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BTS: US scheduled passenger airlines’ employment up 3.7 percent

BTS: US scheduled passenger airlines’ employment up 3.7 percent

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 3.7 percent more workers in November 2016 than in November 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today. November was the highest monthly FTE total (416,046) since January 2005 (417,789) and was the 37th consecutive month that U.S. scheduled passenger airline full-time equivalent (FTE) employment exceeded the same month of the previous year.

Month-to-month, the number of FTEs was virtually unchanged from October to November. Scheduled passenger airline categories include network, low-cost, regional and other airlines.

The four network airlines that collectively employ two-thirds of the scheduled passenger airline FTEs reported 2.3 percent more FTEs in November 2016 than in November 2015. Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines increased FTEs from November 2015. Month-to-month, the number of network airline FTEs declined 0.2 percent from October to November.

The network airlines employed 6.3 percent more FTEs in November 2016 than in November 2012. 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 9.8 percent more FTEs in November 2016 than in November 2015. Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Virgin America and Southwest Airlines increased FTEs from November 2015. Month-to-month, the number of low-cost airline FTEs rose 0.6 percent from October to November. The six low-cost airlines employed 23.0 percent more FTEs in November 2016 than in November 2012. Low-cost airlines operate under a low-cost business model, with infrastructure and aircraft operating costs below the overall industry average.

The 12 regional carriers reported 0.2 percent more FTEs in November 2016 than in November 2015. Nine regional airlines – Republic Airlines, Compass Airlines, Endeavor Air, PSA Airlines, Mesa Airlines, GoJet Airlines, SkyWest Airlines, Horizon Air and Envoy Air increased FTEs from November 2015. The others reported decreases. Month-to-month, the number of regional airline FTEs was virtually unchanged from October to November. The 12 regional carriers reporting in November 2016 employed 1.0 percent more FTE in November 2016 than the 14 carriers reporting in November 2012. Regional carriers typically provide service from small cities, using primarily regional jets to support the network carriers’ hub and spoke systems.

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