U.S. Airline Total Number of Employees (both Full-Time and Part-Time)

U.S. airline industry (passenger and cargo airlines combined) employment increased to 796,203 workers in February 2024, 760 (0.10%) more workers than in January 2024 (795,554) and 42,821 (5.68%) more than in pre-pandemic February 2020 (753,382).

U.S. scheduled-service passenger airlines employed 537,488 workers in February 2024. Passenger airlines gained 1,261 employees in February 2024. Delta Air Lines led scheduled passenger carriers, adding 911 employees; Frontier Air Lines added 225, and United Air Lines added 218.

U.S. cargo airlines employed 254,227 workers in February 2024. Cargo carriers lost 261 employees in February. FedEx, the leading air cargo employer, decreased employment by 427 jobs.

Line chart showing total U.S. airline industry employment in February 2022 through February 2024

Scheduled passenger airlines gained 964 full-time equivalents in February 2024

U.S. Airline Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs)

BTS calculates FTEs by dividing the number of part-time employees by 2 and adding that figure to the number of full-time employees. The February 2024 industry-wide numbers include 683,984 full-time and 112,219 part-time workers for a total of 740,094 FTEs, an increase from January of 964 FTEs (0.13%). February 2024’s total number of FTEs remains 6.61% above pre-pandemic February 2020’s 694,210 FTEs.

The 26 U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reporting data for February 2024 employed 510,899 FTEs, 1,261 FTEs (0.25%) more than in January 2024. February 2024’s total number of scheduled passenger airline FTEs is 52,670 FTEs (11.50%) above pre-pandemic February 2020. Data by passenger carrier category can be found in the accompanying tables.

U.S. cargo airlines employed 224,825 FTEs in February 2024, down 261 FTEs (0.11%) from January 2024. U.S. cargo airlines have decreased FTEs by 6,917 (2.99%) since pre-pandemic February 2020.

Line chart showing employees at U.S. scheduled passenger airlines in month of February 1990-2024

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers as of April 12, 2024. Additional airline employment data and previous releases can be found on the BTS website. The month-to-month numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Passenger, cargo, and charter 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. Regulations require U.S. airlines to report employment numbers for employees who worked or received pay for any part of the pay period(s) ending nearest the 15th day of the month.

See the tables that accompany this release on the BTS website for detailed data (Tables 1-15) and industry summary monthly data since 1990. 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 February 2024.