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Boeing Projects Huge Growth in Pilot Demand


Pilot & Technician Outlook chart

July 12, 2012 - A new study by Boeing predicts the need for 460,000 new airline pilots over the next 20 years. The demand for aircraft technicians is even greater in the Boeing study with 601,000 new mechanics needed over the next two decades. The Boeing study looked at global demand for pilots and technicians and is based on predicted sales of new commercial airliners.

The growth in pilot and technician jobs is not uniform around the world, with the Asia/Pacific region leading the way with an expected 185,600 pilot openings and 243,500 technician slots by 2031. Europe is forecast to have the second largest demand with just over 100,000 pilots needed over the coming 20 years.

North American airline operators will need to hire 69,000 pilots and 92,500 technicians during that time.

The need for maintenance technicians has actually declined somewhat since Boeing's last study thanks to more advanced airplane designs that have longer maintenance intervals. However, in many parts of the world the supply of people qualified to maintain such sophisticated airplanes is dire and may become a constraint to airline growth.

The Boeing study, as you would expect, focused on the need for pilots and technicians for airline jets and did not include the demand from regional airliners and business aviation operators. The forecast does include freighters and is based on expectation of worldwide delivery of 34,000 new airline jets during the period. According to Boeing the U.S. still leads the world in commercial airlines with about 30 percent of all jetliners based here. China is next with 9 percent of the fleet, followed by Russia, Great Britain and Germany, which divide about 12 percent of fleet about evenly.


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