Boeing has predicted 790,000 pilots will be needed over the next 20 years in its 2018 Pilot and Technician Outlook, representing a doubling of the current workforce and the most significant demand in the outlook’s nine-year history.

The company suggests the demand is being driven by an anticipated doubling of the global commercial aircraft fleet – as reported in its Commercial Market Outlook (presented at Farnborough International Airshow) as well as record-high air travel demand and a tightening labour supply.

“Despite strong global air traffic growth, the aviation industry continues to face a pilot labour supply challenge, raising concern about the existence of a global pilot shortage in the near-term,” said Keith Cooper, vice-president of Training & Professional Services, Boeing Global Services. “An emphasis on developing the next generation of pilots is key to help mitigate this. With a network of training campuses and relationships with flight schools around the globe, Boeing partners with customers, governments and educational institutions to help ensure the market is ready to meet this significant pilot demand.”

This year’s outlook also includes data from the business aviation and civil helicopter sectors for the first time.

Maintenance technician demand decreased slightly from 648,000 to 622,000 which Boeing suggests is primarily due to longer maintenance intervals for new aircraft.

While demand for commercial cabin crew increased slightly from 839,000 to 858,000 which Boeing attributes to changes in fleet mix, regulatory requirements, denser seat configurations and multi-cabin configurations that offer more personalised service.


Written by: Kimberley Young

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