Airlines need pilots, maintenance crew: Boeing

Posted at 09/16/10 1:38 PM

SINGAPORE - The commercial aviation industry will need more than a million pilots and maintenance personnel in the next 20 years, with Asia accounting for almost 40%  of demand, Boeing said on Thursday.

The US plane maker estimated world demand at 466,650 pilots and 596,500 maintenance personnel from 2010 to 2029, of whom 180,600 pilots and 220,000 maintenance personnel would be needed in Asia, particularly in China.

"When you add up all the numbers you quickly understand the issues facing this industry," Roei Ganzarski, chief customer officer for Boeing Training and Flight Services, told a news conference in Singapore.

Maintenance personnel include engineers and mechanics.

"Our challenge is adapting our training to engage the future generation of people who will fly and maintain the more than 30,000 airplanes that will be delivered by 2029," he added.

The world commercial aviation fleet is forecast to grow from 18,890 planes in 2009 to 36,300 in 2029, Boeing said.

Airline association IATA said in July that global air travel grew faster than expected in June led by a sharp improvement in Asia, particularly in China, following a severe slowdown during the global recession.

"The industry continues to recover faster than expected, but with sharp regional differences," said IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani.

Boeing said that in the next 20 years, North America will need 97,350 pilots and 137,000 maintenance personnel while Europe will require 94,800 pilots and 122,000 maintenance personnel.