Published On: Tue, Sep 10th, 2019

Southwest Employees Could Get Share of Boeing Money


Southwest Airlines is apparently considering sharing some, if not all, of the money it will receive from Boeing Co. over the grounding of the 737 Max with its employees.

CEO Gary Kelly has written a memo, obtained by Dallas ABC television affiliate WFAA, in which Kelly wrote the company is “looking at ways to share proceeds as appropriate with all of our employees.”

Depending on how equitable Southwest is, that could mean as much as $4,000 per employee. Southwest is the biggest user 737 Max aircraft of any U.S. airline, and the carrier has been impacted the most since the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the plane in March following two separate crashes that killed 346 passengers and crew.

Boeing has promised to compensate airlines for their losses; Southwest said it took a $225 million hit from the groundings through the first six months of the year. If divided equally among its 59,000 employees, that works out to $3,813 per person.

And that could grow.

Boeing has already said it could have as much as $4.9 billion to disperse among airlines for second-quarter settlements.

The FAA is set to conduct a certification flight on the 737 Max in October, and Boeing hopes to start flying the aircraft again by November. But Southwest has already canceled any flight using the 737 Max through Jan. 5, 2020.

“I know we have all been affected by this disruption to our business and growth plan,” Kelly wrote in the memo. “More on that in the future, but I did want you all to know I recognize this hasn’t just affected some of you — it has affected all of you.”



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