Boeing: 'Tens of Thousands' of New Pilots Needed in Middle East

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.”

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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.

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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.


Published: November 14, 2011