Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air employees receive $148 million in bonuses

Alaska Airlines' "More to Love" merger livery

Alaska Air Group issued this statement on January 26, 2018:

Employees of Alaska Air Group companies Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and Horizon Air are receiving $118 million in incentive bonuses today. For most employees, this equates to an average of more than 7 percent of their annual pay in 2017. In addition, 23,000 Air Group employees will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus on Jan. 29 from additional tax savings the company expects to receive this year.

The company’s annual bonus, called Performance Based Pay (PBP), is determined by meeting or exceeding specific company-wide goals for safety, customer satisfaction, cost control, customer loyalty and profit. For the ninth year in a row, employees will enjoy a payout of about an additional month’s pay.

The PBP bonus is in addition to the approximately $7 million in monthly operational bonuses that employees earned over 2017 for achieving monthly on-time and customer satisfaction goals. The combined monthly, annual and one-time bonuses paid to employees total $148 million.

Geographic breakdown:

  • About $62 million in annual bonuses — more than 52 percent of the total — is being paid to Alaska, Virgin America, and Horizon Air employees in the Puget Sound area
  • $27 million — or 23 percent of the total — is going to employees throughout California
  • $12 million is being paid to employees in the Oregon
  • $8.1 million is going to employees throughout the state of Alaska

The bonuses come 13 months after the acquisition of Virgin America. Since then, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America employees have been hard at work creating an airline people love. Some of the most significant integration milestones employees have accomplished since December 2016 include:

  • Obtaining a single operating certificate from the FAA on Jan. 11, combining thousands of procedures, manuals and training for all Airbus and Boeing operations
  • Launching a wear-test for new employee uniforms
  • Transitioning to one loyalty and credit card program
  • Co-locating Alaska and Virgin American operations in 22 of 31 airports
  • Building Alaska’s expansive network with 44 new routes, in addition to the 38 routes added with the acquisition of Virgin America
  • Moving to the same human resources, finance and payroll systems

By late April, Minicucci expects the airlines will have accomplished 75 percent of the integration milestones with the shift to a single reservation system, website, check-in kiosk, app and call center.

Copyright Photo (all others by Alaska Airlines): Alaska Airlines (Alaska + Virgin America) Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N493AS (msn 41727) (More to Love) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936924.

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show: