Delta says 2016 was a record year – and it's spreading some of its success among its employees, who are getting $1.1 billion through the airline's profit sharing program.
This is the third straight year of $1 billion-plus profit sharing for Delta. CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement: “No other company and certainly no other airline has ever shared $1 billion in profits with its employees.”
Delta's headquarters are in Atlanta, but the company's had a major presence in Minnesota ever since it merged with Twin Cities-based Northwest Airlines in 2008.
Delta says it now has 7,569 employees in the Twin Cities and they'll receive $87.5 million through the profit sharing. If it's divided equally, that works out to more than $11,000 per person.
Delta boasts that as its employees spend their bonus money at local businesses, it will ripple through the economy. A couple of economists in Georgia estimated that "multiplier effect" doubles the impact of the profit sharing.
Former CEO thinks good times will last
Richard Anderson, who recently retired as Delta's CEO (and led Northwest for 11 years before that), said in a Twin Cities speech this week that low oil prices make this a good time for both airlines and travelers.
Anderson told the Economic Club of Minnesota those fuel prices should keep airfares relatively affordable for awhile – saying the $344 average price for a round-trip coach ticket is 26 percent less than what it cost in 2000, WCCO reports.
While in town, Anderson also raved about Minneapolis-St. Paul International, calling it one of the best-run airports in the world.
MSP also had a busy year in 2016, reporting that the 37.5 million passengers who passed through the airport were the most since 2005.