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CAE’s Ten-Year Outlook for pilot requirements provides detailed demand projections for commercial pilots.  For comparison, Avi8ion provides Boeing’s estimates on our website.

CAE Demand Overview

Increases in 20-year passenger air traffic will double the size of the airline industry. Unsurprisingly, this growth drives significant implications for the worldwide professional pilot pipeline.

With this in mind, CAE forecasts the industry needs 255,000 new airline pilots over the next 10 years, totaling 440,000 active pilots by 2027.  Similar to other forecasts, 60% of this demand is for fleet growth and 40% to offset retirement and attrition. In addition, 180,000 first officers will upgrade to captain, with captain retirements driving over half of this requirement. Importantly, these are minimum requirements to sustain and grow the commercial air transport industry.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific sees the strongest growth in pilot demand as this region’s fleet significantly increases. A contrasting challenge, the Americas see the most pilot retirements on the horizon. Globally, airlines and their training partners must produce an average of 70 new type-rated pilots per day.  Record high aircraft deliveries drive this required pilot production rate.

Collectively, these numbers mean that over 50% of pilots needed in the next 10 years have not yet started to train. This record demand challenges current pilot recruitment channels and development programs. In turn, new and innovative pilot career pathways are required to meet the industry’s crewing needs and ever-evolving safety standards.

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