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Employment continues to fall in US aviation

Employment continues to fall in US aviation

Aviation in the United States continued to witness a fall in employment levels during July, with 2.3 per cent fewer workers in the sector than a year ago.

According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) carriers had a total of 378,100 full-time employees in July, down 8,700 from the same month in 2009.

Five out of six United States-based network carriers shed staff, including American Airlines, United Airlines, Continental Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines.

Pictured: Delta Air Lines has bucked the trend

The exception was Delta Air Lines, which took on more employees when it acquired Northwest Airlines. The carrier – presently the largest in the country in terms of staff – now employs 75,500 personnel, some 4,100 more than in June 2009.

Delta’s position as the largest carrier in the country is likely to be challenged in the near future, however, following shareholder approval for the merger of Continental and United Airlines.

While the number of in-flight airline employees – including pilots and flight attendants - is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the bulk of airline are not subject to federal minimums.

As airlines attempt to save money, services - including maintenance, reservations and ticket – are outsourced, reducing labour demands.

The government counts two part-time employees as one full-time worker in its calculations.



Earlier this week the International Air Transport Association (IATA) raised its expectations for the North American aviation sector.

The industry body now expects carriers in the region to make $3.5 billion in 2010, up from $1.9 billion in June this year.

US Airlines have cut capacity significantly as fuel prices spiked in 2008 and maintained a cautious approach to reinstating capacity to the market, the IATA said.