Boeing forecasts need for 2.3 million new commercial pilots, cabin crew, and techs in the next 20 years

July 27, 2023
The 2023 Pilot and Technician Outlook forecasts China, Eurasia and North America representing more than half of demand for aviation staffing through 2042

OSHKOSH, Wis., - With the global commercial airplane fleet expected to double by 2042, Boeing in Arlington, Va. announced at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin that the company forecasts industry-wide demand for 2.3 million new aviation personnel over the next 20 years to support the commercial fleet and meet long-term growth in air travel.

The company's 2023 Pilot and Technician Outlook (PTO) projects that commercial carriers will need significant personnel through 2042 to support the global commercial fleet, including 649,000 pilots, 690,000 maintenance technicians, and 938,000 cabin crew members.

"The demand for training and related services has shown signs of faster recovery, but the industry still faces lingering challenges in meeting the demand. Among them are insufficient training capacity to support significant personnel shortage and the lag time required to bring personnel online while continuing to prioritize safety. To support the recovery and growth driven by expansion of global fleets, the aviation industry will need a long-term strategy that addresses upcoming labor challenges," Boeing writes in its PTO. "Investment in early career development programs and outreach efforts that spark excitement among future aviators will be essential to a healthy aviation market for years to come."

In the next 20 years, Boeing projects that China, Eurasia and North America drive demand for more than half of new industry personnel, with requirements in China surpassing North America. The fastest-growing regions for personnel are Africa, Southeast Asia and South Asia, with their regional demand expected to nearly double. After omitting demand for Russia in last year's PTO due to uncertainty in the region, this year's forecast includes Russia in the Eurasia region, and it comprises 3% of global demand for personnel.   

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