Passenger Airline Employment Up Three Percent Over This Time Last Year
 
  
 
 
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Passenger Airline Employment Up Three Percent Over This Time Last Year
 
 

August 21, 2015 - U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 3.0 percent more workers in June 2015 than in June 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported on Thursday.

June was the 19th consecutive month that full-time equivalent (FTE) employment for U.S. scheduled passenger airlines exceeded the same month of the previous year and was the highest monthly total since September 2008.

Month-to-month, the number of FTEs rose 0.3 percent from May to June, the sixth consecutive monthly increase. Scheduled passenger airline categories include network, low-cost, regional and other airlines. Historical employment data can be found on the BTS web site.

 
The five network airlines that collectively employ two-thirds of the scheduled passenger airline FTEs reported 3.1 percent more FTEs in June 2015 than in June 2014. Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and US Airways increased FTEs from June 2014 while United Airlines reduced FTEs.

Month-to-month, the number of network airline FTEs rose 0.4 percent from May to June, rising for the ninth consecutive month. Network airlines operate a significant portion of their flights using at least one hub where connections are made for flights to down-line destinations or spoke cities.

The six low-cost carriers reported 4.9 percent more FTEs in June 2015 than in June 2014. Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and Virgin America reported increases while Frontier Airlines reduced FTEs. Month-to-month, the number of low-cost airline FTEs rose 0.6 percent from May to June, rising for the third consecutive month. Low-cost airlines operate under a low-cost business model, with infrastructure and aircraft operating costs below the overall industry average.

 

 

The 12 regional carriers reported 0.1 percent more FTEs in June 2015 than in June 2014. Nine regional airlines – PSA Airlines, Shuttle America, Mesa Airlines, Compass Airlines, Horizon Air, Republic Airlines, GoJet Airlines, SkyWest and Envoy – reported increased employment levels. The others reported decreases. Month-to-month, the number of regional airline FTEs declined 0.2 percent from May to June. 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 66.9 percent of the 396,973 FTEs employed by all scheduled passenger airlines in June, the six low-cost carriers employed 18.8 percent and the 12 regional carriers employed 12.7 percent (Table 4). The three airlines with the most FTEs in June – United, Delta and American – employed 55.8 percent of the month’s total passenger airline FTEs.

Top Employers by Group: Delta employed the most FTEs (79,130) in June among the network airlines, Southwest employed the most FTEs (47,645) among low-cost airlines, and Envoy employed the most FTEs (10,773) among regional airlines. Four of the top five employers in the industry are network airlines.

Airline Mergers: Airlines that announce mergers typically begin joint reporting following U.S. Department of Transportation approval and issuance of a single economic certificate. American and US Airways will begin reporting jointly with the report of July employment numbers. The airlines announced a merger in January 2013.

Network Airlines - The network airlines employed 3.1 percent more FTEs in June 2015 than in June 2014 and 1.3 percent more FTEs in June 2015 than in June 2011.

Low-Cost Airlines - The six low-cost airlines employed 4.9 percent more FTEs in June 2015 than in June 2014 and 10.9 percent more FTEs in June 2015 than in June 2011.

Regional Airlines - Regional airlines employed 0.1 percent more FTEs in June 2015 than in June 2014.  The 12 regional carriers reporting in June 2015 employed 4.9 percent fewer FTEs in June 2015 than the 17 carriers reporting in June 2011.

Airlines that operate at least one aircraft that has more than 60 seats or the capacity to carry a payload of passengers, cargo and fuel weighing more than 18,000 pounds must report monthly employment statistics. The “Other Carrier” category generally reflects those airlines that operate within specific niche markets such as the Hawaiian Islands served by Hawaiian Airlines and Island Air Hawaii. Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers as of Aug. 12. Additional airline employment data and previous press releases can be found on the BTS website. BTS has scheduled release of July passenger airline employment data for Sept. 14.

 
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