WASHINGTON, DC – US scheduled passenger airlines employed 388,983 workers in February 2015, 1.8 percent more than in February 2014, the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today. February was the 15th consecutive month that full-time equivalent (FTE) employment for US scheduled passenger airlines exceeded the same month of the previous year and was the highest monthly total since August 2012.
Month-to-month, the number of FTEs rose 0.6 percent from January to February, following a one-month decline (Table 1A). 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 1.4 percent more FTEs in February 2015 than in February 2014. Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and US Airways increased FTEs from February 2014 while United Airlines reduced FTEs. Month-to-month, the number of network airline FTEs rose 0.5 percent from January to February, rising for the fifth consecutive month. 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 4.6 percent more FTEs in February 2015 than in February 2014. Allegiant Airlines, Spirit Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Virgin America and Frontier Airlines – all reported increases. Month-to-month, the number of low-cost airline FTEs rose 0.6 percent from January to February, rising for the second consecutive month. 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 0.3 percent fewer FTEs in February 2015 than in February 2014. Six regional airlines – PSA Airlines, Mesa Airlines, Republic Airlines, Compass Airlines, Horizon Air and GoJet Airlines– reported increased employment levels. The others reported decreases. Month-to-month, the number of regional airline FTEs rose 1.7 percent from January to February, following two consecutive monthly declines. Regional carriers typically provide service from small cities, using primarily regional jets to support the network carriers’ hub and spoke systems.