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Eurocontrol reports that business aviation is among the rare segments of the aviation industry that has been consistently experiencing traffic above pre-pandemic levels, with a notable 7% rise in January 2023. As we look towards the future, experts in the aviation industry forecast that the trend of growth in business aviation activity will continue throughout 2023.

In recent years, the private and business aviation sectors have observed a remarkable increase in the number of passengers, both frequent and first-time flyers, booking charter flights. This trend has resulted in heightened demand for private jet flights among numerous companies in the industry. Consequently, there has been an increase in demand for private pilots and crew.

According to Alison Dsouza, Director of Aerviva Aviation Consultancy, a Dubai-based international consultancy, specialising in aviation recruitment and document management, the private aviation sector will require at least 58,000 business pilots by 2029. “With the entire aviation industry currently grappling with flight crew shortage, private and business aviation markets are also prompted to attract more professionals. Predicting even further into the future, Boeing has reported that by 2041, globally the demand for new pilots will reach 602,000 and for new cabin crew 899,000 and it’s safe to say that a large part of these professionals will be working for private and business aviation sectors.”

Dsouza highlights that while working for both commercial airlines and private individuals is exciting, there are notable differences between pursuing these careers. “Commercial flight crew typically have more stability in their schedules, with monthly rosters and a general idea of when and where they will be flying. In contrast, the private flight crew must work according to their clients’ schedules, requiring them to be highly adaptable and flexible when dealing with changes in itineraries.”

Furthermore, pursuing a career as a private crew may require a greater degree of personal interaction. “Business jet pilots and cabin crew often establish personal connections with their clients. Thus, if an individual is not comfortable with fostering such relationships, it may not be the most suitable career choice for them,” Dsouza explains.

Although the future of business aviation appears bright, uncertainties will persist in the private aviation sector as it anticipates the evolving market demands of private air passengers. Nevertheless, Alison Dsouza maintains that “the pilot and crew shortage is not going anywhere, thus it’s a great time to be a part of the industry.”