Middle East to face airline pilot shortages within next two years

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In its latest update on pilot shortages in the aviation sector, global management consultancy Oliver Wyman has found that, as air travel continues to recover this year, the demand for airline pilots will outstrip supply in most regions globally between 2022 and 2024, with the Middle East feeling the effects first.
New data shows that this spike in demand for air travel coincides with a flat then declining supply of pilots in the region, due to a combination of lay-offs during the Covid-19 pandemic, a falling number of newly-certified pilots, and retirements eventually outstripping new pilots.

André Martins, partner – Head of IMEA Transportation and Services at Oliver Wyman, said: “We expect the Middle East to be the region affected soonest by the shortage outside of North America, driven by a projected sharp increase in air travel demand over the next few years, new players entering the market and big tourism developments happening in the region.”

The regional shortage could start as early as the end of this year, reaching an estimated 3,000 pilots by 2023 and 18,000 by 2032 if no accelerated mitigation actions are taken.

“If demand for air travel continues to grow, airlines need to accelerate recruiting efforts from other regions where we anticipate less acute shortages, particularly Latin America and the Asia Pacific, to fill gaps. Failing that, we may see an adjustment of schedules into and out of the region, impacting the Middle East’s carriers and airport operators,” added Martins.

Oliver Wyman forecasted in early 2021 that an impending pilot shortage was on the horizon, contrary to reality at the time, as Covid-19 was decimating the airline industry and any recovery appeared years away. It is now predicting global aviation to be short nearly 80,000 pilots by 2032, absent a downturn in future demand or air travel and/or strenuous efforts by the industry to bolster the supply of pilots.

Source: Breaking Travel News


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