Boeing is painting an optimistic picture for aviation once it starts to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the latest edition of its respected Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook covering 2020 to 2039.
The American aircraft manufacturer forecasts that 763,000 new civil aviation pilots, 739,000 new maintenance technicians and 903,000 new cabin crew members will be needed to fly and maintain the global fleet over the next 20 years.
The forecast is inclusive of commercial aviation, business aviation and civil helicopter industries and assumes air traffic recovers to 2019 levels within the next few years.
“While the current industry downturn, driven by Covid-19, has resulted in a temporary oversupply of qualified personnel, the long-term need remains robust,” says the Outlook.
“In recent decades, aviation has experienced external forces that have affected demand, such as 9/11, SARS and the Great Financial Crisis. Recovery has generally followed several years later, as the fundamentals driving passenger and air traffic demand remain strong.”
The Outlooks points out that prior to the pandemic, commercial aviation was experiencing a shortfall of qualified pilots and technicians. The current ‘oversupply’ gives aviation operator, such as airlines, the chance to build a ‘pipeline’ of people.
“As commercial traffic demand returns in upcoming years, aspiring aviators will have the opportunity to fill open positions created by a combination of personnel retirements and fleet growth,” says the Outlook.
“Prior to the downturn, many airlines had begun utilizing cadet programs to recruit, develop and train aspiring pilots. It generally takes two or more years for an aspiring pilot to achieve a commercial pilot license. Aspiring aviators who begin their training today will be well positioned to take advantage of new job opportunities as the industry recovers.”
In Europe, the Outlook forecasts a total of 147,000 pilot jobs over the next 20 years, the third biggest market. Asia-Pacific (248,000) and North America (208,000) are the top two.