Airline plans bonus for CEO after declaring bankruptcy, laying off hundreds
Alaska’s largest rural airline filed a motion in a Delaware bankruptcy court Thursday requesting approval to issue as much as a quarter of a million dollars to current and former employees as the company sells its assets.
In a court filing first reported by Alaska Public Radio (APR), RavnAir Group justified the proposed bonuses by noting that sale of the company’s assets is expected to bring in $55 million, far more than was previously expected, and pointed to the work the current and former executives had done to complete the sale.
The company’s current CEO, Dave Pflieger, is among those listed to receive bonus money, but it was unclear how much he could get. The airline wants to split $250,000 in proposed bonus money between Pflieger and other employees.
If approved, the bonuses would come even as the executives have faced questions as to why some of the airline’s larger aircraft were sold to a California-based company at a lower price than was being offered by some competitors, according to APR.
“We will pay more than FLOAT has paid. If given the opportunity, we will outbid them today,” the CEO of one Alaska-based company told APR of the sale to the California firm. “But we’ve been aced out of that process. Why? We don’t know.”
RavnAir has laid off more than 1,000 employees so far as part of its bankruptcy process and has awarded its CEO more than $1.4 million in salary and other payments within the last year, according to MPR.