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 Find the latest Coronavirus-related transportation statistics on the BTS COVID-19 landing page.

United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

April Airline Industry Employment Down 1% from March

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Contact: Dave Smallen        
david.smallen@dot.gov

 

U.S. airlines employed 706,504 workers in April 2021, 6,531 fewer than in March 2021 (713,035) and 48,591 fewer than in March 2020 (755,095). 

The April industry numbers consist of 592,931 full-time and 113,573 part-time workers.

The largest March to April reductions among major airlines were American Airlines, down 2,410 employees, and SkyWest Airlines, down 2,329 employees.  From the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the largest employment reductions were Delta Air Lines, down 24,321 employees, and United Airlines, down 23,632 employees. From March 2020 to April 2021, Federal Express added 24,392 employees.

Regulations require airlines to report employment numbers to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for employees who worked or received pay for any part of the pay period(s) ending nearest the 15th day of the month. Numbers include all paid employees but do not include employees not being paid.

Total employment (full-time + part-time) by U.S. airlines (passenger + cargo carriers):

April 2020            718,385    
March 2021         713,035
April 2021            706,504

Major Airlines' Total Employees, March 2020 and April 2021
Includes Full-time and Part-time Employees

  20-Mar 21-Apr Change in Employees Percent Change
Alaska 17,912 16,631 -1,281 -7.2
Allegiant  4,487 4,195 -292 -6.5
American 109,108 98,893 -10,215 -9.4
Atlas  3,121 3,546 425 13.6
Delta 89,980 65,659 -24,321 -27
Envoy 16,781 15,447 -1,334 -7.9
Federal Express 245,010 269,402 24,392 10
Frontier 5,181 4,995 -186 -3.6
Hawaiian 7,492 5,729 -1,763 -23.5
JetBlue 21,546 18,851 -2,695 -12.5
Kalitta  2,013 2,290 277 13.8
Polar Air Cargo 226 246 20 8.8
Republic  6,519 5,499 -1,020 -15.6
SkyWest 20,544 17,448 -3,096 -15.1
Southwest 62,081 56,680 -5,401 -8.7
Spirit 9,213 8,872 -341 -3.7
United 91,563 67,931 -23,632 -25.8
United Parcel Service 6,279 6,539 260 4.1
Major Airline Total 719,056 668,853 -50,203 -7

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Airline Employment Data (P1a)
Major Carrier: Over $1 billion annual operating revenue


Additional individual airline numbers are available on the BTS airline employment web page. The web page provides full-time and part-time employment numbers by carrier by month from 1990 through April 2021.

Reports are from all U.S. airlines including scheduled passenger, charter and cargo that meet the reporting standard. Airlines that operate at least one aircraft that has more than 60 seats or the capacity to carry a payload of passengers, cargo and fuel weighing more than 18,000 pounds must report monthly employment statistics.

The next web update for full-time and part-time employment is scheduled for July 8. The BTS press release on full-time equivalent employment for scheduled passenger airlines through April, with historic comparisons and summary tables will be issued June 17.

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