Pilot Outlook

Commercial Pilot Outlook for 2019-2029

Welcome to FAA Examinations.

As we all know, the aviation industry has taken the greatest hit to its growth since 9/11 and COVID has changed daily life for everyone in the world.

Our industry was starting to improve and the recruitment figures were on an upward trend but the confidence was soon destroyed and pilots were back into the world of uncertainty.

Many factors contributed to the decline in passenger figures such as travel restrictions, border closures and increased travel requirements. Costs continued to pile up such as aircraft leases, take-off/ landing slots, storage costs, pilots, cabin crew, maintenance and management.

The governments late rescue plan did bring some relief but the delay was affecting the airlines cash reserves and this meant their operating costs were coming out of their profits. An airline cannot operate for too long under these circumstances and many companies had to apply for bankruptcy.

But there is a ‘silver lining’ to the COVID pandemic as many pilots decided to change professions, pilots took early retirement and new airlines decided to take advantage of the changing landscape in aviation. So there was a short term decline in pilot figures but this is not the case now, by the end of 2021 there will be the need for 27,000 pilots.

The figures below have been taken from the CAE pilot forecast for 2021.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Active Pilots in 2019 – 387,000

Replaced Pilots in 2019 – 167,000

Active Pilot Growth in 2029 – 97,000

Active Pilots in 2029 – 484,000

+219,000 Airline Pilots needed in the next 10 years.

+45,000 Business Jet Pilots needed in the next 10 years.

+11,000 Commercial Businesses and Aircraft required for the next decade.

In North America alone there will be the need for more than 65,000 pilots in the next 10 years.

As you can see above, there is unprecedented demand forecast for the future. The aviation industry has taken a beating but there is still continued growth expected over the next decade and beyond.

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