As it prepares to undertake its flight operations in 2025, Saudi Arabia’s new airline Riyadh Air has begun hiring and asked pilots to apply.
“We need a full complement of pilots to join our team so that we can get through the training phase and prepare for the airline’s launch,” stated Peter Bellew, chief operating officer of Riyadh Air, while adding, “I advise anyone who has experience training on the Boeing 787-9 or the Boeing 777 aircraft to look online at our opportunities.”
The Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom, established the airline in April 2023 after placing a multibillion-dollar order for up to 72 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. This includes 39 confirmed aircraft with 33 wide-body 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft readily available.
It plans to invest up to USD 11 billion in 121 787 Dreamliners, the fifth-largest commercial order in Boeing’s history, to help the nation reach its 2030 target of servicing 330 million passengers and drawing 100 million tourists.
According to Bellew, the hiring process will begin in September 2023, and full onboarding will start in the airline in January 2024.
“Over the next three years, we plan to hire 700 pilots across the airline to accommodate the arrival of 39 aircraft. We’re seeking individuals with experience on the 787 and those with prior wide-body experience,” Bellew continued.
The need for business and leisure travel worldwide has helped the aviation industry recover quickly from the COVID pandemic.
Massive job boom in the Middle East’s aviation sector
Not only Riyadh Air, but the entire Middle-East aviation industry will also see a job boom as the airlines will hire 28,000 pilots, 78,000 cabin crew and 22,000 commercial aircraft maintenance technicians in the next ten years, as per a report from the Canadian aviation training firm CAE’s ‘2023 Aviation Talent Forecast’.
The study also said that airlines around the world would need extensive recruitment until 2032 to fill vacancies, as the industry goes into an expansion mode due to the rising travel demand.
CAE estimated that the global aviation industry would be needing a further 1.3 million professionals over the next decade, amid a projected 45% demand growth for cabin crew globally, as the total number of active cabin crew will likely reach 779,000 by 2032.
In addition to the commercial sector, the business aviation industry will be requiring nearly 1,000 new workers by 2032, of which 450 will be pilots, stated CAE.