As a way of thanking its workforce, Delta Air Lines will give each employee a US$1,250 bonus (or half of it, depending on specific requirements) on February 14. The payment is part of a profit-sharing of more than US$100 million from the airline.
Yesterday, Delta Air Lines reported a full-year profit for 2021. According to the filing, Delta’s GAAP net income was US$280 million, an achievement considering most airlines worldwide continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Few carriers elsewhere will be posting net incomes in their 2021 financial results.
Delta is crediting its employees for this financial success, and it is set to give each worker a US$1,250 bonus if they worked the entire year with the company. If that wasn’t the case, then they’ll receive half the bonus. The employees will receive a nice paycheck on February 14, also known as Employee Appreciation Day.
In an internal memo sent to employees, Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian said,
“Amid the continuing challenges, including one of the most difficult holiday environments we’ve ever encountered, you continue to rise above and provide unmatched service to our customers. You never falter in taking care of one another, our customers, and the communities we serve. And you do it with excellence, care, and compassion, that always sets Delta people apart.”
Not quite back to 2019 levels, but good enough
In 2019, the airline paid out a record US$1.6 billion in profit-sharing funds to its then-90,000 workers, as reported by Business Insider.
That year was the best in Delta’s history, and every employee of the company received the equivalent of a two-month’s salary.
The COVID-19 pandemic left the airline industry worldwide in a crisis never seen before. Two years into the crisis, most airlines worldwide continue to struggle financially, and the new COVID variants (like Omicron) are only pushing the recovery farther away.
Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president, said,
“The recent rise in COVID cases associated with the Omicron variant is expected to impact the pace of demand recovery early in the quarter, with recovery momentum resuming from President’s Day weekend forward. Factoring this into our outlook, we expect total March quarter revenue to recover to 72 to 76% of 2019 levels, compared to 74% in the December quarter.”
A look at Delta’s 2021 results
If it weren’t for the Payroll Support Programs (PSP), Delta Air Lines would have had an adjusted pre-tax loss of US$3.4 billion. The Payroll Program allowed the US carrier to have a net benefit of US$3.8 billion.
Delta generated a pre-tax profit of US$1.1 billion in the second half of 2021, and if we exclude the PSP, then the gain was only US$386 million.
In the final quarter, Delta Air Lines had US$8.4 billion in operating revenue, following a strong holiday demand. Domestic passenger revenue was restored by 78% compared to 2019 levels. Additionally, cargo revenue achieved its fifth consecutive quarter of positive growth. The income in this segment increased to US$304 million, a 63% improvement compared to 2019.
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