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January 2018 U.S. Passenger Airline Employment Data

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 3.2 percent more workers in January 2018 than in January 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today. January was the highest monthly full-time equivalent (FTE) employment total (431,308 FTEs) since December 2004 (436,909 FTE) and was the 51st consecutive month that U.S. scheduled passenger airline FTEs exceeded the same month of the previous year (Tables 1, 2, 3).

Scheduled Passenger Airline Full-Time Equivalent Employees, Month of January, 1990-2018

January FTEs in thousands (000)
Graph - Scheduled Passenger Airline Full-Time Equivalent Employees, Month of January, 1990-2018  January FTEs in thousands (000)Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Notes: 

FTE calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.

Month-to-month, the number of FTEs rose 0.2 percent from December to January (Table 1A). The scheduled passenger airlines employed 13.0 percent more FTEs in January 2018 than in January 2014, an increase of 49,489 FTEs (Table 3). Scheduled passenger airline categories include network, low-cost, regional and other airlines. Historical employment data can be found on the BTS web site.

The four network airlines that collectively employ 65.2 percent of the scheduled passenger airline FTEs reported 3.2 percent more FTEs in January 2018 than in January 2017, an increase of 8,731 FTEs (Tables 7, 8, 9). Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines increased FTEs from January 2017. Month-to-month, the number of network airline FTEs rose 1.1 percent from December to January (Table 1A).

The network airlines employed 10.0 percent more FTEs in January 2018 than in January 2014, an increase of 25,620 FTEs (Tables 8, 9). 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 2.6 percent more FTEs in January 2018 than in January 2017, an increase of 2,215 FTEs (Tables 10, 11, 12). Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines increased FTEs from January 2017 (Tables 12).

Month-to-month, the number of low-cost airline FTEs fell 2.7 percent from December to January (Table 1A). The six low-cost airlines employed 27.0 percent more FTEs in January 2018 than in January 2014, an increase of 18,809 FTEs (Tables 11, 12). Low-cost airlines operate under a low-cost business model, with infrastructure and aircraft operating costs below the overall industry average.

The 11 regional carriers reported 4.6 percent more FTEs in January 2018 than in January 2017, an increase of 2,388 FTEs (Tables 13, 14, 15). Seven regional airlines – PSA Airlines, Envoy Air, SkyWest Airlines, Endeavor Air, Horizon Air, Mesa Airlines and Air Wisconsin increased FTEs from January 2017. ExpressJet Airlines, Compass Airlines, GoJet Airlines and Republic Airlines reported a decrease (Table 15). Month-to-month, the number of regional airline FTEs rose 0.3 percent from December to January (Table 1A). The 11 regional carriers reporting in January 2018 employed 6.7 percent more FTEs in January 2018 than the 15 carriers reporting in January 2014, an increase of 3,393 FTEs (Tables 14, 15). Regional carriers typically provide service from small cities, using primarily regional jets to support the network carriers’ hub and spoke systems.

Carrier Groups: The four network airlines employed 65.2 percent of the 431,308 FTEs employed by all scheduled passenger airlines in January, the six low-cost carriers employed 20.5 percent and the 11 regional carriers employed 12.5 percent (Table 4). In comparison, in January 2007, network airlines employed 64.9 percent, six low-cost carriers employed 17.8 percent and regional carriers employed 15.2 (Table5).

Top Employers by Group: American employed the most FTEs (100,832) in January among the network airlines, Southwest employed the most FTEs (56,527) among low-cost airlines, and Envoy employed the most FTEs (12,525) among regional airlines. The three airlines with the most FTEs in January – American, United and Delta – employed 61.4 percent of the month’s total passenger airline FTEs (Tables 3, 6).

Reporting Notes

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 the Hawaiian Islands served by Hawaiian Airlines.                             

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers as of March 5.  Additional airline employment data and previous press releases can be found on the BTS website.  BTS has scheduled release of February passenger airline employment data for April 19.

Table 1: Yearly Change in Scheduled Passenger Airline Full-time Equivalent Employees* by Airline Group, January 2018Most recent 13 months – percent change from same month of the previous year

           
  Network Airlines Low-Cost Airlines Regional Airlines Other Airlines All Passenger Airlines **
Jan 2016 – Jan 2017 2.3 9.7 1.8 12.7 3.9
Feb 2016 – Feb 2017 2.4 9.4 2.4 11.8 3.9
Mar 2016 – Mar 2017 2.7 9.1 2.0 11.7 4.0
Apr 2016 – Apr 2017 2.6 8.8 2.1 10.7 3.9
May 2016 – May 2017 2.4 8.3 2.5 9.8 3.7
Jun 2016 – Jun 2017 2.5 8.0 2.6 9.4 3.8
Jul 2016 – Jul 2017 2.3 7.3 2.7 8.5 3.5
Aug 2016 – Aug 2017 2.2 7.0 3.3 8.4 3.4
Sep 2016 – Sep 2017 2.1 6.8 4.3 6.7 3.4
Oct 2016 – Oct 2017 2.1 6.7 5.2 1.8 3.4
Nov 2016 – Nov 2017 2.0 6.5 5.4 0.9 3.3
Dec 2016 – Dec 2017 2.0 6.5 6.0 1.5 3.4
Jan 2017 – Jan 2018 3.2 2.6 4.6 1.8 3.2

Export Table DataNotes: See Table 2 for all passenger airlines, Table 7 for Network, Table 10 for Low-Cost and Table 13 for Regional.* Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.** Includes network, low-cost, regional and other carriers. Other Carriers generally operate within specific niche markets. They are: Hawaiian Airlines and Sun Country Airlines.Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 1A: Monthly Change in Scheduled Passenger Airline Full-time Equivalent Employees* by Airline Group, January 2018Percent change in FTEs from the previous month

           
  Network Airlines Low-Cost Airlines Regional Airlines Other Airlines All Passenger Airlines **
Jan 2017 – Feb 2017 0.4 0.9 0.4 0.6 0.5
Feb 2017 – Mar 2017 0.8 0.6 -0.3 0.6 0.6
Mar 2017 – Apr 2017 0.3 0.9 0.0 -0.1 0.3
Apr 2017 – May 2017 0.3 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.5
May 2017 – Jun 2017 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.4 0.5
Jun 2017 – Jul 2017 0.0 0.2 0.5 0.1 0.1
Jul 2017 – Aug 2017 -0.1 0.2 0.4 0.8 0.1
Aug 2017 – Sep 2017 -0.1 0.4 0.5 -0.1 0.1
Sep 2017 – Oct 2017 0.3 0.8 0.7 -3.8 0.4
Oct 2017 – Nov 2017 -0.2 0.3 0.2 0.5 -0.1
Nov 2017 – Dec 2017 0.1 0.0 0.5 1.1 0.2
Dec 2017 – Jan 2018 1.1 -2.7 0.3 0.8 0.2

Export Table DataNotes: * Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.** Includes network, low-cost, regional and other carriers. Other Carriers generally operate within specific niche markets. They are: Hawaiian Airlines and Sun Country Airlines.Note: See Table 2 for all passenger airlines, Table 7 for Network, Table 10 for Low-Cost and Table 13 for Regional. Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 2: Change from Previous Year in Scheduled Passenger Airline* Full-time Equivalent Employees**, January 2018Percent change compared to same month the previous year

         
Month 2015 2016 2017 2018
January 1.2 4.1 3.9 3.2 
February 1.8 3.8 3.9  
March 1.9 3.9 4.0  
April 2.4 3.6 3.9  
May 2.6 3.7 3.7  
June 3.0 3.9 3.8  
July 2.7 4.3 3.5  
August 3.3 4.3 3.4  
September 3.3 4.3 3.4  
October 4.0 4.0 3.4  
November 3.7 3.7 3.3  
December 3.9 3.7 3.4  

Export Table DataNotes: * Includes network, low-cost, regional and other carriers.** Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 3: Scheduled Passenger Airline Full-time Equivalent Employees* by Month 2014 – 2018, January 2018

               
  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percent Change  
            2014 – 2018 2017 – 2018
January 381,819  386,528  402,270  417,833  431,308  13.0  3.2 
February 381,985  388,976  403,917  419,762       
March 383,575  390,817  405,983  422,278       
April 384,265  393,439  407,763  423,747       
May 385,619  395,621  410,338  425,656       
June 385,243  396,973  412,333  427,818       
July 386,243  396,503  413,746  428,209       
August 384,478  397,007  414,242  428,455       
September 384,501  397,326  414,558  428,673       
October 384,700  399,928  415,979  430,232       
November 386,912  401,280  416,046  429,946       
December 386,222  401,440  416,337  430,607       
12-Month Average 384,630  395,487  411,126  426,101       

Export Table DataNotes: * Includes network, low-cost, regional and other carriers.** Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 4: Airline Group Full-time Equivalent Employees*, January 2014 – 2018

           
  Network Airlines Low-Cost Airlines Regional Airlines Other Airlines All Passenger Airlines**
2014 255,518  69,693  50,425  6,183  381,819 
2015 257,627  72,909  49,477  6,515  386,528 
2016 266,245  78,638  50,544  6,843  402,270 
2017 272,407  86,287  51,430  7,709  417,833 
2018 281,138  88,502  53,818  7,850  431,308 
Percent of Total Passenger Airline Employees in 2018 65.2  20.5  12.5  1.8  100.0 

Export Table DataNotes: 

* Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.
** Includes network, low-cost, regional and other carriers.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 5: Carrier Group Percent of Total Scheduled Passenger Airline FTEs, January 2018

         
Year Network Airlines Low-Cost Airlines Regional Airlines Other Airlines
2007 64.9 17.8 15.2 2.1
2013 66.9 18.3 13.3 1.5
2017 65.2 20.7 12.3 1.8
2018 65.2 20.5 12.5 1.8

Export Table DataNotes: * Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.** Includes network, low-cost, regional and other carriers. Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 6: Top 10 Airlines, January 2018Ranked by Number of Full-Time Equivalent Employees*

         
Rank Airline Total FTE Employees Carrier Group** Top 10 Airlines January 2017
1 American 100,832  Network American
2 United 82,364  Network United
3 Delta 81,487  Network Delta
4 Southwest 56,527  Low-cost Southwest
5 JetBlue 17,823  Low-cost JetBlue
6 Alaska 16,455  Network Alaska
7 Envoy 12,525  Regional Envoy
8 SkyWest 12,414  Regional Skywest
9 Spirit 6,677  Low-cost ExpressJet
10 Hawaiian 6,090  Other Spirit

Export Table DataNotes: * Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.** See Table 9 for Network, Table 12 for Low-Cost and Table 15 for Regional.Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 7: Network Airline Year-to-Year Change in Full-time Equivalent Employees* from the Previous Year, January 2018Percent change compared to same month of the previous year

         
  2015 2016 2017 2018
January 0.8 3.3 2.3 3.2 
February 1.4 3.2 2.4  
March 1.7 2.9 2.7  
April 2.4 2.4 2.6  
May 2.7 2.3 2.4  
June 3.1 2.3 2.5  
July 3.1 2.4 2.3  
August 3.7 2.5 2.2  
September 3.6 2.6 2.1  
October 3.6 2.7 2.1  
November 3.7 2.3 2.0  
December 3.5 2.4 2.0  

Export Table DataNotes: 

* Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 8: Network Airline Full-time Equivalent Employees* by Month 2014 – 2018, January 2018

               
  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percent Change  
            2014 – 2018 2017 – 2018
January 255,518  257,627  266,245  272,407  281,138  10.0  3.2 
February 255,158  258,796  266,987  273,365       
March 256,342  260,794  268,375  275,503       
April 256,732  262,905  269,169  276,225       
May 257,578  264,438  270,559  277,135       
June 257,491  265,486  271,503  278,390       
July 257,541  265,551  271,963  278,325       
August 256,095  265,567  272,112  278,158       
September 256,133  265,315  272,136  277,804       
October 256,409  265,704  272,787  278,565       
November 256,823  266,251  272,347  277,885       
December 257,251  266,136  272,614  278,176       
12-Month Average 256,589  263,714  270,566  276,828       

Export Table DataNotes: 

* Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 9: Network Airline Full-time Equivalent Employees*, January 2014 – 2018, January 2018 (FTEs for January of each year. Ranked by January 2018 FTEs)

                 
Rank Carrier 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percent Change  
              2014 – 2018 2017 – 2018
1 American (+ US) 91,260  93,013  97,509  99,490  100,832  10.5 1.3
  American 59,686  60,999  97,509  99,490  100,832  N/A  1.3
  US Airways 31,574  32,014  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A 
2 United 81,368  78,401  79,067  82,146  82,364  1.2 0.3
3 Delta 73,372  76,011  78,713  79,157  81,487  11.1 2.9
4 Alaska 9,518  10,202  10,956  11,614  16,455  72.9 41.7
  Total 255,518  257,627  266,245  272,407  281,138  10.0 3.2

Export Table DataNotes: 

* Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.
** American Airlines and US Airways merged and began reporting combined numbers in July 2015.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 10: Low-Cost Airline Year-to-Year Change in Full-time Equivalent Employees* from the Previous Year, January 2018Percent change compared to same month of the previous year

         
  2015 2016 2017 2018
January 4.6 7.9 9.7 2.6 
February 4.6 8.5 9.4  
March 3.9 9.6 9.1  
April 4.2 10.2 8.8  
May 4.3 10.7 8.3  
June 4.9 11.0 8.0  
July 5.2 11.3 7.3  
August 5.8 11.0 7.0  
September 6.6 10.6 6.8  
October 6.9 10.3 6.7  
November 6.5 9.8 6.5  
December 7.8 9.5 6.5  

Export Table DataNotes: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Source: 

* Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.

Table 11: Low-Cost Airline Full-time Equivalent Employees* by Month 2014 – 2018, January 2018

               
  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percent Change  
            2014 – 2018 2017 – 2018
January 69,693  72,909  78,638  86,287  88,502  27.0  2.6 
February 70,135  73,351  79,578  87,030       
March 70,384  73,163  80,202  87,532       
April 70,751  73,695  81,180  88,289       
May 71,095  74,167  82,070  88,859       
June 71,074  74,592  82,796  89,392       
July 71,272  74,999  83,481  89,576       
August 71,387  75,549  83,823  89,718       
September 71,428  76,176  84,284  90,038       
October 72,110  77,063  85,033  90,751       
November 73,014  77,783  85,439  91,015       
December 72,399  78,035  85,434  91,004       
12-Month Average 71,229  75,124  82,663  89,124       

Export Table DataNotes: 

* Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 12: Low-Cost Airline Full-time Equivalent Employees*, January 2014 – 2018 (FTEs for January of each year. Ranked by January 2018 FTEs)

                 
Rank Carrier 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percent Change  
              2014 – 2018 2017 – 2018
1 Southwest 44,983  46,588  49,981  54,051  56,527  25.7 4.6
2 JetBlue 13,119  13,751  15,255  16,789  17,823  35.9 6.2
3 Spirit 3,604  4,033  4,808  5,642  6,677  85.3 18.3
4 Allegiant 2,080  2,397  2,894  3,429  3,749  80.2 9.3
5 Frontier 3,412  3,612  2,962  3,414  3,726  9.2 9.1
6 Virgin America 2,495  2,528  2,738  2,962  N/A  N/A  N/A 
  Total 69,693  72,909  78,638  86,287  88,502  27.0 2.6

Export Table DataNotes: 

* Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 13: Regional Airline Year-to-Year Change in Full-time Equivalent Employees* from the Previous Year, January 2018 Percent change compared to same month of the previous year

         
Month 2015 2016 2017 2018
January -1.9 2.2 1.8 4.6
February -0.3 0.2 2.4  
March -0.5 0.1 2.0  
April -0.4 0.1 2.1  
May -0.3 0.2 2.5  
June 0.1 0.9 2.6  
July -3.3 3.3 2.7  
August -2.7 3.3 3.3  
September -2.7 2.9 4.3  
October 1.4 0.3 5.2  
November -0.2 0.2 5.4  
December 0.9 0.2 6.0  

Export Table DataNotes: 

* Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 14: Regional Airline Full-time Equivalent Employees* by Month 2014 – 2018, January 2018

               
  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percent Change  
            2014 – 2018 2017 – 2018
January 50,425  49,477  50,544  51,430  53,818  6.7  4.6 
February 50,458  50,318  50,416  51,614       
March 50,623  50,361  50,424  51,442       
April 50,526  50,326  50,374  51,438       
May 50,633  50,469  50,554  51,803       
June 50,336  50,373  50,823  52,144       
July 51,107  49,403  51,021  52,408       
August 50,671  49,320  50,957  52,615       
September 50,574  49,231  50,677  52,871       
October 49,789  50,486  50,637  53,255       
November 50,605  50,522  50,625  53,346       
December 50,083  50,521  50,616  53,639       
12-Month Average 50,486  50,067  50,639  52,334       

Export Table DataNotes: 

* Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Table 15: Regional Airline Full-time Equivalent Employees*, January 2014 – 2018(FTEs for January of each year. Ranked by January 2018 FTEs)

Rank Airline 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percent Change  
Rank Airline 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percent Change  
              2014 – 2018  2017 – 2018 
1 Envoy 11,017  10,693  10,657  11,059  12,525  13.7 13.3
2 SkyWest 9,816  9,700  10,438  10,985  12,414  26.5 13.0
3 YX/S5/RP Combined# 5,886  5,904  5,410  5,516  5,425  -7.8 -1.6
  Republic 2,747  3,141  3,133  5,516  5,425  N/A  N/A 
  Shuttle America 1,977  2,763  2,277  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A 
  Chautauqua 1,162  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A 
4 Endeavor 3,911  3,383  3,321  3,811  4,246  8.6 11.4
5 ExpressJet 9,178  8,525  7,325  6,233  4,234  -53.9 -32.1
6 Horizon 2,795  2,881  3,277  3,287  3,591  28.5 9.2
7 PSA 1,166  1,799  2,496  2,815  3,519  201.8 25.0
8 Mesa 1,817  2,272  2,828  3,074  3,231  77.8 5.1
9 Compass 1,196  1,294  1,715  1,934  1,884  57.5 -2.6
10 Air Wisconsin 2,512  1,914  1,840  1,401  1,466  -41.6 4.6
11 GoJet 1,131  1,112  1,237  1,315  1,283  13.4 -2.4
  Total 50,425  49,477  50,544  51,430  53,818  6.7 4.6

DataNotes: * Full-time Equivalent Employee (FTE) calculations count two part-time employees as one full-time employee.# Effective the end of December 2016, Republic and Shuttle America combined operations and Shuttle America ceased operating. Effective the end of December 2014, Shuttle America and Chautauqua Airlines combined operations and Chautauqua ceased operating.N/A: Carriers did not meet the standard for filing, was no longer operating, merged with another operating carrier or failed to file. Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Posted by on March 19, 2018.

Categories: Travel Industry News

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