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Super cheap Spirit Airlines had the biggest hiring hike of all U.S. carriers over the last year, while three of the five network U.S. airlines cut jobs year-over-year.
The Benefits of Having Budget Airlines
Budget airlines increased their full-time staff the most year-over-year.
The staff changes are somewhat proportional to the airlines’ profits.
Budget airlines keep airfares low by tacking on fees for everything from carry-on luggage to cans of soda. Airlines that stick to this strategy the most are also consistently profitable and generating jobs.
The exception is Southwest Airlines, which cut 2 percent of its staff over the last year despite being on track for its 42nd year of profitability. This is most likely due to its continual integration of AirTran Airways, which it acquired in 2011.
And as much as the extra costs irk flyers, they are bringing the aviation industry into one of its healthiest financial periods ever. North American carriers will generate $5.8 billion in net income this year.
The following chart outlines the change in full-time employees, which counts two part-time employees as one full-time employee, for U.S. airlines in October 2012 and October 2013.
|Rank||Airline||2012||2013||Percent Change (’12 to ’13)|
|8||Delta Air Lines||74,663||73,492||-1.6|
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics