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Wanted: Half a million pilots by 2035

Boeing predicts continued increases in pilot demand. (iStock)

Travel Pulse | by Rich Thomaselli

Now this is a help wanted ad to end all help wanted ads.

Boeing today released a new forecast that showed the world's airlines will add 38,000 airplanes to the global fleet over the next 20 years – meaning a need for 558,000 new commercial airline pilots and 609,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians over the next 20 years.

Boeing's 2015 Outlook projects continued increases in pilot demand, up more than 4 percent compared to the 2014 Outlook. For maintenance technicians, demand increased approximately 5 percent.

"To help address this need, Boeing trained last year a record number of pilots and technicians at 17 training campuses around the globe and has invested in a comprehensive Pilot Development Program to train early stage pilots to become qualified commercial airline pilots," said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services. "We will continue to increase the amount of training we provide, enabling our customers to satisfy the world's growing appetite for air travel."

Overall global demand for these skilled resources will be driven by continued economic expansion, resulting in an average requirement for about 28,000 new pilots and more than 30,000 new technicians every year.

The 20-year projected demand for new pilots and technicians by region is:

Asia Pacific – 226,000 pilots and 238,000 technicians

Europe – 95,000 pilots and 101,000 technicians

North America – 95,000 pilots and 113,000 technicians

Latin America – 47,000 pilots and 47,000 technicians

Middle East – 60,000 pilots and 66,000 technicians

Africa – 18,000 pilots and 22,000 technicians

Russia / CIS – 17,000 pilots and 22,000 technicians

"The challenge of meeting the global demand for airline professionals will not be solved by one company alone," Carbary added. "Aircraft manufacturers, airlines, training equipment manufacturers, training delivery organizations, regulatory agencies and educational institutions are all stepping up to meet the increasing need to train and certify pilots and technicians."

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Published on July 16, 2015

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