Australia’s national carrier, Qantas Airways, will pay a one-off bonus payment of about 90m Australian dollars ($68m; £43m) to employees affected by an 18-month wage freeze.
The payout will cover 28,000 employees, including those at subsidiary Jetstar, and is part of the workers’ collective agreement, Qantas said on Friday.
The move comes after it reported its best half-year profit in four years.
Qantas has been trying to turn around its business amid stiff competition.
Last year, the airline reported its biggest annual loss to date. A year earlier, it had announced that it was cutting some 5,000 jobs.
Chief executive Alan Joyce said the bonus was a recognition of the contribution made by all of its employees to strengthen the airline’s competitive position.
“Our ability to make these bonus payments reflects a bright future for the Qantas Group, provided we stay focused on fully delivering the transformation program that has brought us this far,” he said in a statement.
The payout will be worth about 5% of employees’ base annual salary and will be made after the group’s full-year earnings results on 20 August.
Employees who are not under a wage freeze will also receive a bonus once agreements are finalised, the company said.
But, a Sydney-based flight attendant, who did not want to be identified told the BBC the move would only make employees “happy for a few seconds”.
“I think Qantas was obviously making money and that last year’s loss was exaggerated for them to be able to put in the job cuts it wanted and streamline the workplace,” the 49-year-old employee of nearly 20 years said.
While his department was not affected by the wage freeze, he said his allowances were cut by 15% almost two years ago.
“We’ve been working a lot harder than ever, because our roles have been expanded on the job cuts,” he said, hoping for some compensation.
Qantas’ shares closed down over 2% in Sydney after the announcement.