Some 2,500 new business aviation pilots will be needed in the UK—and 98,000 globally—over the next 19 years to meet the growing demand to fly privately, said London-based business aircraft broker Colibri Aircraft. A shortage of pilots is creating operational challenges for current owners and risking the sale of some business jet types, it added.
Thus, Colibri is advising against clients hiring only one full-time pilot and then relying on contract crew to fill the right seat. The broker is also warning that business aviation pilots are increasingly leaving the sector to fly for airlines, which offer more predictable schedules.
According to Colibri, the commercial aviation sector’s focus on recruiting business aviation pilots will intensify, because the world’s passenger and freight aircraft fleet is set to more than double between now and 2038. Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook estimates that the world will need to find 645,000 new commercial pilots during this same period.
“The business aviation sector is struggling to compete with airlines in recruiting pilots,” said Colibri Aircraft managing director Oliver Stone. “This means commercial airlines are not only recruiting existing business aviation pilots, but they are also getting the pick of newly qualified pilots. This issue is increasingly impacting the sale of some private jets, and we expect it to continue.”