A pilot of China Eastern Airlines makes preparations ahead of flight, March 6, 2018. [Photo: VCG]
Chinese airlines will require nearly 130,000 new pilots over the next 20 years to meet growing air travel demand.
That’s according to research undertaken by US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
They predict that alongside the 128,500 pilots that will be needed by 2040, there will also be a requirement for a similar number of technicians, as well as 147,000 cabin crew.
"Strong demand for pilots in the region continues, and we expect that this will continue for the next several years," said Keith Cooper, vice president of Training & Professional Services for Boeing Global Services.
It takes a minimum of 16 months to train a new airline First Officer from scratch, and costs over $100,000, so the issue can’t be solved easily, quickly or cheaply.
Solutions are, however, on the horizon.
Chinese companies are making significant investments in flight schools both at home and overseas.
They’re also investing in the latest generation of training aircraft for student pilots.
For example, in March, we reported that manufacturer Piper had signed a $75 million deal with a Chinese company.
The agreement will see Sichuan Fan-Mei Aviation Technologies purchase 152 Piper Archer single-engine training planes.