The News Still Looks Bad For Maintenance

June 29, 2006
For the 16th consecutive month, employment at the airlines is down.

So, the industry is in an upswing. Passenger levels are up. Revenue is up. Many airlines are predicting a profit for this quarter.

So why is employment information so dismal? The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported last week that for the 16th consecutive month, employment at the airlines was down from the same time last year. For April, employment was down 4.8 percent compared to April 2005. You can go to to read the full report.

16 months. That's a long time for consecutive employment reductions. What's even worse is that the numbers are now tracking against last year’s months that were down to begin with.

Come to think of it, at the rate the airlines are going, they will eventually stop the employee reduction only because there will be no more employees to get rid of.

You can almost hear the rumbling. It is the rumbling of a storm that has been building in the airline industry. But that rumbling being heard at airports across the country isn't thunder -- it's the line of toolboxes rolling out the hangar.

How can this negative trend continue? The airlines have already slashed mechanics jobs to the bone. If they continue to reduce their workforces, their hangars will be empty in a few years.

And empty hangars can’t fix airplanes.

What are your thoughts?