There were no fatalities on U.S. airlines or commuter planes in 2010, according to statistics just released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

There were 26 accidents involving U.S. scheduled part 121 airlines and six involving scheduled part 135 commuters, all non-fatal.

However, on-demand operators (charter, air taxi, air tour and air medical operations) did experience fatalities. While total accidents in that category decreased from 47 in 2009 to 31 in 2010 – despite a slight rise in the number of annual flight hours from 2,901,000 to 2,960,000, there were 17 flight-related deaths each year.

The NTSB says the figures show that civil aviation in the U.S. continues to make incremental improvements in safety, across most industry segments.

Although general (non-commercial) aviation accidents trended downward in 2010, the NTSB said but that sector still accounts for the greatest number of civil aviation accidents and fatal accidents. There were a total of 1,435 such accidents in 2010, 267 of them fatal, resulting in 450 fatalities.