Delta Air Lines paid out $1.1 billion in profit sharing Tuesday, holding profit sharing celebrations at locations in Atlanta and across the company.
The payouts amount to 10.3 percent of employees’ eligible annual pay, according to the company.
That’s less than Delta’s record profit sharing payout last year of $1.5 billion, or 21.4 percent of pay. Delta’s 2016 profit of nearly $4.4 billion declined from the previous year as the carrier faces pressure from high fuel costs and pay increases to pilots and other employees.
“The fact that the payout may be a little less does not diminish the spirit.” said Delta vice president of reservation sales and customer care Charisse Evans. “We have so many employees that remember when we were going through hard times.”
At the company’s baseball-themed celebration at its Atlanta reservations center, where about 1,000 Delta employees work, Evans spoke to employees about the progress Delta has made since its financial struggles and bankruptcy a decade ago.
Back then, “we were just celebrating the fact that the airline’s doors were still open,” Evans said. “We have come a long way.”
Renata Rueda, who works in social media for Delta as a digital engagement specialist in Portuguese and Spanish, said she plans to save some of the money and take a trip to Tulum, Mexico this weekend.
“Some people look forward to it because it’s a big help for their families,” said Roger Suarez, a reservations manager. “Hopefully we’ll keep doing well.”