Last updated: 05:00 AM ET, Tue August 02 2016

Boeing Projects Dramatic Aviation Industry Job Demand

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | August 02, 2016

Boeing Projects Dramatic Aviation Industry Job Demand

PHOTO: Boeing predicts it will need a plethora of pilots to fly its planes and maintenance workers to keep them aloft over the next two decades. (Photo courtesy Boeing)

Airplane manufacturer Boeing is projecting a dramatic need for airline industry jobs over the next 20 years after releasing its annual Pilot and Technician Outlook at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Wisconsin last week.

How dramatic? Boeing is predicting a demand for nearly 1.5 million pilots and technicians over the next 20 years, not to mention more than 800,000 cabin crew jobs.

The culprit? The growing airline market abroad and the new pilot rules in the U.S.

Developing nations are growing their airline fleets – think Cuba, and the tremendous aviation needs it will have now that relations with the United States have been normalized and travel restrictions are becoming more and more lax.

But in the U.S., the new safety rule implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration last year is playing havoc with the numbers game for pilots. Previously, pilots needed 250 hours of training to qualify as a first officer on a U.S. commercial airline flight. They now need 1,500 hours.

Now in its seventh year, the Boeing outlook has become a respected industry standard which forecasts the 20-year demand for crews to support the world's growing commercial airplane fleet. Boeing forecasts that between 2016 and 2035, the world's commercial aviation industry will require approximately 617,000 new commercial airline pilots; 679,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians; and 814,000 new cabin crew.

The 2016 outlook shows a growth of 10.5 percent for pilots over the 2015 outlook, and 11.3 percent for maintenance technicians.

"The Pilot and Technician Outlook has become a resource for the industry to determine demand for successful airline operations," said Sherry Carbary, vice president for Boeing Flight Services, in a statement.

This is the first time in the seven-year history of the study that Boeing included its projections for cabin crew.

"Cabin crew are an integral part of operating an airline,” Carbary said, “and while Boeing does not train cabin crew like pilots and technicians, we believe the industry can use these numbers for planning purposes."

The outlook represents a global requirement for about 31,000 new pilots, 35,000 new technicians and 40,000 cabin crew annually. The Asia-Pacific region comprises 40 percent of the global need due to the growth in the single-aisle market which is driven by low-cost carriers, while North America and Europe comprise about 20 percent each of the projected jobs. North America is the result of new markets opening in Cuba and Mexico. Demand in Europe has increased as a response to a strong intra-European Union market.

The full report can be read here.


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