page contents

BTS: US passenger airline employment up 4.3%

BTS: US passenger airline employment up 4.3%

US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics releases August 2016 passenger airline employment data

US scheduled passenger airlines employed 4.3 percent more workers in August 2016 than in August 2015, the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today.

August was the highest monthly total (414,242) since July 2008 and was the 34th 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 rose 0.1 percent from July to August (Table 1A). 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 2.5 percent more FTEs in August 2016 than in August 2015. United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines increased FTEs from August 2015. Month-to-month, the number of network airline FTEs rose 0.1 percent from July to August.

The network airlines employed 4.8 percent more FTEs in August 2016 than in August 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 11.0 percent more FTEs in August 2016 than in August 2015. Allegiant Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Virgin America and JetBlue Airways increased FTEs from August 2015. Month-to-month, the number of low-cost airline FTEs rose 0.4 percent from July to August. The six low-cost airlines employed 19.8 percent more FTEs in August 2016 than in August 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 3.3 percent more FTEs in August 2016 than in August 2015. Nine regional airlines – Republic Airlines, Compass Airlines, Mesa Airlines, PSA Airlines, Envoy Air, Endeavor Air, SkyWest Airlines, GoJet Airlines and Horizon Air – increased FTEs from August 2015. The others reported decreases. Month-to-month, the number of regional airline FTEs fell 0.1 percent from July to August. The 12 regional carriers reporting in August 2016 employed 2.2 percent fewer FTEs in August 2016 than the 15 carriers reporting in August 2012. Regional carriers typically provide service from small cities, using primarily regional jets to support the network carriers’ hub and spoke systems.

Tagged with
%d bloggers like this: