Delta Air Lines paid out $1.1 billion in profit sharing bonuses to employees on Wednesday, which it called a record for any company.
Atlanta-based Delta makes the payouts every year on Valentine’s Day to its employees, and paid out a similar total last year.
This year, it amounts to an average bonus of about 10 percent of a Delta employee’s annual pay. It’s the fourth year in a row the company has paid out more than $1 billion in profit sharing, which Delta CEO Ed Bastian said “no company in history has ever achieved.”
In Atlanta, where the airline has its largest hub and its headquarters, Delta is paying out about $378 million to about 33,400 employees.
Bastian called profit sharing day — when the company holds employee parties at its offices and airport locations around the world — “the best day to be at Delta Air Lines.”
Anthony Segreto, a business analyst who works at Delta’s headquarters, said “you see people from Atlanta to Dallas to Tokyo rallying around it.”
To Segreto, “It’s extra money in the bank” for savings and 401(k) investment, he said.
Bastian said as a result of new federal tax cuts, Delta employees overall will see $50 million more from their profit sharing checks than they would otherwise, due to less taxes withheld. “The tax plan has already taken effect here locally,” Bastian said.
The company reported nearly $3.6 billion in net income for 2017, a year Bastian called “very eventful.”
Delta’s pre-tax income, on which profit sharing is based, declined by $621 million in 2017. Yet employees are still getting roughly the same total payout for profit sharing.
A key reason for that is Delta last year said it would boost the rate of profit sharing for all employees to match the rate its pilots get. Pilots are the only major unionized employee group at Delta.
Delta also gave flight attendants and ground workers 6 percent raises in April 2017.
On Wednesday outside the Delta Flight Museum at the company’s headquarters, Bastian spoke to employees before the unveiling of a massive 46-foot-by-28-foot puzzle made from the hull of one of the Boeing 747 jets Delta retired to the Arizona desert last year.
Each of the company’s 80,000 employees will get a puzzle piece.
MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.
AJC Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi keeps you updated on the latest news about Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta Air Lines and the airline industry in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:
- After mauling, Delta tightens emotional support animal restrictions
- Lawsuit accuses Delta of discrimination in restroom run bumping
- In wake of outage, Hartsfield-Jackson aims to boost backup power
Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to myAJC.com.