More than a million pilots and maintenance personnel will need to be recruited by airlines over the next 20 years.

The forecast came from aircraft manufacturer Boeing which said that Asia would account for almost 40% of demand.

The US company estimated world demand for 466,650 pilots and 596,500 maintenance personnel from 2010 to 2029.

Within this, 180,600 pilots and 220,000 maintenance workers, including engineers and mechanics, would be needed in Asia, particularly in China.

North America will require 97,350 pilots and 137,000 maintenance personnel while Europe will need 94,800 pilots and 122,000 maintenance personnel, according to Boeing.

The world commercial aviation fleet is forecast to grow from 18,890 aircraft in 2009 to 36,300 in 2029, Boeing estimated.

“When you add up all the numbers you quickly understand the issues facing this industry,” Boeing’s chief customer officer for training and flight services Roei Ganzarski said.

“Our challenge is adapting our training to engage the future generation of people who will fly and maintain the more than 30,000 airplanes that will be delivered by 2029.”