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40k new aviation workers needed in Oceania by 2040: Boeing

written by Hannah Dowling | November 16, 2021
A file image of a Boeing 777-9X. (Boeing)
A file image of a Boeing 777-9X. (Boeing)

Boeing has claimed the Oceania region will require nearly 40,000 new aviation professionals over the next two decades, as the industry grows in the post-pandemic environment.

According to the planemaker, airlines operating in the Oceania region will require over 10,000 new pilots, over 11,000 new technicians and engineers, and over 17,000 new cabin crew by 2040.

Revealing its forecast data in an Oceania press briefing, Boeing said these new professionals will be required to assist the growth of air traffic in the region, at a rate of 3.0 per cent per year over the next 20 years.

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Despite this 3.0 per cent increase in traffic, the region is expected to see just 1.9 per cent growth in its fleet requirements.

The planemaker has forecast that the total number of aircraft in Oceania will expand from 560 currently to 830 by 2040.

Of this, 490 aircraft will replace older jets, while the total net number of aircraft will grow by 270. The remaining 70 jets are expected to be retained from today’s fleet.

According to Boeing Commercial Airplanes director of market forecasting and analysis Wendy Sowers, Oceania’s fleet growth rate of 1.9 per cent falls below the average global figure of “a little bit north of 3 per cent”.

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Oceania’s below-average growth in fleet size is “typical of a market that is on the more mature side”, Sowers said. “Meanwhile, emerging markets tend to have faster growth,” she said.

Oceania’s traffic growth rate of 3.0 per cent is also below the global average of 4.0 per cent, for the same reason, Sowers said.

“Something important to consider in the Oceania region is that we have traffic growing faster than fleet [size],” Sowers said.

“So one of the things that that points to is increasing efficiency in the fleet, that both saves airlines costs, but it also highlights the sustainability element,” she said.

“The same fleet is able to carry more traffic, it’s not just growing at a one to one ratio. It’s getting more efficient, more sustainable over the long term.”

Sowers also noted that Oceania’s current and future fleet needs differ slightly from other regions.

Of the 760 new aircraft that will replace and grow the fleet in Oceania, 28 per cent are expected to be wide bodied jets, while 71 per cent will be single-aisle. The remaining 1 per cent are regional and training aircraft.

This places Oceania’s needs for widebody aircraft above those of other regions, which sees a split closer to 75 per cent of all aircraft being single-aisle.

“I think that reflects the relative geography of Oceania,” Sowers said, given Oceania’s distance from other key markets in Europe and the Americas.

“The distances covered by airlines that connect Oceania are often longer than the distances flown in other regions of the world,” Sowers said. “So we see this region requiring a higher share than average in terms of widebody airplanes, due to the distance and capability of those airplanes.”

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