The move marks the sixth consecutive year that Delta has paid out more than $1 billion to its employees.

By Ashley Boucher / People.com
January 22, 2020
Mario Tama / Getty

What would you do with two months’ extra pay?

That’s the question that Delta employees are sure to be asking themselves after the airline announced it will be rewarding its workforce by paying out $1.6 billion in profit-sharing bonuses after a high-performing 2019, KTLA 5 reported Monday.

That massive figure breaks down to eligible employees receiving 16.6 percent of their annual salary, or around two months pay, the outlet reported. Employees will receive their checks on Valentine’s Day, the OC Register reported.

The move marks the sixth consecutive year that Delta has paid out more than $1 billion to its employees, a Delta spokesperson told KTLA. The company’s profit-sharing program started in 2012 after the airline merged with Northwest. Last year, it paid out $1.3 billion, and in 2018 and 2017, it paid out $1.1 billion, according to the OC Register.

In response to the report from the OC Register about the payout, Delta CEO Ed Bastian wrote on LinkedIn, “Delta would be nothing without our 90,000 people. They deserve all the credit.”

In 2019, Delta earned $4.8 billion, CNN reported, a figure 21 percent higher than the previous year.

One reason for the airline’s success, CNN said, is because it does not use the Boeing 737 Max in its fleet — in fact, it is the only major airline in the United States that does not fly the planes, which were grounded in March of last year after two separate crashes that killed 346 people.

While Delta’s competitors had to adjust schedules because of the absence of Boeing 737 Max planes, Delta was able to benefit.

“We’ve clearly been a beneficiary, and as long as the Max stays out of the sky, I guess, we’ll continue to be one,” Bastian said during a conference call with investors, according to CNN.

Bastian is expecting another year of growth for the company, which is reportedly expected to hire between 6,000 and 7,000 new employees this year.

“As we enter 2020, demand for travel is healthy and our brand preference is growing, positioning Delta to deliver another year of strong results,” he said, per CNN.

Delta did not immediately respond to People’s request for comment.

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