Asia-Pacific, the world's fastest-growing aviation market, is facing a possible shortage of technicians and pilots, according to a study by Boeing Airlines.
According to the report, which is part of Boeing's industry forecast, the region would need about 185,600 new pilots and 243,500 new technicians in the next two decades.
"This great need for aviation personnel is a global issue, but it's hitting the Asia Pacific region particularly hard," said Bob Bellitto, the global sales director for Boeing Flight Services, the Economic Times of India reported. "Some airlines are already experiencing delays and operational interruptions because they don't have enough qualified pilots.
According to Asia One, the shortage is brought on by rapid fleet modernization along with growth in the region's air travel.
China and India are expected to account for most of the giant demand; China needs about 71,300 new pilots and 99,400 technicians in the next 20 years. India will require some 51,500 pilots, and 67,400 technicians, accounting for 28 percent of all Asia Pacific demand.
Bloomberg reported that according to the International Air Transport Association, demand for travel the Asia-Pacific region is expected to rise 3.9 percent this year, compared with 2.3 percent in Europe.
And, Bellito points out, while Boeing and other global planemakers can manufacture the planes, they'll just sit on the ground if there's not enough pilots and technicians to get them up and running.