BOEING has highlighted the crew shortage threatening airline operations worldwide in a new report which forecasts demand for an extra 790,000 pilots over the next 20 years.
The aircraft manufacturer says this represents a doubling of the current workforce and comes amid the strongest crew demand experienced in nine years.
Intensified pilot needs are being driven by an expected doubling in the global commercial airline fleet, Boeing says, as well as record-high air travel demand and a tightening labour supply.
“Despite strong global air traffic growth, the aviation industry continues to face a pilot labour supply challenge, raising concern about the existence of a global pilot shortage in the near-term,” said Keith Cooper, vice president of training & professional services at Boeing Global Services.
“An emphasis on developing the next generation of pilots is key to help mitigate this.”
Boeing says cabin crew demand is also increasing, due to changes in fleet mix, regulatory requirements, denser seat configurations and multi-cabin configurations that offer a more personalised service.
Locally, Regional Express this month accused Qantas and Virgin Australia of poaching its pilots, a claim denied by the larger carriers which have increased their pilot training investment (TD 16 Jul).