Top Southwest Airlines Execs Get Big Bonuses

Southwest Airlines is expected to lead the airline sector in 2005, so it's not surprising that the board of the Dallas-based company approved $1.6 million in bonuses for the company's five top executives.

Colleen Barrett, Southwest's president and secretary, received the biggest bonus, $439,000.

Gary Kelly, chief executive, received $385,000; Ron Ricks, senior vice president of public affairs, $283,000; Herb Kelleher, co-founder and chairman, $277,000; and Jim Wimberly, executive vice president of aircraft operations, $190,000.

The bonuses cap a big year for Southwest.

Highlights included an alliance with bankrupt carrier ATA Airlines, an expansion at Midway Airport in Chicago, new service to Denver and a victory in the Wright Amendment battle with approval to fly to Missouri from Dallas Love Field.

But the year ended on a difficult note, with a crash in Chicago that took the life of a 6-year-old boy when an airplane skidded off a runway and struck a car.

Fort Worth Star Telegram

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