By Andy Sambidge
US plane manufacturer releases report that also says 62,000 technicians needed in region in next 20 years
US plane manufacturer Boeing said on Wednesday that the Middle East will need to recruit 55,000 new pilots over the next 20 years.
The company's 2014 Pilot and Technician Outlook also forecast that a further 62,000 technicians will be needed in the region as airline fleets continue to grow.
The report said the Middle East region in particular has seen significant growth since last year's outlook due to "increased airline capacity and orders for wide-body models which require more crew members".
Globally, Boeing said it is forecasting continued strong growth in demand for commercial aviation pilots and maintenance technicians, projecting that between 2014 and 2033, the world's aviation system will require 533,000 new commercial airline pilots and 584,000 new maintenance technicians.
"The challenge of meeting the global demand for airline professionals cannot be solved by one company or in one region of the world," said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services.
"This is a global issue that can only be solved by all of the parties involved—airlines, aircraft and training equipment manufacturers, training delivery organisations, regulatory agencies and educational institutions around the world."
The 2014 outlook projects continued increases in pilot demand, which is up approximately 7 percent compared to 2013; and in maintenance training, which increased just over 5 percent.
Pilot demand in the Asia Pacific region now comprises 41 percent of the world's need.
Overall, Boeing said the global demand is driven by steadily increasing airplane deliveries, particularly wide-body airplanes, and represents a global requirement for about 27,000 new pilots and 29,000 new technicians annually.
Projected demand for new pilots and technicians by global region is:
Asia Pacific – 216,000 pilots and 224,000 technicians
Europe – 94,000 pilots and 102,000 technicians
North America – 88,000 pilots and 109,000 technicians
Latin America – 45,000 pilots and 44,000 technicians
Middle East – 55,000 pilots and 62,000 technicians
Africa – 17,000 pilots and 19,000 technicians
Russia and CIS – 18,000 pilots and 24,000 technicians