Boeing projects the world’s commercial aviation industry will require at least 2.1 million new operational personnel—pilots, technicians and cabin crew—by 2036.

As detailed in its 2017 Pilot and Technician Outlook released July 25, Boeing estimates the global airline industry by 2036 will need 637,000 new commercial airline pilots, 648,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians and 839,000 new cabin crew members. To meet this demand, airlines will have to hire approximately 106,200 personnel annually.

The report was produced by the newly launched Boeing Global Services, a business unit formed from customer services groups within Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes and Defense, Space & Security units.

Overall, Boeing’s total 20-year personnel forecast differs marginally (up 0.7%) from its forecast last year. Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region will require the greatest number of new personnel in all categories (817,000 total, including 308,000 cabin crew; 256,000 technicians; and 253,000 pilots). Twenty-year personnel estimates for Middle Eastern carriers grew 4.2% since last year’s forecast, the largest of the regions, as demand for new pilots increased 8.6% to 63,000, new cabin crew personnel estimates increased 4.3% to 96,000, and new technician personnel estimates remained the same at 66,000.

Forecast 20-year demand for pilots is up 3.2% from 2016. “Regional markets that have relied heavily on recruiting pilots from outside their home locations are increasingly seeking to recruit, train and develop locally sourced pilots,” Boeing said in its analysis. “New market opportunities are creating an increased demand for qualified, skilled and experienced pilots.”

For technicians, Boeing’s new forecast shows a 4.6% year-over-year (YOY) decrease, primarily driven, Boeing said, by “the reduction in maintenance hours required on the 737 MAX … newer generation airplanes will help moderate the demand somewhat by allowing longer intervals between maintenance checks, fewer non-routine tasks, and improved airplane reliability … advances in airplane technology will drive an increased need for technicians skilled in avionics, composites, and digital troubleshooting.”

Cabin crews estimates increased 3.1% YOY, “as airlines continue to expand flight routes, grow their fleets, and transition to airplanes with higher seat capacity … many regional markets have also updated regulations to require a greater number of cabin crew per aircraft,” Boeing said.

A breakdown of Boeing’s 20-year projections (2017-2036) for new pilots, technicians and cabin crew, based on global regions, is detailed here.

Mark Nensel mark.nensel@penton.com