To Aviate or Not: The Post-Pandemic Outlook

Alexander Robinson crunches the numbers to examine whether a pilot shortage will emerge as COVID subsides

Qantas Pilot Academy in Toowoomba

Readers of Australian Aviation will be acutely aware of the challenges that COVID-19 has inflicted on the aviation industry, and how the pandemic has impacted and continues to impact pilots. In January, FlightGlobal International reported that only 43 per cent of 2,600 commercial pilots surveyed were “doing the job they trained for”. The majority were either unemployed (30 per cent), furloughed (17 per cent), or working in a non-flying role or in another industry (10 per cent).

Every year, Boeing releases its Pilot and Technician Outlook (PTO) global forecast with a 20- year horizon for new personnel required in aviation. This forecast complements its annual bellwether, Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), a report backed by decades of analysis and insights into airline strategies and passenger demand. Combined, these two outlooks provide a comprehensive global growth forecast of the industry, as well as regional trends. 

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