Business aviation needs 106k pilots and technicians by 2032: CAE


The global business aviation industry will need to recruit an additional 32,000 pilots and 74,000 maintenance technicians by 2032, predicts flight training company CAE. Commercial aviation will need to recruit 252,000 pilots, 328,000 maintenance technicians and 599,000 cabin crew, adding to a combined total of 1.18m staff.  Overall, the aviation industry needs to recruit an additional 1.3m professionals within the next nine years.

Recruitment will be necessary to to fill vacancies due to retirement, and the aviation industry’s expansion, according to CAE’s Aviation Talent Forecast. More than one third (38%) of pilots are older than 50, according to FAA estimates.

Nick Leontidis, group president, Civil Aviation, CAE said the report revealed the scale of the recruitment challenge facing aviation. “With a need for 1.3 million people by 2032, CAE’s Aviation Talent Forecast is a call to action for the industry to promote careers in aviation to the next generation to reach out to underrepresented communities and develop innovative support programmes to expand the pool of talent needed for the continued growth and safety of our industry,” he said.

As the growth in business aviation overtakes pre-pandemic levels and commercial aviation nears full recovery, new ways will be needed to find and retain staff. CAE’s Aviation Talent Forecast shows that the demand will continue to grow and the industry will have to come together and find creative ways to ensure a steady pipeline of highly trained personnel for the next 10 years and beyond,” said Leontidis.

The business aviation fleet is predicted to grow by 18% in the years to 2032, from 22,000 to 26,000 aircraft. By contrast, the commercial airline fleet will achieve 39% growth to reach 43,000 jets.

The report identifies how many people will be needed in each region over the next decade, reasons for the high demand and what the industry can do to attract talent. It also offers insight on the industry’s use of advanced training, sustainable practices, and diversity recruitment. Highlighted are the roles of technology in shaping the industry, the importance of sustainability and the impact of diversity in filling the talent pipeline.

According to the report’s introduction: “The ebbs and flows we have seen in the industry, especially post pandemic, have reinforced that people will always need to travel for business, want to fly away for leisure, and millions will be attracted the excitement generated by a career in aviation.” Read more at  the 2023 Aviation Talent Forecast.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, Airbus has confirmed it is on track to recruit more than 13,000 employees worldwide this year. So far, 7,000 new staff have been recruited despite a challenging labour market, said the manufacturer. Plans are underway to fill the remaining positions with recruits playing key roles in boosting production ramp-up and delivering the company’s decarbonisation goals, it said.

Thierry Baril, chief Human Resources & Workplace officer, Airbus said: “Our recruitment efforts are paying-off and will continue to support our production ramp-up and company transformation. We are focused on attracting, training and developing the best diverse talents in our company to help us shape the future of sustainable aerospace.”

The company is offering job opportunities in manufacturing, engineering and disciplines including: cybersecurity, software engineering and new propulsion technologies such as hydrogen, cryogenics and fuel cells. A third of the total recruitment will be allocated to recent graduates.


Aviation’s recruitment needs – in numbers

Business aviation: 106,000 new recruits

  • 32,000: Extra pilots
  • 74,000: Maintenance technicians.

Commercial aviation: 1.18m new recruits

  • 252,000: Extra pilots
  • 328,000: Maintenance technicians
  • 599,000: Cabin crew.

Source: CAE.


Top: Business aviation needs to recruit 32,000 pilots and 74,000 maintenance technicians by 2032.

Above: Airbus has confirmed it is on track to recruit over 13,000 employees worldwide this year.