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Delta Gave $1.6 Billion To Employees As A Bonus

Delta Air Lines is one of the most recognizable airline companies here in the United States, and their 2019 profits surely showed that. However, that success wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the tens of thousands of employees working around the country today to ensure that the commercial airline runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. 

To show their appreciation for the amazing employees working for Delta, regardless of what their title is, the airline company has decided to pay them a bonus using all of the profits they made this past year; which equates to about $1.6 billion split amongst 90,000 individuals. That would give every employee a 16.6% bonus of their annual salary, or two months worth of pay. 

The profit-sharing bonus plan has been implemented for Delta employees since 2012 when the airline merged with Northwest airlines. However, the profit payout this year is the largest it’s ever been, topping a six year consecutive increase in overall Delta profits; the company has distributed more than $1 billion amongst its employees for six years straight now. Compared to 2018, the profits are 23% higher, as well as the bonuses.

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The profit-sharing bonus is just one of the many perks that gives Delta notoriety amongst its employees. All workers, full-time and part-time regardless of unionization, receive the 16.6% bonus, as well as normal perks such as a standard 401K match and other bonus programs that change depending on department, according to a spokesperson for the company who spoke with CNN

Company officers, directors, general managers, and other higher-ups are paid their own bonuses based on performance, leaving more money left in the profits to be distributed among lower-level employees. Their treatment of employees and profit payout isn’t only good for Delta’s public image, but from a business perspective as well. 

“Research shows that cash profit-sharing plans, combined with a supportive corporate culture that encourages employees to offer suggestions and participate in solving company problems, can reduce turnover and improve corporate performance and personal motivation,”  said Joseph Blasi, director of the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at Rutgers University.

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The research has clearly been backed up by Delta, which is currently the most awarded airline in the United States; a major reason for that is the immense reports of employee satisfaction annually.  In general, Delta had one of its most successful years to date. Reports state that the airline earned $4.8 billion in 2019, which is 21% more than what they earned in 2018, and revenue rose up 6%, equating $47 billion.

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

Delta is expecting their first quarter to bring in a profit of 5-7% more than what was earned last year, and at the rate they’re currently moving, they most likely will achieve such. Typically, when an airline sees a comparative increase in profits from the year prior, it’s due to an increase in ticket pricing. For Delta in 2018, this was the case for their initial first quarter increase in profits compared to 2017; however, this year, executives are predicting an increase in profits as a result of increased passenger numbers.

Delta has proven that they are an airline passionate about overall employment satisfaction, customer experience, and airline quality, which is one of the reasons they are one of the top airlines nationwide.