Boeing predicts Middle East will need 58,000 new pilots by 2035

Author: PM editorial | Date: 10 Aug 2016

Aviation industry faces big recruitment challenge to meet demand over next 20 years

The aviation industry will require 58,000 new pilots by 2035 to meet demand in the Middle East.
 
That’s the prediction made by airplane manufacturer Boeing in its 2016 Pilot and Technician Outlook, a global report examining likely demand for air travel over the next 20 years.
 
Not only will thousands of new pilots be needed in the region, but a further 66,000 technicians and 92,000 cabin crew will need to be hired during the same period.
 
Boeing estimates that globally “the aviation industry will need to supply more than two million new personnel—617,000 commercial airline pilots, 679,000 maintenance technicians, and 814,000 cabin crew.”
 
The Middle East’s position as a “regional crossroads” between east and west is an important factor in its growth and makes it well positioned to compete for traffic as an international air hub, linking countries that would otherwise not be connected.
 
The Asia Pacific region will lead the growth in demand for pilots, where “a greater sector of the population is reaching income levels that make flying more affordable,” said Boeing.
 
A large recruitment drive could come as a welcome relief to pilots employed by Flydubai, after documents leaked to UK newspaper TheGuardian show many saying they are being pushed too hard and suffer from fatigue.
 
A pilot who forgot to disengage the parking brake during takeoff is one of the mistakes potentially caused by overtiredness, according to safety reports written during March and April this year. Another pilot said the number of hours he was expected to work was illegal.
 
One pilot said: “It is unacceptable to apply pressure, however pleasantly it is done, trying to sweet talk a crew into doing something they have said they feel is unsafe is unprofessionally and extremely dangerous.”
 
Flydubai responded with a detailed statement, in which a spokesperson said: “Flydubai’s first priority is safety. We operate to the highest standards.”