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Southwest Airlines to pay $620 million in profit-sharing to employees

Southwest reported record earnings for 2015 with net income of $2.2 billion.
Southwest reported record earnings for 2015 with net income of $2.2 billion. Star-Telegram archives

Southwest Airlines will pay out a record $620 million in profit-sharing to employees, reflecting the airline’s high-flying financial performance in 2015.

The Dallas-based carrier said the profit-sharing is the largest total amount it has ever allocated. The payout is equal to about 15.6 percent of each employee’s eligible compensation, or the equivalent of eight weeks of pay. The airline has more than 49,000 employees.

“Our people have built one of the world’s most admired companies, and they share in Southwest’s success with this third consecutive record-breaking profit-sharing contribution,” said Southwest President and CEO Gary Kelly.

Southwest reported record earnings for 2015 with net income of $2.2 billion. It also grew revenues by 6.5 percent to $19.8 billion for the year, as it benefited from low fuel prices and rapid growth at an unshackled Dallas Love Field.

The company is in contract talks with its flight attendants and pilots unions as both groups rejected tentative agreements last year. At a company rally in Las Vegas this week, the pilots held an informational picket similar to the one they held at Dallas Love Field earlier this month.

Southwest’s ground workers are voting on a contract proposal that includes immediate pay raises ranging from 5 to 16 percent, depending on the employee’s seniority. Voting on the proposed contract closes on Feb. 19.

Southwest also said it has formally applied to offer service at Long Beach Airport this year. That would be in addition to Southwest’s flights at Los Angeles, Burbank, Orange County/Santa Ana and Ontario.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

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