Have you ever wanted to know just how much CEOs of airlines are making? Well now you can – and we’ll give you a hint, it’s substantially more than any of the employees at those same airlines, though the CEOs themselves do sometimes forgo bonuses in a show of solidarity with their teams.
Drumroll, please: The highest-paid airline executive in 2017 was: Ed Bastian from Delta Air Lines. It’s no surprise that he beat out competitor airline CEOs for the most money, especially since Delta itself has performed better overall. Bastian’s salary in 2017 was $800,000, but his take-home pay ended up being $13.2 million, which was mostly in stocks. For some perspective, that’s about 142 times more money than the average Delta worker.
“Delta carries itself today and it has for about five years the way American carried itself in the 1970s and 80s – as the undisputed industry leader,” Robert Mann, an industry consultant, told Skift. “If there is one guy who most deserves it, it would be Ed.”
American’s CEO Doug Parker took home the second-largest amount, at $12.2 million – but that’s not his actual salary. Parker hasn’t had a base salary since 2015, instead opting to tie his pay to performance and receive it stocks.
Pulling up in third place is United’s Oscar Munoz. He was the top earner in 2016, bringing home $18.7 million, but in 2017 he only earned $9.5 million. That’s because, in part, he decided to skip his annual bonus to show that United on the whole was being responsible and accountable for setbacks throughout the year.