U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 381,819 workers in January 2014, 0.5 percent more than in January 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today. January was the second consecutive month that full-time equivalent (FTE) employment for U.S. scheduled passenger carriers was higher than the same month of the previous year after 15 months of declines.
The January 2014 FTE total for scheduled passenger carriers was 1,777 more than in January 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 0.4 percent more FTEs in January 2014 than in January 2013, the second month with more FTEs than the same month of the previous year for the group after 16 months of declines. US Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines increased FTEs from January 2013 while United Airlines reduced FTEs. Network airlines operate a significant portion of 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 January 2013 while two - Frontier Airlines, 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, five carriers reported reduced employment levels in January compared to the previous year: Endeavor Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines, Shuttle America, American Eagle Airlines and Air Wisconsin. Regional carriers typically provide service from small cities, using primarily regional jets to support the network carriers’ hub and spoke systems.