So far, 2011 is on track to be the safest year ever for commercial aviation — setting records for the lowest post-war rate of passenger fatalities and the lowest total number of passenger deaths, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

However, aviation officials warn that improving accident statistics mask lingering dangers.

The article stated roughly one passenger death for every 7.1 million air travelers worldwide, beating the previous low of one per 6.4 million passengers in 2004, according to London consulting firm Ascend.

Also this year’s 401 total passenger deaths from commercial aviation accidents is the lowest. However, the industry’s previous low of 344 passenger deaths in 2004 was when airlines carried 30 percent fewer passengers on fewer flights, according to The Journal. (Data exclude acts of terrorism.)

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