How Many Airline Employees Does It Take To Keep An Airplane Flying?

American Eagle – 7.6 employees per airplane

LIAT – 53.75 employees per airplane !!!!!

I know there are issues with economy of scale and such… but that’s absurd!

The Nation News: No Change, No Cash


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Business

10 responses to “How Many Airline Employees Does It Take To Keep An Airplane Flying?

  1. Pingback: » How Many Airline Employees Does It Take To Keep An Airplane Flying?

  2. Bajanboy

    To be fair, AE probably outsources all its ground handling requirements, while LIAT keeps these in house.

  3. Adrian Loveridge


    American Eagle and its partners probably do outsource a lot of their required services but they do it because it makes economic sense and saves money.
    Thats the difference.
    No Antiguan politician is going to allow LIAT to relocate to Barbados which is its logical base.

    Not only is the ratio of staff per aircraft MUCH lower but American Eagle operate larger aircraft.
    More capacity, more revenue, more profit.

    Senator Chastenet is absolutely right, but the difference is that he comes from a commercial world of reality.

    Check on our Minister of Tourism’s fiscal track record prior to becoming a Minister.

  4. Crusty

    It is valuable to seek other data on this point:

    ————- 1.

    State of the airlines

    By Bill Steigerwald
    Saturday, June 23, 2007

    Q: Is privatizing the Air Traffic Control system an important idea?

    A: I think it’s an important idea. If you look at the productivity increases in the U.S. airline industry, the average network airline has improved productivity from 20 to 35 percent. Even Southwest has improved productivity 20 percent. They went from 85 people per aircraft to a recent 67. United has gone from 160 people per aircraft down to 115 — about a 28 percent improvement in productivity.

    ————- 2.

    If such activities are contracted out, and comparable activities taken into account, then IA’s aircraft-employee ratio would come down to 1:192 which compares favourably with leading airlines such as Singapore (1:161), British Airways (1:178), KLM (1:220), Virgin Atlantic (1:282), Air Lanka (1:434), Thai Airways (1:321), Malaysian Airlines (1:321) and Air France (1:245).


  5. BFP

    Thanks Crusty,

    That’s what we love about blogs… wisdom of crowds and all that!

    I wonder how the ratios are changed by having so many bases. for instance if an airline only flies between a few bases vs. all over the world.


  6. Hants

    BFP have you noticed that the Nation news is publishing “a little more critical of the guvment.”

    Article today titled.

    COZIER ON CRICKET: Kensington lying idle

    Very interesting.


    BFP Comments

    Yes we have, Hants…

    But still nothing on the President of 3S being sued for fraud and secret kickbacks in relation to a Jamaican government project that looks a whole lot like our flyover project! 6 days now since Barbados Underground broke the story and published the court documents.

  7. Barbados truly needs an operating air carrier of its own. It is to our profound shame that Barbados does not have an air carrier to call its own like Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have. Barbados relying on Air Jamaica, Caribbean Airlines, and a host of other international carriers like American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, to air transport Barbadians and visitors into and out of Barbados, smacks of Barbados still being in a state of chronic dependency.

    Now, this is the real and substantial issue!! Not a false and fallacious argument about American Eagle having 7.6 employees per airplane and LIAT having 53.75 employees per airplane, being an issue. While we hold no brief for LIAT, it is absolutely preposterous to in that way attempt to compare LIAT with American Eagle, when in truth and in fact these two entities operate within different markets – one regional, the other international – and have entirely different cost, revenue, ownership structures and different strategic objectives to realize. Certainly, this attempted comparison has failed!!

    Moreover, for any persons to make it appear or believe that LIAT is so burdened with employees in this failed bid to compare LIAT with American Eagle, without actually stating what the employees of both entities do, and without actually stating the cost of purchasing or leasing planes (if any of them leases planes) and too the cost of maintaining the planes of both these airlines, in order for us to better strengthen our argument that there is really no comparison to be made between the two entities, is really for those persons to be caught up in the subjectivity and emotionalism of a deliberately contrived situation – A LIAT vs American Eagle Comparison.

    While it is true that LIAT must like almost every entity do more to reduce its operational, capital and debt cost, it cannot be denied that the financial and market situation that LIAT currently experiences is but a reflection of the wider adversities and turbulences in which so many regional entities are bound to find themselves in when looking at the lasting and destructive effects that the history of enslavement, colonialism, imperialism, racism, exploitation, patriarchy, and other relevant negatives, generally, have had on our region and its people functioning and development.

    That said Barbados must still NOT let these adversities prevent it from doing the things that are necessary to see it establish a viable and efficient air carrier of its own. Thus, under a PDC Government Barbados shall again establish its own air carrier, this time a viable and efficient one, by making sure that the cost of doing business and living in Barbados is substantially reduced to offset other likely disadvantages that such a carrier is likely to face when operating regional and internationally.

  8. Green Monkey

    More on PDC’s comment:

    “Barbados truly needs an operating air carrier of its own. It is to our profound shame that Barbados does not have an air carrier to call its own like Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have. “

    Well you know what they say, the quickest way to become a millionaire is to start out as a billionaire and buy an airline.

    I wonder which Bajan billi0naire will volunteer to become a new Bajan millionaire. Kiffin, Bizzy, COW wunnuh up fuh dis?

    Oh dear, just as I feared, no volunteers – looks like the government (i.e. Bajan taxpayer) will have to fund the start up of the new “Air Barbados.” However, with the revenues from our new found off-shore oil wells rolling in faster than we can spend them, its not like money or finances would be any constraint. There’ll be lots of gravy to go around, I am sure, especially in commissions to politicians and their friends and hangers on who “facilitate” the purchase of the new aircraft required for the Air Barbados fleet.

  9. Rumplestilskin

    As I have posted before, our own airline would be impossible from a commercial standpoint. We would broke (r) in no time.

    The only two alternatives are an agreement with larger companies to run small airlines in the islands, then we are open to their pricing and scheduling.

    The better alternative is just that for air travellers, together with an inter-island ferry system, which would be affordable to the island Governments. Possibly with six or eight large and efficient ferries.

    Although our waters may be rough, can the run it be rougher than the waters where the French-English Channel runs?

    Ferries will be slower for us ‘leisure’ travellers, but at least affordable, and who needs to get to Antigua in a half hour, other than a businesman or someone else on an urgent trip and that is what the airlines will be for.

    Even a ‘local’ businesman can use the ferries, with laptops and cellphones he/ she can work on the way there.

    Those who do not like it can spend the money and use the airline.

  10. Straight talk

    The logical solution, Rump.

    Hoverspeed have just retired their fleet of Cross Channel hovercraft, any entrepreneurs listening?