DALLAS, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today announced it will share $620 million through its ProfitSharing Plan with its Employees for 2015—equaling approximately 15.6 percent of each eligible Employee's eligible compensation, or the equivalent of eight weeks' pay. This $620 million contribution—nearly $1.7 million a day—is the largest total dollar amount Southwest has ever allocated to ProfitSharing. This amount, which will be funded April 29, is more than the cumulative contributions to the Plan over the first 25 years ($559 million from 1974-1998). Over four decades, Southwest profitsharing contributions will have totaled over $3.4 billion—and more than $1.4 billion for the past five years alone (2011-2015).
"Behind every milestone Southwest Airlines has celebrated—and there have been many—our Employees are the driving force. I'm incredibly proud of the Teamwork and Heart behind every accomplishment," said Gary Kelly, Chairman, President, and CEO of Southwest Airlines. "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 profitsharing contribution."
When this profitsharing contribution is added to the Company's $325 million in Company match and other amounts contributed to the Southwest retirement plans, Southwest will have rewarded Employees with a 2015 total retirement benefit of approximately $945 million. In addition to retirement contributions, Southwest Airlines also invested approximately $672 million in its Employees' other benefits during 2015, including healthcare coverage, and other welfare and wellness programs. In total, that's more than $1.6 billion dedicated to the wealth and wellbeing of Southwest Employees in 2015 alone, on top of base salaries.
Southwest was the first in the industry to offer a ProfitSharing Plan. Through the ProfitSharing Plan, Southwest Employees currently own more than four percent of the Company's outstanding shares.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 49,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest proudly operates a network of 97 destinations across the United States and seven additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season.
Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity. That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency℠, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.
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 whenever the carrier enters new markets. With 43 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2014 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at SouthwestOneReport.com.
Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.