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Pilot Training Market Size, Share, Growth & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Training Mode (Flight Training and Ground Training), By Aircraft Type (Airplane and Helicopter), By Type of License (Student Pilot License, Private Pilot License, Commercial Pilot License, Airline Transport Pilot License, and Others), and Regional Forecasts, 2022-2029

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI107092



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The global pilot training market size was valued at USD 2.35 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.96 billion in 2022 to USD 20.21 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 31.55% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with pilot training experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 44.26% in 2020 as compared to 2019.


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Pilot training is conducted with an accredited syllabus consisting of flight and ground schools. Flight training is carried out in an average of 10 to 22 months, depending on the program chosen. On an average, it takes 1,500 hours of flight time to become an airline transport pilot license after having a commercial pilot license certificate. Ground training consists of theoretical lessons and training on flight simulators.


Air Travel Restrictions Amidst the Pandemic Lowered Training Investments

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sudden drop in air travel; hence, pilot certification got delayed due to national lockdowns and government-imposed travel restrictions in many nations.

  • According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), there was a decline of 60% in total world passengers in 2020 as compared to 2019.

  • Airlines lost approximately USD 372 million of gross operating revenue in 2020 as compared to 2019.

Restrictions on travel and physical training requirements severely disrupted training schedules; hence, flight training activities went down by 60% compared to the pre-pandemic levels. According to a study, 80.3% of students experienced a delay in their flight training and 54.8% of students experienced delayed graduation.


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Increasing Use of Virtual Reality Training to Emerge as a Prominent Market Trend

Advancement in technology created new training methods for pilots such as the use of virtual reality. Operators in training segments employ a range of devices, such as expensive computerized low-level Flight Training Devices (FTDs) and Full-flight Simulators (FFS), to train pilots for simple tasks such as flight deck flows and procedures. This technology has been increasingly used by large organizations such as the U.S. Air Force, NASA, and some major airlines, including KLM.

  • Visionary Training Resources (VTR) is a virtual reality training specialist that has developed the FlightDeckToGo training system to supplement higher-cost training platforms to enhance the training process.

  • Air France-KLM Airlines uses the Meta Quest 2 for training. The headset can be taken home and pilots can train for as long as they need. This offering includes them familiarizing the aircraft and a 360-degree walkaround.

VR can help to replace low-level flight training devices. It will help in increasing standardization and prepares pilots for flights.


Launch of Technologically Advanced New Aircraft will Propel the Need for Hiring Highly Skilled Pilots

Major aviation companies are intensely focused on developing and innovating advanced technology equipment to be incorporated into their aircraft. Companies’ focus is on designing and manufacturing sustainable aircraft, promoting the green initiative by developing electric aircraft such as eVTOL. 

The important challenge in commercial aviation for training pilots is transitioning from a traditional cockpit environment to a modern computerized glass cockpit. The modern technologies developed by aviation manufacturers focus on safety and improved aircraft performance.

  • For instance, aircraft, such as Falcon, eVTOL, and other Airbus aircraft, require type rating certification holding pilots. The companies offer training to pilots with the help of simulators built especially for training purposes of specific aircraft, thereby enhancing training demand.

  • In October 2022, FlightSafety International partnered with Dassault Aviation to train pilots for operating new Falcon 10X aircraft. FlightSafety will provide simulator testing for aircraft development, certification, and quality training for Falcon 10X pilots, maintenance technicians, and flight attendants worldwide.

The leading aircraft manufacturers are launching various new-generation aircraft equipped with advanced technologies. Pilots need to undergo specialized training to safely fly these aircraft, thereby, increasing the demand for effective pilot training.

Increasing Demand for Air Travel across the Globe to Surge Demand for Skilled Pilots

In recent years, the aviation industry generated a need for learning to fly faster with the utilization of heavier planes having more than 100,000 commercial flights operating worldwide every day, representing over 400 departures per hour.

Aviation provides a rapid worldwide transportation network that generates economic growth and jobs and facilitates international trade and tourism.

  • According to ICAO, the demand for air transport will increase by an average of 4.3% annually over the next 20 years.

  • Demand for air travel in April 2022 witnessed an upward trend of 78.7% compared to April 2021.

To cater to this growing demand, companies must incorporate a larger fleet of airplanes requiring trained pilots. This factor generates a demand for training pilots to provide well-trained, highly qualified, and maximum flight experienced pilots, thus driving the market growth.

  • For instance, on March 24, 2022, Airbus stated that India would require 2,210 new aircraft over 20 years, comprising a fleet of 1,770 small and 440 medium & large aircraft. Over the period, India will become one of the fastest growing economies, empowering people's spending capacity for air travel. Due to this, passenger traffic in India is estimated to grow at 6.2% annually by 2040. India has witnessed an upward trend in the increase of air traffic. India will require 34,000 pilots and 45,000 technicians to cater to this demand by 2040. This factor enhances the demand for airline crew and pilots who are well-trained and tested to fly and operate the aircraft, thus propelling the demand for pilot programs.


High Initial Certification Cost for Pilot Training May Hamper Market Growth

Advancement in technologies and development of advanced technology-equipped aircraft fuel the need for high-technology simulators and other products required for effective training for pilots. However, the cost of these simulators and equipment is very high, resulting in high training costs.

  • For instance, FAA qualified full flight simulators’ (full motion) price ranges between USD 10,000,000 to USD 50,000,000. Due to this high cost, companies providing training to pilots offer courses at significant prices, creating a major restraint for the market as cadets and aspirants are bound to the constraint of high initial certification costs for pilot training.

For instance, L3Harris, a leading training provider, offers its professional training program for USD 83,995. However, companies also provide financing and scholarships due to which aspiring cadets can pursue pilot education and training.


By Training Mode Analysis

Flight Training to Lead Due to the Development of Advanced Simulators 

By training mode, the market is segmented into flight training and ground training. Among these, the flight training segment dominated the global market and held the largest pilot training market share in 2021. The global demand for skilled pilots creates a demand for flight training. Rising demand for air travel from emerging economies such as India and China helps boost the market growth.

The ground training segment is projected to grow at a high CAGR during the forecast period. Rising technological advancement in training modes is expected to boost segmental growth. Virtual reality has been a newly popular training technique. Many training institutions and airlines, such as KLM airlines, have been using virtual reality for training pilots.

  • In November 2021, KLM began training pilots using virtual reality applications built in-house for pilots flying new Embraer 175 and 190 aircraft for its KLM Cityhopper subsidiary.

By Type of License Analysis 

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Commercial Pilot License to Grow at a Fast Rate Backed by Rising Demand for Air Travel

Based on type of license, the market is classified into student pilot license, private pilot license, commercial pilot license, airline transport pilot license, and others.

The commercial pilot license segment will grow at a fast rate with the highest CAGR over the forecast period due to rising air travel demand. A commercial pilot needs a minimum of 200 hours of flight time, which enables a pilot to receive remuneration for flying an aircraft.

  • According to ICAO, the global air travel demand will increase by an average of 4.3% in the next 20 years.

The airline transport pilot license segment accounted for the largest market share in 2021. The rising demand for air travel is creating a demand for more skilled airline transport pilots.

  • For instance, India will become one of the fastest-growing economies, empowering people's spending capacity for air travel. Due to this, passenger traffic in India is estimated to grow at 6.2% annually by 2040. This growth in passenger traffic will generate demand for airline crew and pilots who are well-trained and tested to fly and operate the aircraft.

Other licenses, such as private pilot license, recreational license, and sports license, will drive the market growth due to investment in these aircraft from emerging economies such as China and India. Thus, the segment will witness growth over the forecast period.

By Aircraft Type Analysis 

Airplane Segment to Dominate Backed by Rising Aircraft Deliveries 

 Based on aircraft type, the market is segmented into airplane and helicopter.

The airplane segment accounted for the highest market share in 2021. The segment is also expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The segment's growth is attributed to the rising demand for air travel and increasing aircraft deliveries. Thus, higher growth numbers are anticipated during the forecast period.

  • Boeing is projecting a demand for over 41,100 new aircraft over the next two decades. Single-aisle aircraft will make up 75% of the expected deliveries by 2041.

The helicopter segment is predicted to grow owing to increased demand for search and rescue operations. The segment shows a high CAGR over the forecast period.


North America Pilot Training Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)

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The market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world on the basis of region.

The North America market dominated the global market in 2021. The North America market stood at USD 0.74 billion in 2021 and will grow at a moderate CAGR during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the presence of key players in the region such as Pan Am Flight Academy, CAE Inc., Flight Safety International, and others. The United States has the most well-established airports and training centers in the world, and thus held a higher market share in 2021

The market in Asia Pacific is projected to grow at the highest CAGR due to increase in air travel demand from the region. This growth is owing to the rise in technology-oriented simulator-based training provided by the training schools. Moreover, major companies are focusing on expanding their business by establishing training centers in new developing regions equipped with advanced technology that helps in providing efficient ground training facilities. The procurement of aircraft and increasing preference for air travel in the region are expected to drive the segment’s growth.

  • For instance, the joint venture of CAE with InterGlobe Enterprises, located in New Delhi, ranks as one of the largest training facilities in India, providing training for more than 5,000 aspirants annually.

  • Singapore Airlines and CAE formed Singapore CAE Flight Training in 2018 to provide flight training for airline pilots and other Boeing operators in the region.

The Europe pilot training market growth is attributed to the presence of major training centers for pilots, such as Airbus Flight Academy, along with manufacturers of advanced simulator systems, such as Indra Sistemas SA, in the region.

  • Indra Sistemas secured a USD 33 million contract from the Spanish Ministry of Defense in January 2021 for upgrading its Chinook CH-47F simulation system. As per the contract, the company will modernize a Full Mission Simulator (FMS), the Flight Training Device (FTD), and the Computer Based Trainers (CBTs) situated at the Helicopter Simulation Center of the Armed Forces Flight Academy (ACAVIET) in Colmenar Viejo Base.

The market in the rest of the world will showcase significant growth, owing to rising air travel demand. Major players focused on providing a real-time experience. For this purpose, the companies are acquiring new aircraft and increasing their fleet, thus propelling the flight training segment growth. This factor is expected to surge the demand for pilot training from the region.

  • For instance, in August 2022, the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) introduced a virtual space on its website that includes courses, workshops, and educational opportunities offered by allied universities and training centers. It will provide programs such as operational safety, aeronautical operations, human factors, aeronautical English, training for pilots and education, aeronautical law, and the environment, thus fueling the ground training segment growth.


Key Players Focus on Innovation and New Training Methodologies to Reinforce their Market Position

The market is dominated by key players such as Pan Am Flight Academy, Airbus Flight Academy, and CAE. These players majorly focus on developing partnerships with government and airline authorities for new projects.



  • June 2022- CAE signed a partnership with Joby Aviation to provide training to pilots on eVTOL. Joby Aviation, a California-based transportation company, developed an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. In this contract, CAE will develop and provide training devices to complement the electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft- eVTOL. With the help of CAE, training will be offered to pilots for the operation of Evtol.

  • October 2022- Spirit Airlines and CAE launched the New Spirit Wings Pilot Pathway Program for aspiring commercial pilots.

  • October 2022- CAE and Clay Lacy Aviation signed their industry's first cross-training and job-sharing agreement to address pilot demand and enhance flight training.

  • October 2022- CAE ramped the Gulfstream training in Las Vegas, Savannah, and Singapore and boosted its business aviation network to meet the increasing demand for air travel.

  • August 2022- CAE signed a 15-year partnership agreement with Qantas Group to start a new training center in Sydney, Australia.


An Infographic Representation of Pilot Training Market

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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. The report focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, pilot training technologies, and leading pilot training system providers. The report offers insights into the pilot training market trends and highlights key industry developments related to the market. In addition to the above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation 



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD billion)


By Training Mode, Type of License, Aircraft Type, and Geography

By Training Mode

  • Flight Training

  • Ground Training

By Type of License

  • Student Pilot License

  • Private Pilot License

  • Commercial Pilot License

  • Airline Transport Pilot License

  • Others



By Aircraft Type

  • Airplane

  • Helicopter

By Geography


  • North America (By Training Mode; By Type of License; By Aircraft Type, By Country)

    • U.S. (By Aircraft Type)

    • Canada (By Aircraft Type)

  • Europe (By Training Mode; By Type of License; By Aircraft, By Country)

    • U.K. (By Aircraft Type)

    • Germany (By Aircraft Type)

    • France (By Aircraft Type)

    • Italy (By Aircraft Type)

    • Russia (By Aircraft Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Aircraft Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Training Mode; By Type of License; By Aircraft, By Country)

    • China (By Aircraft Type)

    • India (By Aircraft Type)

    • Japan (By Aircraft Type)

    • Australia (By Aircraft Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Aircraft Type)

  • Rest of the World (By Training Mode; By Type of License; By Aircraft, By Sub-region)

    • Latin America (By Aircraft Type)

    • Middle East and Africa (By Aircraft Type)


Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.35 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 20.21 billion by 2029.

The market will exhibit a CAGR of 31.55% during the forecast period.

Pan AM Training (U.S.), BAA Training (Lithuania), CAE Inc.(Canada), L3 Harris Technologies Inc. (U.S.), ATP Flight School (U.S.), and Flight Safety International Inc.(U.S.) are the leading players.

North America held the highest market share in 2021.

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