More than 500,000 new airline pilots and engineers will be needed in the Asia-Pacific region during the next 20 years, according to Boeing forecasts.
The outlook anticipates the need for 248,000 new commercial airline pilots and 268,000 new technicians through 2035.
“We are continuing to see a significant need for new pilots and maintenance technicians in the Asia-Pacific region and across the globe,” said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services.
In the Oceania region 13,000 new pilots and 17,000 technicians – licensed engineers rated to work on different types of aircraft – will be needed.
The number of pilots is growing by about 5 per cent a year in the Asia-Pacific region.
The growth in demand for pilots needed in China exceeded the regional average as there was a large wave due to retire within the period.
As newer generation airplanes become more prevalent in worldwide fleets over the next 20 years, reliability will improve, and maintenance check intervals will lengthen.
This would mean different skills were needed by technicians with more emphasis on software engineering, rather than turning a wrench, Carbary said.
Although this trend will moderate demand for maintenance personnel somewhat, the global need for technicians will remain strong.
The Boeing pilot and technician outlook is closely tied to projections for new aircraft deliveries.
The Asia-Pacific region also leads the demand for new commercial airplane deliveries over the next 20 years. The region comprises 40 per cent of the global need due to fleet growth in the single-aisle market, driven by low-cost carriers.
Single-aisle planes would represent 71 per cent of the market in the next 20 years, driven by the low-cost carriers.
Carbary said in Oceania 25 per cent of demand for planes was driven by low-cost carriers but this was expected to grow to around 40 per cent by the end of the period.