BTS Releases February Passenger Airline Employment Data

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 381,985 workers in February 2014, 0.4 percent more than in February 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today. February was the third consecutive month that full-time equivalent (FTE) employment for U.S. scheduled passenger carriers was higher than the same month of the previous year. 

The February 2014 FTE total for scheduled passenger carriers was 1,571 more than in February 2013. Scheduled passenger airline categories include network, low-cost, regional and other airlines.  

The five network airlines that collectively employ two-thirds of the scheduled passenger airline FTEs reported 0.1 percent more FTEs in February 2014 than in February 2013. US Airways, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines increased FTEs from February 2013 while United Airlines reduced FTEs. 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. 

Of the six low-cost carriers, four - Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, Virgin America and JetBlue Airways - reported an increase in FTEs from February 2013 while two - Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines - reported a decline. Low-cost airlines operate under a low-cost business model, with infrastructure and aircraft operating costs below the overall industry average. 

Among the 13 regional carriers, four carriers reported reduced employment levels in February compared to the previous year: Endeavor Airlines, American Eagle Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America. Regional carriers typically provide service from small cities, using primarily regional jets to support the network carriers’ hub and spoke systems. 

See Passenger Airline Employment press release for summary tables and additional data. Historical employment data can be found on the BTS web site.