Airlines still shedding employees

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed 2.9 percent fewer workers in Jan. 2010 than in Jan. 2009, the 19th consecutive decrease in full-time equivalent employee (FTE) levels for the scheduled passenger carriers from the same month of the previous year, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports.

BTS says that the January FTE total of 379,500 for the scheduled passenger carriers was 11,200 below that of Jan. 2009 and the lowest total for any January since 1990.

Five network airlines decreased employment from Jan. 2009 to Jan. 2010. Delta Air Lines, after completing its merger with Northwest Airlines, reported combined numbers for the first time in January.

Southwest Airlines was the only low-cost carrier to report a decrease from Jan. 2009. Regional carriers American Eagle Airlines, SkyWest Airlines, Comair, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Pinnacle Airlines, Horizon Air, Mesa Airlines, Air Wisconsin Airlines, Mesaba Airlines, PSA Airlines, GoJet and Colgan Airlines also reported reduced employment levels compared to last year.

Scheduled passenger airline categories include network, low-cost, regional and other airlines.

The seven network airlines employed 257,800 FTEs in January, 67.9 percent of the passenger airline total, while low-cost carriers employed 16.8 percent and regional carriers employed 13.8 percent.

Delta employed the most FTEs in January among the network airlines, Southwest employed the most FTEs among low-cost airlines, and American Eagle employed the most FTEs among regional airlines. Six of the top 10 employers in the industry are network airlines.

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