Airlines will need 500,000 new pilots by 2032

Commercial airlines worldwide will need nearly half-a-million new pilots and even more technicians over the next twenty years, Boeing has forecast in a new report.

Deliveries of new airplanes over the next two decades is expected to grow rapidly, the report informs.

The report – ”2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook” – predicts that by 2032, the world will need:

  • 498,000 new commercial airline pilots
  • 556,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians

Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services:

“The urgent demand for competent aviation personnel is a global issue that is here now and is very real.

The key to closing the pilot and technician gap in our industry is enhancing our training with the latest, cutting-edge technologies to attract and retain young people interested in careers in aviation.”

This latest report predicts much higher pilot demand than previous forecasts have, with the exception of Europe, which will see growth, but not as high as had been expected.

According to Boeing, “Overall, the demand is driven by steadily increasing airplane deliveries, particularly single-aisle airplanes, and represents a global requirement for about 25,000 new pilots annually.”

Demand worldwide for new technicians by commercial airlines will be even higher, at 28,000 per year.

Airlines will need more pilots and technicians, but not mechanics

New airplanes are more efficient and smarter today, and require less maintenance than the older ones. Consequently, demand for mechanics is expected to fall.

Below is a breakdown of demand for new pilots globally over the next two decades by commercial airlines:

  • Africa – 16,500
  • Asia Pacific – 192,300
  • Europe – 99,700
  • Latin America – 48,600
  • Middle East – 40,000
  • North America – 85,700
  • Russia and CIS – 15,200

Below is a breakdown of demand for new commercial airline technicians globally over the next two decades:

  • Africa – 15,900
  • Asia Pacific – 215,300
  • Europe – 108,200
  • Latin America – 47,600
  • Middle East – 53,100
  • North America – 97,900
  • Russia and CIS – 18,000

Carbary said:

“This is a global issue that can only be addressed by industry-wide innovation and solutions. We need to attract more young people to careers in aviation by continually looking at innovative ways to train pilots and technicians, moving away from paper and chalkboard-based learning to incorporate tablets, eBooks, gaming technology and three-dimensional models. Aviation is a great field to be in – we have a responsibility to make sure it’s a viable career option for the world’s youth.”