Global aviation is poised for exponential growth in the coming decades, and aircraft manufacturer Boeing has highlighted the pressing need for a substantial increase in personnel to meet the industry’s demands. According to Boeing’s ‘2023 Pilot and Technician Outlook,’ an estimated 23 lakh new professionals will be required by 2042 to support the expanding commercial fleets and travel.

Over the next 20 years, commercial aircraft fleets are expected to double in size, necessitating 64,900 pilots, 69,000 technicians, and 93,800 cabin crew members. This surge in demand comes as domestic air travel has fully recovered, and international traffic is approaching pre-pandemic levels, creating a continuous upward trajectory for aviation personnel requirements.

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Boeing, a key player in the aviation industry, recognises the need to address this growing demand for skilled personnel. Chris Broom, the Vice President of Commercial Training Solutions at Boeing Global Services, emphasises the importance of competency-based training and assessment offerings to ensure high-quality training for current and future aviation professionals. Immersive and virtual training solutions are also being leveraged to enhance aviation safety and meet the challenges of the industry’s rapid expansion.

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to experience a significant demand for aviation personnel. South Asia, for instance, is projected to require 37,000 new pilots, 38,000 technicians, and 45,000 cabin crew members to manage the increasing flight operations. In Southeast Asia, the numbers are even higher, with a demand for 58,000 new pilots, 73,000 technicians, and 89,000 cabin crew members.

China, with its booming aviation sector, will have an enormous requirement for skilled professionals. The country is anticipated to need 1.34 lakh new pilots, 1.38 lakh technicians, and 1.61 lakh cabin crew members to keep up with its escalating demands.

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India, a vital player in the Asian aviation market, has shown remarkable growth in domestic air travel. With a 33 per cent annual increase in passenger numbers, Indian airlines carried 76 million people in the first half of 2023, compared to 57.2 million in the same period the previous year, as per data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

As a result, Indian airlines have placed substantial orders for new aircraft from industry giants like Boeing and Airbus. For instance, Air India has ordered 470 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus, while Indigo has ordered 500 aircraft from Airbus.