India may need 31,000 pilots in next 20 years: Boeing

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Mumbai, March 21 (PTI) US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has said India may need 31,000 pilots and some 26,000 mechanics over the next 20 years amid the growing order book from aircraft original equipment manufacturers. Speaking on the sidelines of a CII event here, Boeing India President Salil Gupte also said that the South Asian region is expected to remain the fastest growing market globally for the next 20 years.

“India will need more than 31,000 pilots and 26,000 mechanics over the next 20 years to take care of the incoming aircraft. This is as important a part of the Indian growth story as the aircraft (orders),” Gupte told reporters.

He said that given the growth of air traffic in India, a lot of attention should be paid to making the infrastructure robust, both the hard infrastructure, including airports, and the critical infrastructure, including pilots.

It may be mentioned that Tata Group is owned Air India announced last month that it would place orders for a total of 470 aircraft from both Boeing and the European aviation major Airbus.

Last September, Boeing had estimated the growth of Indian air traffic to 2040 at about 7 percent.

He also said that after the outbreak of the pandemic, the recovery in demand for air travel has stunned the world and that Boeing does not see any impact from the financial crisis on air traffic growth.

It is “too early to know what the impact of the US and European banking situation and others will be. At this stage, we really don’t see a slowdown in aviation demand,” Gupte added.

There is a huge market for narrow-body aircraft for Boeing in India, he said, adding that “(as much as) 90 percent of the market in the next 20 years will be a narrow-body market and we expect that we will.” be successful in fighting for that every single campaign (aircraft order).”

Gupte also stressed that Boeing has a global leadership position in the wide-body (twin aisle) aircraft segment and will continue to do so in all markets, including India.