Airlines Report Employment Gains

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 1.9 percent more workers in June 2011 than they did in June 2010, according to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). This is the seventh consecutive increase in full-time equivalent employee (FTE) levels for the scheduled passenger carriers from the same month of the previous year.  FTE calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the June FTE total of 385,652 for the scheduled passenger carriers was 7,355 more than that of June 2010 and the highest employment number since July 2009. This seventh consecutive monthly increase in FTE levels for the scheduled passenger carriers from the same month of the previous year follows declines that began in July 2008, DOT says.

Of the network airlines, only Alaska Airlines and United Airlines decreased employment from June 2010 to June 2011, BTS says. Delta Air Lines reported 3.7 percent more FTEs in June 2011 than in June 2010, the largest increase among the network carriers. Continental Airlines, which now includes employees that formerly worked for Continental Micronesia, followed Delta with a 2.5 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.

All the low-cost carriers reported more FTEs in June 2011 than in June 2010 except for Allegiant Air, which reported a 4.1 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.

Among the regional carriers, ExpressJet Airlines, Mesa Airlines, Horizon Air, Mesaba Airlines, Comair and GoJet Airlines reported reduced employment levels compared to last year. 

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