DALLAS, April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today announced it will contribute approximately $228 million—the largest total dollar amount ever allocated—directly to Employees through its ProfitSharing Plan this year. The payment is an 88 percent increase over last year's contribution of $121 million. Southwest was the first in the industry to offer a ProfitSharing Plan, and this is the Company's 40th consecutive ProfitSharing payment. Through the ProfitSharing Plan, Southwest Employees currently own more than four percent of the Company's outstanding shares.
"The hard work of our People, and the pride and ownership they take in providing outstanding Customer Service, has resulted in four decades of profitability. Our People earned this reward, tirelessly working toward our vision of becoming the World's Most Loved, Most Flown, and Most Profitable Airline," said Gary Kelly, Chairman, President, and CEO of Southwest Airlines. "We had a great year in 2013 because of their collective efforts and contributions toward Southwest's success and profitability, and they absolutely deserve this recognition."
Combined with ProfitSharing is the Company's $269 million match and other amounts contributed to the Southwest and AirTran 401(k) plans. Southwest rewarded its Employees with a 2013 total retirement benefit of nearly $500 million. In addition to retirement contributions, Southwest Airlines also invested approximately $580 million in its Employees' benefits during 2013, which included healthcare coverage, wellness programs, and other benefits. In total, that's more than $1 billion dedicated to the wealth and wellbeing of Southwest Employees in 2013 alone, on top of base salaries.
Over four decades, Southwest ProfitSharing contributions have totaled $2.5 billion. In other words:
- It's enough money to buy 500 million mini bottles of founder Herb Kelleher's drink of choice, Wild Turkey, which would fill 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
- Or, $2.5 billion would buy 83 billion bags of Southwest peanuts—enough for 10 roundtrips to the moon if you lined them up end-to-end.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 43rd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by nearly 45,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 96 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and five near-international countries via wholly owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2012 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at southwest.com/citizenship.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. With Southwest Airlines, Bags Fly Free ® (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply), and there are no change fees when you need to change your flight. Southwest's fleet offers leather seating and the comfort of full-size cabins, a majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi connectivity over the United States, which enables live and video-on-demand TV currently FREE compliments of DISH, and a new, sustainable cabin interior. Southwest acquired AirTran Airways in May 2011 and by the end of 2014 intends to complete the full integration of the AirTran network into Southwest. With 41 consecutive years of profitability, the People of Southwest and AirTran operate more than 3,600 flights a day. Southwest Airlines' frequent flights and low fares are available online at southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.