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Southwest to give employees large bonus after ‘challenging’ year

Southwest Airlines' 60,000 employees to receive at least six weeks' worth of pay as part of its annual profit-sharing program
Credit: AP
FILE - This July 17, 2019 photo shows Southwest Airlines planes at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Southwest Airlines Co. reports financial earns on Thursday, Oct. 24. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Southwest Airlines announced Thursday the employees will receive a $667 million bonus as part of its annual profit-sharing program. That amounts to at least six weeks’ worth of pay for each eligible employee.

In 2019, the airline was plagued with problems after grounding its Boeing 737 Max aircrafts.

"Our employees delivered outstanding results despite a challenging year," said Gary Kelly, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Southwest Airlines in a written statement. "We recognize their resolve, persistence, resilience, and devotion to each other, our customers and our cause."

In March 2020, most employees will receive 10% of eligible compensation as a contribution to the profit-sharing plan, and the remainder in cash. Some employees will receive the entire bonus as a contribution to their retirement accounts.

This is the 46th consecutive year the airline has rewarded its employees with the profit-sharing bonus. Over the past two decades, the payouts have totaled over $5 million.

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