Most probably there won’t be any better time to become a pilot than it is now. “Global air transport network doubles in size at least once every 15 years, and it’s expected to do so again by 2030” says The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). To cater to this meteoric rise in commercial aviation, the industry needs more and more aircraft. Airlines, operating around the globe, order and add new aircraft to meet the growing air traffic demand. Naturally with this growth, the demand for pilots grows too. Are you about to become a pilot and trying to decide where or what to fly? Or maybe already have a type, but curious what career step you should take next? Then take a look at this quick overview around the aviation globe.
Asia – Enormous Expansion
Asia has become one of the biggest aviation markets in the world and it continues to expand. China, India, and other emerging markets in the region are the main engines of growth. According to the Boeing Commercial Market Outlook forecast, Asia Pacific region fleet will reach 17,520 in 2036 (from 6,830 in 2016).
Asia market looks amazing by its size and the speed of growth. Together with this enormous expansion comes a growing demand for a professional crew. The biggest airlines according to the fleet size in Asia is China Southern Airlines, which runs a fleet of more than 750 passenger and cargo transport aircraft and employs more than 96,000 personnel.
What aircraft types are dominating in China and Asia Pacific Airlines fleets? Due to the high demand for air traffic, airlines in Asia fly wide-body aircraft in domestic flights as well as regional directions. Despite this fact, the single-aisle aircraft is the leading one in this region as in the whole world. If you would like to become a pilot in this region, you should have any of the popular following type ratings: Boeing 787, 777, 747, 737 and Airbus A380, A330, A321, A320, A319 with its modifications.
Airbus – Leader in Europe
Boeing Commercial Market Outlook forecasts that the total fleet in Europe will continue to grow and it will reach the number of 8,160 aircraft in 2036 (from 4,800 in 2016). Although Boeing forecasts the growth, the most frequently used aircraft in Europe is Airbus A320.
The largest European airlines are Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines) which operates 754 aircraft. The low-cost carrier Ryanair has the fleet with 439 aircraft and operates just Boeing 737 aircraft (current fleet consists of Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737-700 and the company is waiting for new Boeing 737 MAX 8). This fact just proves that the low-cost airlines’ backbone is narrow-body aircraft and the use of these trendy aircraft continues to grow.
What types of aircraft does the biggest carrier in Europe operate? Lufthansa Group has 219 Airbus A320 type aircraft, the following types are Airbus A319 (120 aircraft), A321 (78), A330 (54), A340 (42), A350 XWB (12), 380 (14), A220 (5), Boeing 747 (32), 737 (2), 767 (6), 777 (21), Embraer ERJ-190 (43), Bombardier CRJ-900 (35), De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 (36 aircraft), McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (12 aircraft). Although the huge Lufthansa Group has a variety or aircraft, almost half of its fleet consists of the two single-aisle aircraft type Airbus A320 and Airbus A319.
Airlines in North America choose Boeing
7,060 aircraft fleet in 2016 and 10,130 aircraft in 2036 – the North America is not an exception and this region is expected to expand too.
While Airbus A320 family is the leader in Europe, the Boeing 737 is the most commonly used aircraft by most airlines in the United States. The biggest airline by fleet size in North America is American Airlines and 325 aircraft of 957 fleet is Boeing 737 (304 of Boeing 737-800 and 21 of Boeing 737 MAX 8). Beside Boeing 737 American Airlines pilots fly on Airbus A321 (219 aircraft), A319 (217), A320 (48), A330 (24), Boeing 757 (34), 767 (23), 777 (67), 787 Dreamliner (41), Embraer ERJ-190 (20), McDonnel Douglas MD-80 (29).
The most popular type in the second biggest airlines in the USA – Delta Airlines – is the same as in American Airlines and it is Boeing 737. Delta Airlines owns 201 aircraft Boeing 737 type (10 Boeing 737-700, 77 Boeing 737-800, 114 Boeing 737-900).
Latin America: Growth expected
The total in-service fleet in Latin America is expected to more than double over the next 20 years, growing from 1,550 jet aircraft to 3,660. The biggest part of the operating fleet in region is narrow-body aircraft and in the next ten years the number of it is expected to grow from 1,060 to 1,596.
LATAM Airlines Group, the biggest airlines in Latin America, operates 313 aircraft. Its fleet is a mix of the most popular types of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. If you would like to work for the biggest airlines in Latin America, you should have at least one of the following Type Ratings: Airbus A319, A320-200, A320neo, A321-200, A321neo, A350 XWB, Boeing 767, 777, 787 Dreamliner. Although, LATAM has not chosen the most popular Boeing type, the second largest by fleet airlines in Latin America GOL operates 121 aircraft and all of them are just one Boeing 737 type aircraft’s modifications: Boeing 737-700, Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737 MAX 8.
Middle East: flying wide-body aircraft
Middle East is a region of massive potential and the fleet growth there is expected to rise from 1,430 in 2016 to 3,900 in 2036. Due to the location of the region – it is between Asia, Africa, and Europe – the airlines in the Middle East are well-positioned to compete for traffic connecting these regions.
Are you interested in working in the Middle East? The largest fleet in the region is owned by Emirates, which is currently flying 273 aircraft. Differently from the other regions, Emirates operates huge wide-body aircraft: Airbus A380 (109 aircraft) and Boeing 777 (163). However, it owns one single-aisle Airbus A319 aircraft.
The second biggest airways in the Middle East – Qatar Airways – operates 224 aircraft and the fleet owns more different aircraft types.
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