Irrespective of an industry that has seen mass pilot lay-offs, there will still be need for an estimation of 27,000 new pilots by the global civil aviation by the end of 2021, and over 264,000 in the coming decade.
This forecast was carried out by the Canadian training and simulator provider CAE, on 9 November as its latest prediction on the availability and demand of pilots through 2029.
Just this year, the number of active pilots has declined by around 87,000 to about 300,000, but will increase to an estimated 374,000 by the end of 2021, says CAE.
“Despite the short-term decline in the number of active pilots due to the impact of Covid-19, the civil aviation industry is expected to require more than 260,000 new pilots over the next decade,” CAE says.
“Fundamental factors influencing pilot demand prior to the Covid-19 outbreak remain unchanged. Age-based retirement and fleet growth were, and are expected to remain, the main drivers of pilot demand.”
Of those, 167,000 pilots will be needed to replace those who are retiring or otherwise leaving the workforce, while the remainder will be needed to meet industry expansion, CAE predicts.
“Thousands of pilots have been furloughed in recent months. Many of them have pivoted to other professions and might not want to resume their pilot careers,” says the report.
The Asia-Pacific region will require the most new pilots – about 91,000 over 10 years, equating to about one-third of total demand. North America will need a combined 65,000 new pilots; Europe 42,000; the Middle East 25,000; South and Central America 16,000; and Africa 4,000, CAE projects.