Boeing expects the world’s commercial aviation industry will require more than 1.2 million pilots and mechanics over the next 20 years, placing an unprecedented strain on airline recruiters and training organizations to keep up with demand. According to Boeing, the airline industry will require 637,000 new pilots, 648,000 new mechanics and 839,000 cabin crew members during the period.
The eighth such annual forecast produced by Boeing, the 2017 edition shows a 3.2 percent increase in demand for pilots compared with the 2016 outlook, and a 4.6 percent decline from the previous year’s forecast for mechanics. Boeing attributes the decrease to its projections of fewer maintenance hours needed on the 737 Max narrowbody compared with those needed for the airplane that now predominates among Boeing operators, the 737NG.
The Boeing forecast shows the most pronounced demand for pilots, technicians and flight attendants in the Asia-Pacific region, which, according to Boeing, stands soon to surpass North America as the world’s biggest commercial aviation market. Specifically, Asia-Pacific will need 253,000 new pilots over the forecast period, as well as 256,000 mechanics and 308,000 cabin crew. While North America promises to command the second highest demand for pilots and mechanics, at 117,000 and 118,000, respectively, Europe will need more cabin crew, at 173,000, than will North America (154,000).