Here is a list of the 2010 compensation of airline CEOs. It has never been such a good time to be an airline CEO. Never have companies lost so much money over time while giving their top executives so much in compensation.

Think back to the founders of many of these airlines and the executives that built the airline systems we know today. None of them raked in the millions in compensation that today’s executives are making. The largesse does not only go to the CEOs, but it seeps down to the top 50 or so executives at virtually all airlines.

At many airlines the compensation of the top 50 executives appears to gobble up most of the hard-won profits. At the same time that some of these same airlines are dishing out millions to executives, they are dragging their feet on labor negotiations and fighting passenger protections.

Here is the CEO list in descending order of compensation.

Here is the Airline Quality Rating from 2011.

Something is wrong in this picture from the consumer and workers’ points of view. When we look at the list from an airline quality rating point of view (except for the compensation to the Hawaiian Airlines CEO) the top-paid CEOs are all in the bottom half of the quality ranking and the lowest-paid CEOs rise to the top. Clearly, delivery of quality to passengers makes no difference in compensation.

Note: Canadian Airlines I refer to in the charts is Air Canada.