Boeing Flight Services say shortage of expert personnel is causing flight cancellations
Boeing Flight Services says a shortage of expert personnel like pilots and technicians is already causing airlines in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Russia to cancel flights, park aeroplanes and delay planned network expansion.
Airlines, and even governments, in fast-developing regions are calling for help to set up the necessary training infrastructure, said chief executive of Boeing Flight Services Sherry Carbary.
As an original equipment manufacturer, she said, Boeing is not only in a position to provide support but is highly motivated to do so, because otherwise the market for its aircraft is being artificially constrained.
Carbary cited Indonesia as just one example of this phenomenon. As its economy expands rapidly and its people want to travel, the government has woken up to the fact that its airlines cannot meet the demand because they have insufficient expert human resources and inadequate systems for training more.
She predicts that Indonesia is likely to train many of its pilots for the MPL (multi-crew pilot licence). Russia is another case, she says, because although it is a mature aviation nation, its expertise is in training pilots and technicians for traditional Russian types, whereas airlines there are increasingly buying Western aircraft, so they require support to make the transition.In mature economies like the USA and Europe, according to Carbary, they do not have a growth problem at present, and they have the training infrastructure to provide expert personnel, so the the need for action is further down the line for them. But continual retirements and an eventual return to growth will mean that they will also be competing for pilots and technicians in the future, she said.
There is a need for more than a million new pilots and technicians to be trained to operate the fleet of aircraft that will exist in 2031, because by that time the number of aircraft in service will be double what it is now, predicts Boeing. The breakdown is 460,000 pilots and 601,000 technicians, said Carbary, adding that this does not include those who will be needed by the business aviation sector, which is also expanding.