Airlines Add Jobs in April

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 2.0 percent more workers in April 2011 than they did in April 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports. This is the fifth consecutive increase in full-time equivalent employee (FTE) levels for the scheduled passenger carriers from the same month of the previous year and the largest year-to-year increase since February 2008. FTE calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.

The April FTE total of 383,698 for the scheduled passenger carriers was 7,494 more than that of April 2010 and the highest employment number since August 2009). This fifth consecutive monthly increase in FTE levels for the scheduled passenger carriers from the same month of the previous year follows declines that began in mid-2008.

Two network airlines, Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, decreased employment from April 2010 to April 2011. Delta Air Lines reported 4.5 percent more FTEs in April 2011 than in April 2010. Continental Airlines, which now includes employees that formerly worked for Continental Micronesia, reported a 2.3 percent increase). Network airlines operate a significant portion of flights using at least one hub where connections are made for flights to down-line destinations or spoke cities, the DOT says.

All the low-cost carriers reported more FTEs in April 2011 than in April 2010 except for Allegiant Air, which reported a 0.6 percent decrease. The low-cost carriers with more reported FTEs are Virgin America Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines.

Regional carriers ExpressJet Airlines, Mesa Airlines, Horizon Air, Mesaba Airlines, Comair, and Compass Airlines reported reduced employment levels compared to last year.

Scheduled passenger airline categories include network, low-cost, regional and other airlines. The six network airlines employed 67.9 percent of the scheduled passenger airline total in April, the seven low-cost carriers employed 17.2 percent and the 18 regional carriers employed 13.7 percent.

Delta employed the most FTEs in April among the network airlines, Southwest employed the most FTEs among low-cost airlines, and American Eagle Airlines employed the most FTEs among regional airlines. Six of the top 10 employers in the industry are network airlines.

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