After a turbulent 2019, Southwest is giving employees a big bonus

February 6, 2020, 4:37 PM UTC

While 2019 was, in many ways, a year Southwest Airlines would rather forget, the carrier is once again making it one to remember for its employees.

As part of its annual profit sharing tradition, Southwest will give its 60,000 employees a $667 million bonus. That works out to more than six weeks pay for every eligible employee.

“Our Employees delivered outstanding results despite a challenging year, and it’s a pleasure to reward our People for all they contribute to our continued success,” said Gary Kelly, chairman of the board and CEO of Southwest Airlines in a statement. “We recognize their resolve, persistence, resilience, and devotion to each other, our Customers, and our cause.”

The announcement follows a similar action by Delta Air Lines in January. The Atlanta-based carrier gave its workers $1.6 billion in profit sharing, the equivalent of roughly two months pay.

This marks the 46th consecutive year Southwest has given a profit sharing bonus to its workers. Over the past two decades, the carrier says, those payouts have topped $5 billion.

Southwest has been hard hit by the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Southwest has 34 Max planes in its fleet and had been scheduled to receive 41 more in 2019. Those have been grounded since last March.

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