Carrier Groups: The five network airlines employed 67.3
percent of the total number of FTEs employed by all
scheduled passenger airlines in August, 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 August – United, Delta and American –
employed 56.6 percent of the month’s total passenger
airline FTEs. These three airlines carried 40.6 percent
of total passengers traveling on U.S. airlines in
August, the most recent month available.
Top employers by group: United employed the most FTEs
(82,082) in August among the network airlines, Southwest
employed the most FTEs (45,000) among low-cost airlines,
and American Eagle Airlines employed the most FTEs
(11,138) among regional airlines. Four of the top five
employers in the industry are network airlines.
Recent Changes: The network airlines employed 6,628
fewer FTEs in August 2013 than in August 2012, a 2.5
percent decrease. Three of the five network carriers
reported an FTE increase from August 2012 to August
Five-Year Changes: The network airlines employed 2,769
fewer FTEs in August 2013 than in August 2009, a 1.1
percent decrease. American reported the only percentage
decline in FTE employment from 2009 to 2013, 12.8
percent. US Airways reported an increase of 1.8 percent.
August 2009 and August 2013 numbers for United and Delta
are not directly comparable because of the intervening
mergers. United reported 3.3 percent more FTEs in August
2013 than United and Continental reported separately in
August 2009. Delta reported 3.7 percent more FTEs in
August 2013 than Delta and Northwest reported separately
in August 2009.
Recent Changes: The six low-cost airlines reported
virtually no change as a group in FTEs from August 2012
to August 2013. Frontier, Southwest and Virgin America
reported year-to-year decreases while the remaining
three airlines reported increases.
Five-Year Changes: The low-cost carriers employed 6,588
more FTEs in August 2013 than in August 2009, a 10.5
percent increase. Spirit reported the largest percentage
increase, 19.9 percent, while Frontier reported a 12.5
percent decline. August 2013 numbers for Southwest are
not directly comparable to 2009 because of the
intervening merger. Southwest reported 5.4 percent more
FTEs in August 2013 than Southwest and AirTran reported
separately in August 2009.
Recent Changes: Regional airlines reported a 5.1 percent
decrease in FTE employment in August 2013 compared to
August 2012; three regional airlines discontinued
service since a year ago. Republic Airlines and American
Eagle reported the largest percentage increases in FTEs
from August 2012 to August 2013. Endeavor and Chautauqua
reported the largest percentage decreases.
Five-Year Changes: The 13 regional carriers operating in
August employed 12.1 percent fewer FTEs in 2013 than the
18 carriers operating in August 2009.
Endeavor reported the largest percentage decline
followed by Mesa. The ExpressJet/Atlantic Southeast
combination reported 1.7 percent more FTE’s in August
2013 as the two airlines reported separately in August
reported the biggest four-year percentage gain.
Endeavor operated as Pinnacle prior to August 2013.
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 Hawaiian Airlines and Island
Air Hawaii serving the Hawaiian Islands.