Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Continental Airlines Has The Most Stable Employment

Continental Airlines has about the most stable employment among the major U.S. carriers, according to numbers out Tuesday that show the industry eliminating jobs as fuel costs bite into earnings.

Staffing at the Cleveland-hubbed airline fell half a percent in August compared with a year earlier, the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported.

Among the seven biggest airlines, only Alaska Airlines had real employment growth -- of 1.9 percent, year to year. US Airways was up almost 58 percent, but the expansion came from its merger with American West Airlines. The rest of the network carriers cut payroll over the 12 months by 0.8 percent (American) to 2.8 percent (Delta).

Continental also was the only major carrier with the exception of the newly merged US Airways that increased employment between 2004 and 2008, gaining 1.9 percent. US Airways was up 24.8 percent.

Northwest Airlines employment plunged 24.7 percent, a reduction of 9,446 full-time workers, and Delta cut 18.4 percent. Other decreases came at United, down 14.9 percent; American, down 9.2 percent; and Alaska, down 1.7 percent.

AirTran Airways, flying out of Akron-Canton Airport, also reduced its work force for the year ending in August, by 2.2 percent. Two other low-cost carriers had gains -- Southwest, up 5 percent, and JetBlue, up 7.6 percent.

Continental, the world's fifth biggest airline, has a younger, more fuel-efficient fleet than most of its competitors. That provides a "natural hedge" against rising fuel costs, the company said in an investor call last week.

But the sputtering economy and the struggle to tame fuel expenses are taking a toll. Chairman and Chief Executive Larry Kellner said the airline was prepared to make more cuts if needed. Already, Continental has postponed delivery of two Boeing 777s and 16 Boeing narrow-body aircraft to 2010 and beyond.

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Nomadic Matt said...


I have a request I want to ask you. Where can I email you?

Andrew said...

Hey Matt,