The beleaguered aviation market is expected to be hit with further large losses following the tragic crash of a Gulf Air jet last week.

The Airbus A320 crashed into the Persian Gulf on Wednesday with the loss of 143 lives, just four weeks after the Air France Concorde accident. The Gulf Air crash is the eighth fatal air accident this year.

Aviation broker Willis estimates the hull loss at £24m but has no information on compensation being paid to the families of the plane's deceased passengers.

Ace global markets division is the lead insurer in the London market for the Gulf Air plane.

Figures show hull losses reached a record high in 1999, although casualties at 512 were at their lowest for several years. Losses outstripped premiums in the aviation market by £310m in 1999.