2022 Shaping Up As Record Year For Pilot Hiring


The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) reports that, according to the Future and Active Pilot Advisors (FAPA), 2022 is on track for a record year for airline pilot hiring. Through October, 12 major airlines had hired 11,372 pilots. Projections call for a total of some 13,500 new hires by the end of the year, more than twice the number hired in 2021 (5,426), the previous record-holder.

Even at that, the pilot pipeline is still some 5,000 behind requirements cited by the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency cites a need for 18,100 new pilots per year to offset retirements among the current pilot population. In its latest Pilot and Technician Outlook, Boeing predicts that, over the next two decades, “602,000 new pilots, 610,000 new maintenance technicians, and 899,000 new cabin crew members will be needed to fly and maintain the global commercial fleet.”

According to AOPA, however, the demand has spawned sinister opportunism among unscrupulous bad actors. Boeing’s website warns: “These persons have been offering fraudulent employment opportunities to applicants and often asking for sensitive personal and financial information, including requiring candidates to arrange travel [with a complicit travel agency] for face-to-face interviews.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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    • Maybe read it again Ronnie. The shortage of Technicians is mentioned right there with the pilots in the text.

      • The article mentions the projected demand, but is silent on where they will come from. Plus, I suspect that their numbers are only for commercial airline and charter company demand and does not include any for general aviation.

      • I saw that but my point is there is nothing about what the industry is doing to attract new maintenance technicians its always about Pilots, pilots, pilots……the 600,000 plus maintenance hires sure sound good but the reality is there is less than 10 percent of that number industry wide coming in as new hires. That’s the elephant in the room.

        When I go to the IA renewal seminars each year, 80% of us IA’s are over the age of 50 and there is 20% of us retiring annually, less than 5% coming in…..that’s my point.

  1. When I was 17 I attended Spartan School of Aeronautics and got an A&P Certificate. The airlines would not hire me because I had no experience. So I became a corporate Pilot. Mechanics are short changed in this bisuness. Better to switch to automobile repair.