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Qatar Airways

Airlines in the Middle East will not only need thousands of new aircrafts in the next decade or two, but the amount of pilots and flying peanut bags is impressive as well.

July 15, 2012 9:39 by

While reports of hastily increasing oil prices and carbon emission taxes imposed by the EU on airlines in the Middle East have certainly dampened their spirits; it seems that this region’s aviation sector still has a lot going for itself; speaking in terms of optimistic forecasts, that is.

Perhaps their pockets may become nervous but the ambition; that remains stronger than ever. According to a report written by Arabian Business and retracted from The Boeing 2012 Current Market Outlook, Middle East carriers will not only need to add 2,370 new planes to accommodate the insanely fast growing demand of travel but a lot of new pilots will need to be trained and recruited.

To break it down, the VP of Marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Randy Tinseth, has revealed that airlines based in the Asia Pacific region will add approximately 12,000 new aircrafts and that within this two decade phase, there will be 34,000 new aircrafts joining the global radar.

The global aviation market is expected to grow to USD4.5 trillion by then.

It’s not too difficult to imagine where the funds to support this enormous expansion will be sourced. After all, the Middle East is a wealthy region packed with oil drums and deep pockets and didn’t Qatar Airways recently receive the title of ‘Best Airline in the World’?

However, the real hard hitting question is that with all these new aircrafts and machinery coming along in the next decade or two; will there be enough talent to actually operate them?

The Boeing study further shows that airlines based in the Middle East will also need to recruit a little over 36,000 pilots and almost 54,000 technicians to keep up with the ambitious explosion.

The US plane maker projects the world will face an unprecedented demand for airline pilots and maintenance technicians.

Ironically, at this point we can discuss the extremely steep road ahead; but Boeing describes these demand forecasts as a slow time for the travel sector so maybe they are up to the job after all.

“In many regions of the world, our customers are facing challenges in recruiting personnel due to pilot and technician shortages,” said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Boeing Flight Services.

Conclusively, it finally boils down to the question of the hour; what does the Middle East need to do in order to meet this growing demand for travel?

Aviation colleges in the Gulf States train less than 1,000 new pilots every year; which creates a substantial supply gap that may prove to be a threat to the predicted growth of aircraft and recruitment expansion.

Boeing does release a 20-year forecast every year though; so we will have to wait and see what they say next year.

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