Middle East airlines need 63,000 pilots over next 20 years

Boeing report says region will see significant demand for commercial airline pilots, technicians and cabin crew
Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed takes the pilot seat with Capt Moataz Alswaini inside the A380 simulator at The Dubai Mall. (For illustrative purposes only)
By Staff writer
Fri 24 Nov 2017 10:38 AM

Boeing has predicted that 63,000 pilots will need to be recruited by Middle East airline over the next 20 years to meet demand from passengers.

The US plane maker's 2017 Pilot & Technician Outlook said the Middle East will see significant demand for commercial airline pilots, technicians and cabin crew, accounting for 10 percent of the total global need for pilots and technicians and 12 percent of cabin crew.

The report has seen an increase in the forecast over last year, with pilot demand increasing to 63,000 (an 8.6 percent increase) and cabin crew demand increasing to 96,000 (a 4.3 percent increase).

While anticipated overall global demand for technicians dropped 4.6 percent from last year, demand in the Middle East remained steady at 66,000.

“With the anticipated demand for pilots, technicians and cabin crew in the Middle East, there is clearly a tremendous need to ensure personnel are available to fill those roles,” said David Longridge, vice president of Commercial Services Sales for Boeing Global Services.

With new airplane deliveries to the region forecast to be split nearly 50-50 between single-aisle and twin-aisle airplanes, there is a similar split in anticipated personnel demand.

Nearly half of new pilots and technicians will be needed to support single-aisle airplanes, and the other half will be needed to support twin-aisle airplanes. The split for cabin crew, however, is more heavily weighted toward twin-aisle airplanes due to regulations that require more cabin crew to staff larger airplanes.

The Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook is closely tied to projections for new airplane deliveries around the globe. As with personnel demand, the Middle East also is expected to require a significant number of airplane deliveries over the next 20 years.

According to Boeing’s 2017 Current Market Outlook, 3,350 new airplanes valued at $730 billion will be needed in the Middle East region by 2036.

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