Demand for new airline pilots has increased dramatically. According to Boeing (2018), an estimated 790,000 new commercial and airline pilots are needed, (up from 637,000 estimated in 2017) over the next 20 years. This is over a 5-fold increase of the 150,000 airline pilots flying today and a timely market entry for the high-tech eFlyer trainer. To meet this pilot training demand, it is estimated that 66,000 training aircraft are needed over this 20-year time period. In addition, we estimate 9,000 of the existing fleet of 15,000 flight trainers will be replaced due to cost and age-related issues leaving a net of 60,000 new training aircraft to meet the Boeing estimated global demand of new pilots. Of this total, the eFlyer target market is 20,000 units ($7.2B potential market) over 20 years.
The existing 230,000-unit General Aviation fleet is ripe for replacement. The majority of these aircraft were manufactured between 1960 and 1983 when production averaged over 10,000 units per year. Sales slumped in the early 1980’s due to rising fuel cost and high interest rates. According to the FAA and GAMA, there were 10,800 two-seat trainers in use, with an average 48-years old over 10 years ago in 2008. These old aircraft are difficult and costly to maintain, burn expensive leaded avgas producing CO2, and are nearing obsolescence.