SEATTLE, Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees at Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are receiving annual bonuses today of more than 9 percent of their annual pay, or more than five weeks' pay for most workers. The bonus is in addition to $1,150 in 2013 monthly bonuses that most employees earned for achieving on-time and customer satisfaction goals.
The combined monthly and annual bonuses amounted to nearly $105 million, the highest in Alaska's history, and are part of the company's incentive-based pay program.
"Our company's success wouldn't be possible without the award-winning customer service, industry-leading on-time performance and solid execution by our outstanding employees," Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said. "On behalf of the leadership teams at Alaska and Horizon Air, I want to thank and congratulate our people for their terrific efforts."
Nearly $51.3 million in annual bonuses — 62 percent of the total — is being paid to about 6,400 Alaska and Horizon employees in the Puget Sound area. Another $11 million is being paid to 2,026 employees in the Portland, Ore., area, while $8.2 million is going to workers throughout the state of Alaska.
"It's really great to work for a company that recognizes all of their employees who contribute to the success of their business," said JoAnne Ryan, an Alaska Airlines customer service agent based in Seattle. "The fact that Alaska includes all workgroups in the incentive-based pay program just reinforces to me that I work for a company that values me as an employee, and the work I do makes a difference in our success."
Ryan said she plans to use her bonus to pay off bills and take a two-week vacation to Australia.
Bonuses in Alaska Air Group's Performance Based Pay Plan are determined by meeting specific company-wide goals for safety, customer satisfaction, cost control and profit that are approved annually by the board of directors. Since the inception of the program in 2003, Alaska has paid employees $538 million in combined incentive-based pay and monthly bonuses, which is about 5.75 percent on average each year.
As part of its philosophy to provide employees with rewarding careers and good retirement benefits, Alaska Air Group has contributed $620 million over the past 5 years to its defined benefit pension plans, which were fully funded in 2013.
In addition to the financial benefit the employee bonuses provide to the Puget Sound area, the 22,000 jobs at Alaska Air Group and in related industries in Washington state generate $5.6 billion in annual economic activity.
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves nearly 100 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for six consecutive years from 2008 to 2013. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
SOURCE Alaska Air Group