The latest 20-year outlook from Boeing sees a need for 2.1 million personnel to meet the demand for commercial air travel, including 602,000 pilots, 610,000 maintenance technicians, and 899,000 cabin crewmembers. The 2022 Pilot and Technician Outlook marks a 3.4 increase from last year’s forecast and comes as demand for scheduled air travel comes roaring back.
Boeing further projected a doubling of the commercial fleet, reaching 47,080 aircraft by 2041. The forecast does not include the Russian region due to the sanctions prohibiting aircraft exports. Africa, Southeast Asia, and South Asia represent the fastest growing regions over the forecasted period, each expected to grow by more than 4 percent.
The rebound in demand is creating openings for new pilots and carriers are resuming their focus on new pilot development, Boeing noted. However, the industry is facing a global shortage of certified flight instructors.
Efforts to accelerate training will take years but the industry is facing short supplies now. Many junior pilots who lost their jobs are not returning and have found other careers. At the same time, many seasoned pilots took early retirement. “As a result, competition for qualified pilots will remain strong over the next few years," the forecast said.
Additionally, the outlook saw business and general aviation as means for pilots to build flight hours.