BTS 52-15 Monday, November 23, 2015
Contact: Dave Smallen
Passenger Airline Employment Data – September 2015 – U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 3.3 percent more workers in September 2015 than in September 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today. September was the 22nd 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 0.1 percent from August to September, rising for the second consecutive month. Scheduled passenger airline categories include network, low-cost, regional and other airlines.
The four network airlines that collectively employ two-thirds of the scheduled passenger airline FTEs reported 3.6 percent more FTEs in September 2015 than in September 2014. Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines increased FTEs from September 2014 while United Airlines reduced FTEs. American Airlines, which has merged with US Airways, reported 5.7 percent more FTEs in September than American and US Airways reported separately in September 2014. July 2015 was the first month for which the two merged airlines submitted a combined report. Month-to-month, the number of network airline FTEs was down 0.1 percent from August to September. 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 6.5 percent more FTEs in September 2015 than in September 2014. Allegiant Airlines, Spirit Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Virgin America and Southwest Airlines reported increases while Frontier Airlines reduced FTEs. Month-to-month, the number of low-cost airline FTEs rose 0.7 percent from August to September, rising for the sixth 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 2.7 percent fewer FTEs in September 2015 than in September 2014. Seven regional airlines – PSA Airlines, Compass Airlines, Mesa Airlines, Horizon Air, GoJet Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Republic Airlines – reported increased employment levels. The others reported decreases. Month-to-month, the number of regional airline FTEs declined 0.2 percent from August to September, the fourth consecutive monthly decrease. Regional carriers typically provide service from small cities, using primarily regional jets to support the network carriers’ hub and spoke systems.