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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Transition Period From                          to                         
Commission file number 1-8400
American Airlines Group Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware75-1825172
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1 Skyview Drive,Fort Worth,Texas76155(682)278-9000
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)Registrant’s telephone number, including area code
(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class Trading Symbol(s) Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share AAL The Nasdaq Global Select Market
Preferred Stock Purchase Rights
(1)
(1) Attached to the Common Stock
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Commission file number 1-2691
American Airlines, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware13-1502798
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
1 Skyview Drive,Fort Worth,Texas76155(682)278-9000
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)Registrant’s telephone number, including area code
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: None
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
____________________________________________________
 



Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
American Airlines Group Inc.Yes  No
American Airlines, Inc.Yes  No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
American Airlines Group Inc.Yes  No
American Airlines, Inc.Yes  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
American Airlines Group Inc.Yes  No
American Airlines, Inc.Yes  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
American Airlines Group Inc.Yes  No
American Airlines, Inc.Yes  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
American Airlines Group Inc.Large accelerated filerAccelerated filerNon-accelerated filerSmaller reporting companyEmerging growth company
American Airlines, Inc.Large accelerated filerAccelerated filerNon-accelerated filerSmaller reporting companyEmerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
American Airlines Group Inc.
American Airlines, Inc.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
American Airlines Group Inc.Yes  No
American Airlines, Inc.Yes  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
American Airlines Group Inc.Yes  No
American Airlines, Inc.Yes  No
As of February 18, 2022, there were 649,160,117 shares of American Airlines Group Inc. common stock outstanding. The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2021, was approximately $13.6 billion.
As of February 18, 2022, there were 1,000 shares of American Airlines, Inc. common stock outstanding, all of which were held by American Airlines Group Inc.
OMISSION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION
American Airlines, Inc. meets the conditions set forth in General Instruction I(1)(a) and (b) of Form 10-K and has therefore omitted the information otherwise called for by Items 10-13 of Form 10-K as allowed under General Instruction I(2)(c).
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the proxy statement related to American Airlines Group Inc.’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which proxy statement will be filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 within 120 days of the end of American Airlines Group Inc.’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.



American Airlines Group Inc.
American Airlines, Inc.
Form 10-K
Year Ended December 31, 2021
Table of Contents 
  Page
Item 1.       
Item 1A.    
Item 1B.    
Item 2.       
Item 3.       
Item 4.       
Item 5.       
Item 6.       
Item 7.       
Item 7A.    
Item 8A.    
Item 8B.    
Item 9.       
Item 9A.    
Item 9B.
Item 9C.
Item 10.    
Item 11.    
Item 13.    
Item 14.    
Item 15.    
Item 16.    


3


Table of Contents
General
This report is filed by American Airlines Group Inc. (AAG) and its wholly-owned subsidiary American Airlines, Inc. (American). References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to “we,” “us,” “our,” the “Company” and similar terms refer to AAG and its consolidated subsidiaries. “AMR” or “AMR Corporation” refers to the Company during the period of time prior to its emergence from Chapter 11 and its acquisition of US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways Group) on December 9, 2013 (the Merger). References to US Airways Group and US Airways, Inc., a subsidiary of US Airways Group, represent the entities during the period of time prior to the dissolution of those entities in connection with AAG’s internal corporate restructuring on December 30, 2015. References in this report to “mainline” refer to the operations of American only and exclude regional operations.
Glossary of Terms
For the convenience of the reader, the definitions of certain capitalized industry and other terms used in this report have been consolidated into a glossary beginning on page 22.
Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Certain of the statements contained in this report should be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act), the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “continue,” “seek,” “target,” “guidance,” “outlook,” “if current trends continue,” “optimistic,” “forecast” and other similar words. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, expectations, intentions, estimates and strategies for the future, the continuing availability of borrowings under revolving lines of credit, and other statements that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements are based on our current objectives, beliefs and expectations, and they are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and financial position and timing of certain events to differ materially from the information in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described below under Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors, Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and other risks and uncertainties listed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC).
All of the forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the factors discussed in Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors and elsewhere in this report. There may be other factors of which we are not currently aware that may affect matters discussed in the forward-looking statements and may also cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. In particular, the consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to economic conditions and the travel industry in general and our financial position and operating results in particular have been material, are changing rapidly, and cannot be predicted. We do not assume any obligation to publicly update or supplement any forward-looking statement to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting such statements other than as required by law. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report or as of the dates indicated in the statements.

4


Table of Contents
Summary of Risk Factors
Our business is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may affect our business, results of operations and financial condition, or the trading price of our common stock or other securities. We caution the reader that these risk factors may not be exhaustive. We operate in a continually changing business environment, and new risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time. Management cannot predict such new risks and uncertainties, nor can it assess the extent to which any of the risk factors below or any such new risks and uncertainties, or any combination thereof, may impact our business. These risks are more fully described in Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors. These risks include, among others, the following:
Risks Related to our Business
The outbreak and global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in a severe decline in demand for air travel which has and will continue to adversely impact our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity.
Downturns in economic conditions could adversely affect our business.
We will need to obtain sufficient financing or other capital to operate successfully.
Our high level of debt and other obligations may limit our ability to fund general corporate requirements and obtain additional financing, may limit our flexibility in responding to competitive developments and cause our business to be vulnerable to adverse economic and industry conditions.
We have significant pension and other postretirement benefit funding obligations, which may adversely affect our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition.
If our financial condition worsens, provisions in our credit card processing and other commercial agreements may adversely affect our liquidity.
The loss of key personnel upon whom we depend to operate our business or the inability to attract and develop additional qualified personnel could adversely affect our business.
Our business has been and will continue to be affected by many changing economic and other conditions beyond our control, including global events that affect travel behavior, and our results of operations could be volatile and fluctuate due to seasonality.
Union disputes, employee strikes and other labor-related disruptions, or our inability to otherwise maintain labor costs at competitive levels may adversely affect our operations and financial performance.
If we encounter problems with any of our third-party regional operators or third-party service providers, our operations could be adversely affected by a resulting decline in revenue or negative public perception about our services.
Any damage to our reputation or brand image could adversely affect our business or financial results.
Changes to our business model that are designed to increase revenues may not be successful and may cause operational difficulties or decreased demand.
Our intellectual property rights, particularly our branding rights, are valuable, and any inability to protect them may adversely affect our business and financial results.
We may be a party to litigation in the normal course of business or otherwise, which could affect our financial position and liquidity.
Our ability to utilize our NOLs and other carryforwards may be limited.
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We have a significant amount of goodwill, which is assessed for impairment at least annually. In addition, we may never realize the full value of our intangible assets or long-lived assets, causing us to record material impairment charges.
Risks Related to the Airline Industry
The airline industry is intensely competitive and dynamic.
The commercial relationships that we have with other companies, including any related equity investments, may not produce the returns or results we expect.
Our business is very dependent on the price and availability of aircraft fuel and continued periods of high volatility in fuel costs, increased fuel prices or significant disruptions in the supply of aircraft fuel could have a significant negative impact on consumer demand, our operating results and liquidity.
Our business is subject to extensive government regulation, which may result in increases in our costs, disruptions to our operations, limits on our operating flexibility, reductions in the demand for air travel, and competitive disadvantages.
We operate a global business with international operations that are subject to economic and political instability and have been, and in the future may continue to be, adversely affected by numerous events, circumstances or government actions beyond our control.
We may be adversely affected by conflicts overseas or terrorist attacks; the travel industry continues to face ongoing security concerns.
We are subject to risks associated with climate change, including increased regulation of our CO2 emissions, changing consumer preferences and the potential increased impacts of severe weather events on our operations and infrastructure.
A shortage of pilots or other personnel could materially adversely affect our business.
We depend on a limited number of suppliers for aircraft, aircraft engines and parts.
Delays in scheduled aircraft deliveries or other loss of anticipated fleet capacity, and failure of new aircraft to perform as expected, may adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We rely heavily on technology and automated systems to operate our business, and any failure of these technologies or systems could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Evolving data security and privacy requirements could increase our costs, and any significant data security or privacy incident could disrupt our operations, harm our reputation, expose us to legal risks and otherwise materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We rely on third-party distribution channels and must manage effectively the costs, rights and functionality of these channels.
If we are unable to obtain and maintain adequate facilities and infrastructure throughout our system and, at some airports, adequate slots, we may be unable to operate our existing flight schedule and to expand or change our route network in the future, which may have a material adverse impact on our operations.
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PART I 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Overview
American Airlines Group Inc. (AAG), a Delaware corporation, is a holding company and its principal, wholly-owned subsidiaries are American Airlines, Inc. (American), Envoy Aviation Group Inc., PSA Airlines, Inc. (PSA) and Piedmont Airlines, Inc. (Piedmont). AAG was formed in 1982, under the name AMR Corporation (AMR), as the parent company of American, which was founded in 1934.
AAG’s and American’s principal executive offices are located at 1 Skyview Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76155 and their telephone number is 682-278-9000.
Airline Operations
Together with our wholly-owned regional airline subsidiaries and third-party regional carriers operating as American Eagle, our primary business activity is the operation of a major network air carrier, providing scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo through our hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. and partner gateways, including in London, Madrid, Seattle/Tacoma, Sydney and Tokyo (among others).
More than 165 million passengers boarded our flights in 2021, compared to 95 million passengers in 2020 and 215 million passengers in 2019. Since March 2020, we have experienced an unprecedented decline in the demand for air travel due to the impact of COVID-19, which has resulted in a material deterioration in our revenues. Our capacity continues to be reduced compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, with total capacity in 2021 down 24.7% as compared to 2019. Domestic capacity in 2021 was down 14.5% while international capacity was down 44.9% as compared to 2019. While demand for domestic and short-haul international markets has largely recovered to 2019 levels, uncertainty remains regarding the timing of a full recovery. We will continue to match our forward capacity with observed booking trends for future travel and make further adjustments to our capacity as needed.
COVID-19 has been declared a global health pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 has surfaced in nearly all regions of the world, which has driven the implementation of significant, government-imposed measures to prevent or reduce its spread, including travel restrictions, testing regimes, closing of borders, “stay at home” orders and business closures. Ongoing global vaccination efforts and the corresponding lifting of government restrictions in and between many markets resulted in a partial recovery in demand for air travel in 2021, which improved our revenues as compared to 2020. However, the return of demand was weaker than previous expectations and the speed and strength of this recovery remain uncertain, primarily due to the global rise in COVID-19 cases associated with the delta and omicron variants and the potential for continuation or reimposition of restrictions on global travel. The continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any increases in infection rates, new variants and renewed governmental action to slow the spread of COVID-19 cannot be estimated.
As of December 31, 2021, we operated 865 mainline aircraft supported by our regional airline subsidiaries and third-party regional carriers, which together operated an additional 567 regional aircraft. See Part I, Item 2. Properties for further discussion of our mainline and regional aircraft and “Regional” below for further discussion of our regional operations.
American is a founding member of the oneworld® Alliance, which brings together a global network of 14 world-class member airlines and their affiliates, working together to provide a superior and seamless travel experience. See “Distribution and Marketing Agreements” below for further discussion on the oneworld Alliance and other agreements with domestic and international airlines.
See Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations –“2021 Financial Overview,” “AAG’s Results of Operations” and “American’s Results of Operations” for further discussion of AAG’s and American’s operating results and operating performance. Also, see Note 1(l) to each of AAG’s and American’s Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Items 8A and 8B, respectively, for passenger revenue by geographic region and Note 13 to AAG’s Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8A and Note 12 to American’s Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8B for information regarding operating segments.
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Regional
Our regional carriers provide scheduled air transportation under the brand name “American Eagle.” The American Eagle carriers include our wholly-owned regional carriers Envoy Air Inc. (Envoy), PSA and Piedmont, as well as third-party regional carriers including Republic Airways Inc. (Republic), SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (SkyWest), and Mesa Airlines, Inc. (Mesa). Our regional carriers are an integral component of our operating network. We rely heavily on regional carriers to drive feeder traffic to our hubs from low-density markets that are not economical for us to serve with larger, mainline aircraft. In addition, regional carriers offer complementary service in many of our mainline markets. All American Eagle carriers use logos, service marks, aircraft paint schemes and uniforms similar to those of our mainline operations. In 2021, 49 million passengers boarded our regional carriers’ planes, approximately 44% of whom connected to or from our mainline flights.
Substantially all of our regional carrier arrangements are in the form of capacity purchase agreements. The capacity purchase agreements provide that all revenues, including passenger, in-flight, ancillary, mail and freight revenues, go to us. We control marketing, scheduling, ticketing, pricing and seat inventories. In return, we agree to pay predetermined fees to these airlines for operating an agreed-upon number of aircraft, without regard to the number of passengers on board. In addition, these agreements provide that we either reimburse or pay 100% of certain variable costs, such as airport landing fees, fuel and passenger liability insurance.
Cargo
Our cargo division provides a wide range of freight and mail services, with facilities and interline connections available across the globe. In 2020, we expanded our cargo service and launched our first cargo-only flights since 1984 to transport critical goods, including COVID-19 vaccines, between the U.S. and Europe, Asia and Latin America. Since March 2020, we have operated more than 10,000 cargo-only flights serving approximately 30 destinations. These cargo-only flights have helped our customers move more than 350 million pounds of critical goods around the world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the related pandemic-driven supply chain challenges.
Distribution and Marketing Agreements
Passengers can purchase tickets for travel on American through several distribution channels, including our website (www.aa.com), our mobile app, our reservations centers and third-party distribution channels, including those provided by or through global distribution systems (e.g., Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport), conventional travel agents, travel management companies and online travel agents (e.g., Expedia, including its booking sites Orbitz and Travelocity, and Booking Holdings, including its booking sites Kayak and Priceline). To remain competitive, we will need to manage our distribution costs and rights effectively, increase our distribution flexibility and improve the functionality of our proprietary and third-party distribution channels, while maintaining an industry-competitive cost structure. For more discussion, see Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors – “We rely on third-party distribution channels and must manage effectively the costs, rights and functionality of these channels.”
In general, beyond nonstop city pairs, carriers that have the greatest ability to seamlessly connect passengers to and from markets have a competitive advantage. In some cases, however, foreign governments limit U.S. air carriers’ rights to transport passengers beyond designated gateway cities in foreign countries. In order to improve access to domestic and foreign markets, we have arrangements with other airlines including through the oneworld Alliance, other cooperation agreements, joint business agreements and marketing relationships, as further discussed below.
Member of oneworld Alliance
American is a founding member of the oneworld Alliance, which currently includes Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas Airways (Qantas), Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines. Fiji Airways is a oneworld connect partner. The oneworld Alliance links the networks of member carriers and their respective affiliates to enhance customer service and provide smooth connections to the destinations served by the alliance, including linking member carriers’ loyalty programs and providing reciprocal access to the carriers’ airport lounge facilities.
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Cooperation and Joint Business Agreements
American has established a transatlantic joint business with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Finnair, a transpacific joint business with Japan Airlines and a joint business relating to Australia and New Zealand with Qantas, each of which has been granted antitrust immunity. Joint business agreements enable the carriers involved to cooperate on flights between particular destinations and allow pooling and sharing of certain revenues and costs, enhanced loyalty program reciprocity and cooperation in other areas. American and its joint business partners received regulatory approval to enter into these cooperation agreements. Joint business agreements have become a common approach among major carriers to address key regulatory restrictions typically applicable to international airline service, including limitations on the foreign ownership of airlines and national laws prohibiting foreign airlines from carrying passengers beyond specific gateway cities. Our competitors, including Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, are party to similar arrangements.
The business relationship under the transatlantic joint business benefits from a grant of antitrust immunity from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and was reviewed by the European Commission (EC) in July 2010. In connection with this review, we provided certain commitments to the EC regarding, among other things, the availability of take-off and landing slots at London Heathrow (LHR) or London Gatwick (LGW) airports. The commitments accepted by the EC were binding for 10 years. In October 2018, in anticipation of the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU), commonly referred to as Brexit, and the expiry of the EC commitments in July 2020, the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened an investigation into the transatlantic joint business. We continue to fully cooperate with the CMA and, in September 2020, the CMA adopted interim measures that effectively extend the EC commitments for an additional three years until March 2024 in light of the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CMA plans to complete its investigation before the interim measures expire.
Marketing Relationships
To improve access to each other’s markets, various U.S. and foreign air carriers, including American, have established marketing agreements with other airlines. These marketing agreements generally provide enhanced customer choice by means of an expanded network with reciprocal loyalty program participation and joint sales cooperation. As of December 31, 2021, American had codeshare and/or loyalty program relationships with Aer Lingus, Air Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cape Air, Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines Company Limited (China Southern Airlines), EL AL Israel Airlines, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways, Finnair, GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (GOL), Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia, IndiGo, Japan Airlines, JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue), Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, S7 Airlines, Silver Airways, SriLankan Airlines and Vueling Airlines.
In 2021, we began implementing key aspects of our marketing relationship with JetBlue, creating seamless connectivity for travelers in the U.S. Northeast and more choice for customers across our complementary domestic and international networks. This arrangement includes an alliance agreement with reciprocal codesharing on certain domestic and international routes from New York (John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), and provides for reciprocal loyalty program benefits. The arrangement does not include JetBlue’s transatlantic flying. Pursuant to federal law, American and JetBlue submitted this proposed alliance arrangement to the DOT for review. After American, JetBlue and the DOT agreed to a series of commitments, the DOT terminated its review of the proposed alliance in January 2021. The commitments include growth commitments to ensure capacity expansion, slot divestitures at JFK and at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) near Washington, D.C. and antitrust compliance measures. Beyond this agreement with the DOT (the DOT Agreement), American and JetBlue will also refrain from certain kinds of coordination on certain city pair markets. Upon the DOT’s termination of its review of the proposed alliance, American and JetBlue implemented the proposed alliance subject to these commitments. On September 21, 2021, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), joined by Attorneys General from six states and the District of Columbia, filed an antitrust complaint against American and JetBlue alleging that American and JetBlue violated U.S. antitrust laws in connection with the Northeast Alliance arrangement (the NEA). We believe the complaint is without merit and intend to defend against it vigorously.
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Also, in 2021, we entered into a letter of intent to establish a partnership with JetSmart Airlines SpA (JetSMART), an ultra-low-cost carrier operating from Chile and Argentina to destinations throughout South America. This proposed arrangement includes a codeshare agreement between the two airlines, which would create more options for customers traveling between the U.S. and South America and enable customers to earn and redeem AAdvantage miles on JetSMART flights. We also entered into a letter of intent to deepen our partnership with GOL, Brazil’s largest airline, in September 2021, and in February 2022, entered into a definitive investment agreement with GOL pursuant to which we intend to invest $200 million in exchange for a 5.2% economic interest in GOL. This expanded partnership with GOL includes an exclusive codeshare agreement, allowing customers access to more than 30 destinations served by American in the U.S. and more than 20 new destinations served by GOL in South America. Members of GOL’s SMILES and American’s AAdvantage loyalty programs will also benefit from a deeper SMILES and AAdvantage loyalty program partnership. In addition, the expanded partnership with GOL will allow further commercial cooperation in areas such as purchasing, sales tools and systems integrations, as allowed by regulatory and contractual limitations. Both the JetSMART and GOL transactions are subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions, certain regulatory approvals and, in the case of the JetSMART transaction, the completion of definitive documentation.
Loyalty Program
Our loyalty program, AAdvantage®, was established to develop passenger loyalty by offering benefits and awards to travelers for their continued patronage with American and our partners. AAdvantage members earn mileage credits for flying on American, any oneworld Alliance airline or other partner airlines. For every dollar spent by flying on American, members earn five mileage credits, and Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum status holders earn additional bonus mileage credits of 40%, 60%, 80% and 120%, respectively. Members also earn mileage credits by using the services of more than 1,000 non-flight partners, such as our co-branded credit cards, and certain hotels and car rental companies. The AAdvantage program in general, and our co-branded credit cards in particular, are significant assets of our business and have become increasingly important to our company over time.
All travel on eligible tickets counts toward qualification for status in the AAdvantage program. Mileage credits can be redeemed for free or upgraded travel on American and participating airlines, membership to our Admirals Club® or for other non-flight awards from our program partners. Most travel awards are subject to capacity-controlled seating. A member’s mileage credits generally do not expire if that member has any type of qualifying activity at least once every 18 months. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we suspended the expiration of mileage credits through March 31, 2022 and eliminated mileage reinstatement fees for canceled award tickets. Status members can enjoy additional travel benefits of the AAdvantage program, including complimentary upgrades, checked bags, and Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats, as well as priority check-in, security, boarding and baggage delivery when traveling on American or any oneworld Alliance airline. In 2021, we announced a redesign of status qualifying metrics. Starting in 2022, AAdvantage members will have more pathways to status and only one metric to track: Loyalty Points, which can be earned through a variety of qualifying travel and non-travel activities, including use of our co-branded credit cards. Additionally, 2020 AAdvantage status was extended through March 31, 2022 for all members.
Under our agreements with AAdvantage members and program partners, we reserve the right to change the terms of the AAdvantage program at any time and without notice, and may end the program with six months’ notice. Program rules, partners, special offers, awards and requisite mileage levels for awards are subject to change.
During 2021, our members redeemed approximately 11 million awards, including travel redemptions for flights and upgrades on American and other air carriers, as well as redemption of car and hotel awards, club memberships and merchandise. Approximately 7% of our 2021 total revenue passenger miles flown were from award travel.
See Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – “Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates” for more information on our loyalty program.
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Industry Competition
Domestic
The markets in which we operate are highly competitive. On most of our domestic nonstop routes, we face competing service from other domestic airlines, including major network airlines, low-cost carriers and ultra-low-cost carriers such as Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines. Between cities that require a connection, where the major airlines compete via their respective hubs, competition is significant. In addition, we face competition on some of our connecting routes from airlines operating point-to-point service on such routes. We also compete with all-cargo and charter airlines and, particularly on shorter segments, ground and rail transportation.
On all of our routes, pricing decisions are affected, in large part, by the need to meet competition from other airlines. Price competition occurs on a market-by-market basis through price discounts, changes in pricing structures, fare matching, targeted promotions and loyalty program initiatives. Airlines typically use discounted fares and other promotions to stimulate traffic during normally weak travel periods, when they begin service to new cities, when they have excess capacity, to generate cash flow, to maximize revenue per available seat mile or to establish, increase or preserve market share. Most airlines will quickly match price reductions in a particular market, and we have often elected to match discounted or promotional fares initiated by other air carriers in certain markets in order to compete in those markets. In addition, we face pricing pressures from so-called ultra-low-cost carriers, such as Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines, which compete in many of the markets in which we operate, with competition from these carriers increasing and new entrants regularly announcing their intention to start up new ultra-low-cost carriers.
In addition to price competition, airlines compete for market share by increasing the size of their route system and the number of markets they serve. The American Eagle regional carriers increase the number of markets we serve by flying to smaller markets and providing connections at our hubs. Many of our competitors also own or have agreements with regional airlines that provide similar services at their hubs and other locations. We also compete on the basis of scheduling (frequency and flight times), availability of nonstop flights, on-time performance, type of equipment, cabin configuration, amenities provided to passengers, loyalty programs, the automation of travel agent reservation systems, onboard products, health and safety and other services.
International
In addition to our extensive domestic service, we provide international service to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. In 2022, we will launch service to Doha, Qatar, allowing customers to access destinations in the Middle East and the surrounding regions. In providing international air transportation, we compete with other U.S. airlines, foreign investor-owned airlines and foreign state-owned or state-affiliated airlines. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, competition had been increasing from foreign state-owned and state-affiliated airlines in the Gulf region. These carriers have large numbers of international widebody aircraft in service and on order and had been increasing service to the U.S. from locations both in and outside the Middle East. Service to and from locations outside of the Middle East was provided by some of these carriers under so-called “fifth freedom” rights permitted under international treaties which allow service to and from stopover points between an airline’s home country and the ultimate destination. Such flights, such as a stopover in Europe on flights to the United States, allow the carrier to sell tickets for travel between the stopover point and the United States in competition with service provided by us. We believe these state-owned and state-affiliated carriers in the Gulf region, including their affiliated carriers, benefit from significant government subsidies, which have allowed them to grow quickly, reinvest in their product and expand their global presence. We expect this to continue after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Competition had also been increasing from low-cost airlines executing international long-haul expansion strategies, a trend we also expect to continue after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and the delivery of planned, long-range narrowbody aircraft commences.
In order to increase our ability to compete in the market for international air transportation service, which is subject to extensive government regulation, U.S. and foreign carriers have entered into bilateral and multilateral marketing relationships, alliances, cooperation agreements and joint business agreements to exchange traffic among each other’s flights and route networks. See “Distribution and Marketing Agreements” above for further discussion.
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Our People
The airline business is labor intensive, and our team members are our most important asset. The operational complexity of our business requires a diverse team of personnel trained and experienced in a variety of technical areas such as flight operations, ground operations, safety and maintenance, customer service, and airline scheduling and planning. We believe that if we create an environment where our team members feel supported, they will take care of our customers and thereby support the success of our business. To do this, we must continue to build a diverse and inclusive environment, helping all team members reach their full potential and providing them with the right resources and support.
Talent Development
We give our team members the tools, training and resources they need to do their best work. We have a suite of programs aimed at helping our people develop the skills and experience to succeed in their roles and build rewarding, long-term careers within our company. Additionally, we’ve partnered with leading online learning platforms to make professional development available on-demand to all our team members.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Cultivating an environment that celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a top priority for us, and we seek to create a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and encouraged, where team members feel comfortable to be their authentic selves and where we are always learning from one another. Our DEI goals include:
diversifying our leadership team by establishing specific objectives and laying out a plan to achieve them, including enhancing our recruiting, development and mentoring programs;
providing additional learning opportunities beyond implicit bias training to generate further education and awareness of diversity and inclusion matters; and
pledging to assist Black youth in developing job skills and expanding access to well-paying careers as part of our overall strategy to increase opportunities in our hub cities and Tulsa, Oklahoma, where our largest maintenance facility is based.
In 2021, we continued to take steps towards achieving these goals. We:
increased Black representation at the directors and above level by approximately 80%, exceeding our goal of a 50% increase set at the beginning of 2021;
announced a second round of the Executive Sponsorship Program, first launched in September 2020, whereby a group of Black leaders have been paired with an executive leader for a year-long mentorship program;
launched an inclusive workplace DEI training completed by more than 90,000 team members;
introduced the Inclusion Education Series, a new web-based training series designed to help each team member become an upstander, with the first course focusing on how team members can recognize when something is wrong, act to make it right and better understand microaggressions;
started using HiredScore, a hiring technology platform designed to ensure accountability and mitigate potential hiring bias;
partnered with McKinsey & Company to offer select team members access to its Leadership Academies; and