MONTREAL — A report by Montreal-based flight training provider CAE says airlines around the world will need 255,000 new commercial pilots over the next decade, a third of whom will be required in North America.
CAE’s report says there are about 290,000 commercial pilots working now, but 440,000 will be needed by 2027.
It says 105,000 will be needed just to replace pilots who retire in addition to 150,000 new pilots to meet growing global demand.
CAE says Asia will continue to be a hot spot, with new routes to accommodate a growing middle class, particularly in India and China.
In all, the company says 70 new pilots will have to be trained daily globally to meet the demand, which the International Air Transport Association projects will grow be 4.2 per cent annually until 2027.
The number of planes in service is expected to rise from 25,000 this year to 37,000 in 10 years.
“If we don’t do anything here we’re going to face literally a lack of pilots,” CAE chief executive Marc Parent said in an interview from the Paris Air Show.
Last year, 20,000 new pilots were trained by the industry at airline-focused flight academies, universities, military and small regional flight schools. That is expected to increase to 25,000 per year by 2027, with a growing percentage coming from academies, CAE said.
The CAE report is in line with other pilot demand studies conducted by Boeing and Airbus, which forecast demand at 617,000 and 530,000 over 20 years.