Delta Air Lines is unifying its profit-sharing program for employees, a move that should result in bigger bonuses for most, the company said.
Amid a giant pay raise two years ago, the company created a profit-sharing plan for nonpilot employees that was based on a different formula than the one for pilots.
Both plans yielded some of the highest payouts in the airline industry in what turned out to be very profitable years for Delta. But over time, employees complained to executives that the two profit-sharing systems weren’t equal.
“You’ve made it clear that this change didn’t align with our one-team culture and it didn’t feel like Delta — and you are right,” Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive, said in a memo Wednesday announcing the return to one profit-sharing system.
The Atlanta-based carrier operates its second-largest hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and employs about 7,500 people in the Twin Cities.
Starting next week, Delta’s nonpilot employees will return to the profit-sharing system that they were on before the 2015 change — and that pilots had remained on.
In it, the company’s profit-sharing pool is formed from 10 percent of its first $2.5 billion in annual profit, and 20 percent of any profit above $2.5 billion.
The company earned $4.37 billion last year and $4.53 billion in 2015, and it paid out more than $1 billion in profit-sharing both years.
Delta earned $1.8 billion through the first six months of the year, 27 percent lower than its performance in the first half of 2016.
But the company is still likely to make more than $2.5 billion for the year.
In his memo, Bastian also praised Delta employees for their work through the disruptions caused by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
“You are the very best in the business,” he wrote.