Among the 16 regional carriers, seven carriers reported
reduced employment levels in November compared to last
year: ExpressJet Airlines, Mesa Airlines, Horizon
Airlines, Pinnacle Airlines, SkyWest Airlines, Air
Wisconsin and Executive Airlines. The total number of
FTEs reported by Pinnacle which recently merged with
Mesaba Airlines – was 15.7 percent fewer than the total
number of FTEs reported individually by the two airlines
prior to the merger. Colgan Airlines, which ceased
flight operations after September 2012, reported one FTE
in November. 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 November, the six
low-cost carriers employed 18.2 percent and the 16
regional carriers employed 13.1 percent. The three
airlines with the most FTEs in November United, Delta
and American employed 56.9 percent of the total
passenger airline FTEs.
Top employers by group: The newly-merged United employed
the most FTEs (82,381) in November among the network
airlines, Southwest employed the most FTEs (45,953)
among low-cost airlines, and American Eagle Airlines
employed the most FTEs (10,616) among regional airlines.
Four of the top five employers in the industry are
Recent Trend: The network airlines employed 6,293 fewer
FTEs in November 2012 than in November 2011. Only two of
the five network carriers increased FTEs from November
2011 to November 2012.
Five-Year Trend: The network airlines employed 8,391
fewer FTEs in November 2012 than in November 2008, a 3.2
percent decrease. American reported the biggest
percentage decline in FTE employment from 2008 to 2012,
12.4 percent, followed by Alaska Airlines, down 4.4
percent. November 2008 and November 2012 numbers for
United and Delta are not directly comparable because of
the intervening mergers. United reported 1.3 percent
more FTEs in November 2012 than United and Continental
reported separately in November 2008; Delta reported 0.6
percent more FTEs in November 2012 than Delta and
Northwest reported separately in November 2008.
Recent Trend: The six low-cost airlines’ FTEs were up
1.4 percent in November 2012 from November 2011. All
low-cost airlines except Frontier reported year-to-year
Five-Year Trend: The six low-cost carriers reporting
employment data in both 2008 and 2012 employed 10.8
percent more FTEs in November 2012 than in November
Virgin America reported the largest percentage increase
(90.9 percent), while Frontier reported a decline.
November 2012 numbers for Southwest are not directly
comparable to 2008 because of the intervening merger.
Southwest reported 6.9 percent more FTEs in November
2012 than Southwest and AirTran reported separately in
Recent Trend: Regional airlines reported a 5.4 percent
decrease in FTE employment in November 2012 compared to
November 2011. GoJet Airlines and Shuttle America report
the largest percentage increases in FTEs from November
2011 to November 2012 among airlines not involved in
mergers. Executive and Pinnacle reported the largest
percentage decreases. Atlantic Southeast Airlines and
ExpressJet Airlines reported separately in November
2011, as did Pinnacle and Mesaba, while their reports
were combined in November 2012 as a result of mergers.
Five-Year Trend: The 13 regional carriers reporting
employment data in both November 2008 and November 2012
employed 12.8 percent fewer FTEs in 2012 than in 2008.
For airlines not involved in mergers, Mesa reported the
largest percentage decline followed by Executive. The
Pinnacle/Mesaba combination reported 33.9 percent fewer
FTE’s in November 2012 than the two airlines reported
separately in November 2008.
GoJet reported the biggest four-year percentage
gain. Effective with January 2011 reporting, Republic
Airline’s employment numbers include FTEs from Midwest
Airlines. Midwest employment data were formerly included
in the "Other Airlines" category.
Airlines that operate at least one aircraft with the
capacity to carry combined passengers, cargo and fuel of
18,000 pounds the payload factor must report monthly
“Other Carrier” category generally reflects those
airlines that operate within specific niche markets such
as Hawaiian Airlines serving the Hawaiian Islands.