Delta Air Lines is paying out $1.1 billion in profit sharing to its employees, including more than $392 million to its employees in metro Atlanta.
The Feb. 14 Delta profit sharing payout is smaller than the airline's $1.5 billion payout last year with $541 million going to local employees, but will still make a significant impact on the local economy in Atlanta and other cities where Delta has large hubs, according to the company.
Atlanta-based Delta had a profit of nearly $4.4 billion in 2016, down slightly from the $4.5 billion in net income it had in 2015 as the carrier faces pressures from higher fuel costs and pay increases to pilots and other employees.
Delta has nearly 32,000 employees in metro Atlanta, and says the economic impact of its profit-sharing payouts is an estimated $957 million, based on calculations by University of Georgia economist Jeff Humphreys. That includes the income that businesses like retailers and restaurants get from increased spending by Delta employees, and the effects of that income in turn being spent locally, and so on.
The profit sharing to be paid to Delta employees Feb. 14 supports nearly 4,000 jobs outside of Delta, according to Humphreys.
Over the past five years, Delta has paid out nearly $5 billion in profit sharing.
Delta employees are also getting a 6 percent raise in base pay in April.