Canada's CAE sees surge in global demand for pilots in next decade

Bombardier pilots Daniel Dionne (R) and Esteban Arias ready a Bombardier CSeries Aircraft for a demonstration flight to mark its first delivery to Swiss International Air Lines in Mirabel, Quebec, June 29, 2016 REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

(Reuters) - Aviation training firm CAE Inc said on Tuesday it expects global demand for pilots to rise with fleet growth and changing crew ratios, and the active combined airline and business jet pilot population will exceed half a million by 2028.

A positive environment combined with strong passenger traffic, strong fleet growth and aircraft utilization drive solid performance in business and commercial market aviation segments, CAE said.

The 10-year average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for commercial aircraft is 3.5 percent, and the active fleet is expected to grow by 12,000 aircraft to reach 39,000 aircraft by 2028, the company said.

The growth in fleet and crew ratio is driving the need for 10,000 new business jet pilots and 160,000 new airline pilots in the next decade, CAE said.

Crew ratios are projected to increase to an average of more than 12 pilots per aircraft in the next decade, it said.

It is the first time CAE is adding business jet pilots to its outlook and the forecast comes on the opening day of the world’s largest business jet show in Orlando.

Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier