Boeing 767 has a solid safety record

The EgyptAir jet that crashed early Sunday was a Boeing 767-300 ER. The 767 has an impressive safety record, according to aviation experts.

Jim McKenna of Aviation Week magazine told CBC Newsworld that the Boeing 767-300 ER has had only five accidents in 20 years of service, and only one of those was considered "major."

In 1991, a Boeing 767 crashed in Thailand. The Lauda Air plane lost control after one of its engine thrust reversers accidentally deployed during a climb. The crash killed 223 people.

The plane is considered to be "young to middle aged," a twin-engine, wide-body passenger jet. It was delivered to the airline in September 1989. The plane logged more than 31,000 flight hours.

The 767 is a favourite of Canada's two major carriers, too. Air Canada has 29, though just six of the extended-range version that crashed off Nantucket. Canadian Airlines has 13 767's, and will take delivery of another by month's end.

EgyptAir has one of the best safety records in the aviation industry. Chairman Mohammed Fahim Rayan said this was the airline's first deadly crash.

But SkyNet Research, a developer of aviation software says there have been four fatal crashes and one fatal hijacking involving the airline.

The deadliest crash was in 1976, when an EgyptAir plane crashed at the Thailand airport, killing 72 people. And in 1985, Egyptian troops stormed an EgyptAir plane being hijacked in Malta. Sixty people were killed.

Egypt increased security at its airports and on EgyptAir flights in August. But officials say the move wasn't in response to any specific terrorist threat.

On Oct. 19, an EgyptAir plane was hijacked on a flight between Istanbul and Cairo. The hijacking ended peacefully in Germany.