Boeing forecasts half million new pilots needed in next two decades

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Boeing forecasts that the worldwide commercial airline industry will need 498,000 new pilots in the next 20 years.

By 2032, the industry will also require 556,000 new airline maintenance technicians, says the airframer in an outlook released as Boeing launches 787 flight training at its campus in Miami.

The increased demand will be driven by growing aircraft deliveries, especially of narrowbodies, says Boeing. It expects a global requirement for 25,000 new pilots every year.

Boeing's forecast points to growth in pilot demand in all regions except Europe, which showed a slight decline from last year's outlook.

The Asia Pacific region will require the most number of new pilots, according to Boeing's forecast. It will need 192,300 new pilots in the next two decades.

While the demand for pilots in Europe has fallen slightly from last year's forecast, the continent will still require 99,700 new pilots. This is followed by North America (85,700), Latin America (48,600), Middle East (40,000), Africa (16.500) and Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (15,200).

Boeing also projects the airline industry would need about 28,000 new technicians every year for the next 20 years.

"However, the introduction of more efficient and smarter airplanes will require fewer mechanics over time, as aging aircraft - which typically require more maintenance - are retired from service. New airplane technologies featuring more advanced components are likely to lead in some areas to lower maintenance requirements and corresponding lower technician demand," says the airframer.

The Asia Pacific region leads as well with the projected number of new technicians required - 215,300 in the next two decades. Europe is in second place with 108,200 technicians, followed by North America (97,900), Middle East (53,100), Latin America (47,600), Russia and CIS (18,000) and Africa (15,900).