You may soon be seeing advertisements throughout the Middle East proclaiming, “Wanted: Pilots for Long-Haul Airline Flights.”
According to aircraft manufacturer Boeing, the Mideast needs to “recruit and train tens of thousands of new pilots to sustain a massive expansion in long-haul fleets led by the Gulf Arab region.”
Big Aircraft Orders Means Many Job Openings
Boeing should know – it just inked a deal with the Dubai-based airline at the opening of yesterday’s big Mideast air show. The agreement calls for Boeing to provide 50 777-300ER jets with an option for 20 more. BusinessWeek says the pact is valued at $26 billion.
Over the next two decades, Boeing says three Mideast airlines – Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad – will need an additional 2,000 jets, which will in turn require an estimated 36,000 new pilots and even more maintenance personnel to keep them in the air.
A lot of potential employment there, at a time when capacity cuts and mergers seem to be shrinking the U.S. air travel industry year by year.