In all, American has expanded its work pressure by 12,000 workers, or 10 p.c, since final summer season. Delta mentioned final week that it had added about 15,000 staff since the begin of final 12 months. United has employed 6,000 this 12 months.
But as of February, none of the main carriers had returned to prepandemic employment ranges, in accordance to federal knowledge. Industrywide, airways employed greater than 739,000 part-time or full-time staff in February, down about 2 p.c from the similar month in 2020. And airways could battle to employees up additional.
“It’s a competitive market out there,” mentioned Peter McNally, a vice chairman who oversees analysis on the industrials, supplies and power industries at Third Bridge, a consulting agency. “The airlines are forced to compete in a broader economy.”
Airlines face different challenges, too, together with rising fuel prices.
American expects gas costs in the second quarter to be about 30 p.c larger than in the first, whereas United and Delta have mentioned costs might rise as a lot as 20 p.c. Last week, the worth of jet gas in North America was 20 p.c larger than it was a month earlier and up 141 p.c from a 12 months in the past, according to the Platts Jet Fuel Price Index.
Despite the challenges, the trade stays broadly optimistic, largely as a result of skyrocketing fares don’t appear to have curbed the urge for food for journey.
For the second quarter of this 12 months, American expects income to be about 6 to 8 p.c larger than in the similar quarter of 2019 — regardless that it expects capability to be down 6 to 8 p.c from the 2019 quarter.
Airlines say clients aren’t simply keen to pay larger fares — many are additionally shelling out much more cash for premium upgrades like seats with extra legroom.