Alteon puts figures on future airline pilot and engineer needs

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Demand for pilots and aircraft maintenance specialists over the next 20 years will outstrip capacity, says Alteon president Sherry Carbary.

Alteon, Boeing's worldwide training organisation, forecasts that, from 2007 to 2027, airlines will take delivery of 29,400 new aircraft to replace the old fleet and cope with the growth in demand for air travel.

This, says Carbary, will require an average of 18,000 new pilots and 24,000 maintainers a year to be trained to replace those who retire and to crew and service the increasing numbers of aircraft in the world fleet.

Only by training at those annual rates will the industry be able to generate the estimated need over the next 20 years for a total of 360,000 new pilots and 480,000 new maintainers, Alteon estimates.

North America heads the league in terms of the number of pilots it will need in the next two decades, at 98,000. Europe follows at 70,000, and other regional predicted requirements are China 49,900, South-East Asia and Indonesia 32,000, Latin America 22,800, Japan 19,000, the Middle East 17,500, the CIS 11,500, Africa 10,100 and Australasia 7,200.

At present North America has been provided with a breathing space by the downturn in the US economy, but that effect has not, so far, been replicated in other world regions.