Daily Archives: February 19, 2009

Airline Employment Continues To Fall

Airlines eliminated nearly 28,000 jobs in 2008, reports The Dallas Morning News off a report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

That’s 6.6 percent of the work force overall. This inevitably means less service — and the airlines have confirmed that with announcements of flight cutbacks — and probably also worse service.

And it’s not going to get better soon. Delta just announced it will cut at least another 2,100 jobs through voluntary buyouts.  (After handing out millions worth of stock to its executives, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.)

It makes you wonder how Southwest Airlines, which has never laid off a single employee, managed to increase its work force by 3.3 percent in 2008. Was it the fuel hedging? The company’s massive cash reserves? The strategy of not relying on inflated premium fares?

Yeah. Or you could just call it good management.

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Southwest Moving Into Logan

Southwest Airlines will start flying out of Boston’s Logan Airport in the fall.

Southwest already flies out of Providence, R.I., Manchester, N.H., and Bradley, where it has recently edged out Delta as the airline carrying the most passengers. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told the Boston Globe that aircraft will be shifted from unpopular routes elsewhere.

Here’s hoping Bradley doesn’t lose any more flights.

The Globe points out that wherever Southwest goes, lower fares usually follow. It also points out that last week Virgin America began direct service between Logan and both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

UPDATE: Excellent piece by Terry Maxon in the Dallas Morning News explaining how the Boston expansion marks the maturity of Southwest.