Delta Air Lines has retained its position as the largest employer in the airline industry, according to the latest Airline Business World Airline Rankings report.
The US carrier - which has held the crown since its 2008 merger with Northwest Airlines - had 78,392 staff on its payroll at the end of 2011, the latest date for which data is available for analysis. Delta's workforce peaked at 84,306 in 2008 but has declined each year since the merger was completed.
Number two in the latest ranking with 66,522 staff is American Airlines, which had been the largest airline employer in 2007 with 82,000. Air France is the leading European carrier with 58,065 employees as of end-2011.
Mainline carriers account for 85% of worldwide airline employees. Asia-Pacific-based airlines employ 31% of the total workforce, closely followed by North America with 29%.
South America, meanwhile, has experienced strong growth with an increase of 45% since 2007, from 74,928 employees to 108,878.
These are some of the findings available in the Airline Employment & Fleet Forecast 2013 special report. Produced by Flightglobal Insight, the report is now available for free download.