Boeing: Asia-Pacific needs 440,000 new pilots and plane technicians over the next 20 years

SINGAPORE - Asia-Pacific carriers will need 440,000 new pilots and aircraft technicians over the next two decades to support growth in the region's air travel business, American plane-maker Boeing said on Thursday in its annual manpower outlook.

The number - higher than the projected demand for North America and Europe combined - accounts for close to 40 per cent of the global need.

"The Asia-Pacific region is seeing tremendous economic growth and is set to become the largest air travel market in the world," said Mr Bob Bellitto, director (customer group) of Boeing Flight Services.

This will translate into "booming career opportunities" for those interested in becoming commercial airline pilots and maintenance technicians, he said.

Mr Bellitto added: "These are strong, stable and challenging jobs in one of the most technologically advanced industries in the world."

Despite current challenges for Asian carriers, which include an oversupply of flights and seats which has brought fares and margins down, the long-term prospects for the region are bright, aviation analysts said.

As with manpower demand, the region also leads the need for planes - 13,460 new jets are expected to be delivered to carriers over the next two decades.