Among the currently operating 13 regional carriers,
seven carriers reported reduced employment levels in May
compared to the previous year: ExpressJet Airlines, Mesa
Airlines, Horizon Airlines, Pinnacle Airlines, Air
Wisconsin, Compass Airlines and PSA Airlines. Regional
carriers typically provide service from small cities,
using primarily regional jets to support the network
carriers’ hub and spoke systems.
Carrier Groups: The five network airlines employed 67.3
percent of the total number of FTEs employed by all
scheduled passenger airlines in June, the six low-cost
carriers employed 18.2 percent and the 13 regional
carriers employed 13.0 percent. The three airlines with
the most FTEs in June United, Delta and American
employed 56.7 percent of the month’s total passenger
airline FTEs. These three airlines carried 39.5 percent
of total passengers traveling on U.S. airlines in May,
the most recent month available.
Top employers by group: United employed the most FTEs
(82,498) in June among the network airlines, Southwest
employed the most FTEs (45,216) among low-cost airlines,
and American Eagle Airlines employed the most FTEs
(11,166) among regional airlines. Four of the top five
employers in the industry are network airlines.
Network Airlines Recent Trend - The network airlines
employed 7,511 fewer FTEs in June 2013 than in June
2012, a 2.8 percent decrease. Three of the five network
carriers reported an FTE decrease from June 2012 to June
Five-Year Trend - The network airlines employed 4,018
fewer FTEs in June 2013 than in June 2009, a 1.5 percent
decrease. American reported the biggest percentage
decline in FTE employment from 2009 to 2013, 13.3
percent, followed by US Airways, down 0.1 percent. June
2009 and June 2013 numbers for United and Delta are not
directly comparable because of the intervening mergers.
United reported 2.3 percent more FTEs in June 2013 than
United and Continental reported separately in June 2009;
Delta reported 4.5 percent more FTEs in June 2013 than
Delta and Northwest reported separately in June 2009.
Low-Cost Airlines Recent Trend - The six low-cost
airlines’ reported 0.6 percent fewer FTEs in June 2013
than in June 2012. Frontier, Virgin America and
Southwest reported year-to-year decreases while the
remaining three airlines reported increases.
Five-Year Trend - The low-cost carriers reported 9.6
percent more FTEs in June 2013 than in June 2009.
Spirit reported the largest percentage increase,
78.5 percent, while Frontier reported a 17.8 percent
decline. June 2013 numbers for Southwest are not
directly comparable to 2009 because of the intervening
merger. Southwest reported 4.0 percent more FTEs in June
2013 than Southwest and AirTran reported separately in
Regional Airlines Recent Trend - Regional airlines
reported a 4.4 percent decrease in FTE employment in
June 2013 compared to June 2012 with three regional
airlines having stopped service since a year ago.
Republic Airlines and GoJet Airlines reported the
largest percentage increases in FTEs from June 2012 to
June 2013 among airlines not involved in mergers.
Pinnacle and Horizon reported the largest percentage
Five-Year Trend - The 13 regional carriers operating in
June employed 12.6 percent fewer FTEs in 2013 than the
18 carriers operating in June 2009.
Pinnacle reported the largest percentage decline
followed by Mesa. The ExpressJet/Atlantic Southeast
combination reported 1.5 percent fewer FTE’s in June
2013 than the two airlines reported separately in June
2009. GoJet reported the biggest four-year percentage
Airlines that operate at least one aircraft with
capacity of more than 60 seats or the capacity to
carry combined passengers, cargo and fuel of more
than 18,000 pounds the payload factor must report
monthly employment statistics. The “Other Carrier”
category generally reflects those airlines that
operate within specific niche markets such as
Hawaiian Airlines serving the Hawaiian Islands.