An airline industry group says the number of deaths in jetliner disasters spiked last year despite there being fewer accidents in total.

The International Air Transport Association said in its annual safety report that 641 people died in airline crashes in 2014.

That's up from 210 deaths in 2013 and higher than the five-year average of 517.

IATA said the statistics don't take into account the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, killing 298 people. That's because the plane was shot down by anti-aircraft weapons and therefore not classified as an accident.

The number of fatal accidents fell to 12 last year from 16 the previous year.

The group said there was one accident for every 4.347 million flights, a record low.