US aircraft maker Boeing has said India may require 31,000 pilots and some 26,000 mechanics over the next 20 years amid the growing order book of the aircraft original equipment manufacturers. Speaking on the sidelines of a CII event here, Boeing India President Salil Gupte also said the South Asian region is expected to remain the fastest growing market globally over the next 20 years.“India is going to need over 31,000 pilots and 26,000 mechanics over the next 20 years to take care of the aircraft coming in. This is as important a part of the Indian growth story as the aircraft (orders),” Gupte told reporters.
He said considering India’s air traffic growth, a lot of focus has to be on making infrastructure robust, both hard infrastructure which includes airports as well as critical infrastructure, which includes pilots, among others. It may be mentioned here that Tata Group-owned Air India had last month announced placing orders for a total of 470 planes with both Boeing and European aviation major Airbus.
Last September, Boeing had projected India’s air traffic growth at around 7 per cent through 2040.He also said that after coming out of the pandemic, the recovery in air travel demand has stunned the world and Boeing does not see any impact of the financial crisis on air travel growth.
It is “too early to know what the consequences of the bank situation of the US and Europe and others are going to be. At this stage, we really see no slowdown in the demand for aviation,” Gupte added. There is a huge market for narrow body aircraft for Boeing in India, he said and added that, “ (as much as) 90 per cent of the market over the next 20 years is going to be a narrow body market and we expect we will be successful in competing for those every single campaign (aircraft order).”
Gupte also emphasized that Boeing has a leadership position in the wide- body (twin aisle) aircraft segment globally and it will remain so in all the markets, including India.