as likely to die while 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 improvements came as the industry went through a miserable financial period, losing $54.5 billion in the past decade. Just to stay afloat, airlines eliminated meals and added fees for checked luggage. But safety remained a priority.

There are still some corners of the world where flying is risky. Russia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia have particularly high rates of deadly crashes.

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