Growing Demand for Professional Pilots
In its 2022-2042 Aerospace Forecast, the FAA cites the airline pilot shortage as an ongoing issue and one that is likely to persist. Boeing's Pilot & Technician Outlook projects that 128,000 pilots are needed in North America. It is estimated that by 2023, there will be a shortage of 12,000 pilots. Two main factors are driving the increased demand for pilots – retirements and industry growth.
An aging pilot workforce facing mandatory retirements combined with early retirements taken during the pandemic is creating a shortage of pilots. Over the next 20 years, 80,000 airline pilots will be retiring. Future annual pilot retirements will average 4,100 new pilots per year and be greatest over the next five years.
According to Oliver Wyman, “With the lifting of COVID-19-related sanctions on air travel, demand rebounded more quickly in North America than elsewhere. As a result, the region already has an acute pilot shortage, equivalent to 11% of pilot supply, or about 8,000 pilots, and this gap will only widen throughout the decade… we expect that North America will be short nearly 30,000 pilots by 2032.“
United Airlines estimates that half of their 12,500 pilots will retire over the next ten years, and they will need to hire 10,000 pilots over that period to keep pace with the growth. American Airlines has similar predictions with 7,200 of their 15,000 pilots set to retire over the next decade.
An increase in global economic growth has increased demand for air travel. Boeing, Airbus, and Embraer, all leading aircraft manufacturers, project increasing (even doubling) their commercial jet fleets to account for these demands for air travel by consumers.
- Boeing concludes that the aviation industry will need to supply more than 602,000 commercial airline pilots worldwide over the next 20 years and forecasts a market value of $7.2 trillion for new airplane deliveries, with the global fleet increasing by 80% through 2041 compared to 2019 pre-pandemic levels.
- Airbus estimates that airline traffic is forecast to double in size in the next 20 years.
- Embraer foresees world demand for 10,950 new aircraft with up to 150 seats over the next 20 years with a market value of $650 billion. Embraer foresees worldwide demand for air transport, increasing an average of 3.2% annually through 2041