American Airlines, Southwest employees to get tax bill bonus

An American Airlines jet takes off from Washington National Airport in Washington, U.S., August 9, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

(Reuters) - U.S. airlines American Airlines Group Inc AAL.O and Southwest Airlines Co LUV.N said on Tuesday that they would give their employees a $1,000 bonus in light of the recent U.S. tax bill.

The airlines join a host of other companies such as AT&T T.N, Boeing Co BA.N and Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N promising to pay bonuses or invest more in training after the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years, which cuts the corporate tax rate.

American Airlines will distribute the bonus to each team member, excluding officers, at its mainline and wholly owned regional carriers, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.The distributions will total approximately $130 million and will be made in the first quarter of 2018, the company said.

Southwest said in a statement that as well as paying the bonus to all employees in January, it was increasing its fleet investment with Boeing BA.N and had donated $5 million to charitable causes.

The new legislation would “result in meaningful corporate income tax reform for the transportation sector in general, and for Southwest Airlines, in particular,” said Southwest’s Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed the massive tax overhaul into law in December. It cuts the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Rosalba O’Brien