10-K 1 mesa-10k_20180930.htm 10-K mesa-10k_20180930.htm

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2018

Or

 

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 001-38626

 

MESA AIR GROUP, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

NEVADA

 

85-0302351

(State of incorporation)

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

410 NORTH 44TH STREET, SUITE 700

PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85008

 

85008

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

(602) 685-4000

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

 

 

 

Common Stock, No Par Value

 

NASDAQ Global Select Market

 

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.  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.  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.    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).    Yes        No  

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K(§ 232.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.   

 

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.

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

 

 

Emerging 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.  

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  

 

As of March 31, 2018, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, there was no established public market for the registrant’s common stock. The registrant’s common stock began trading on The Nasdaq Global Select Market on August 10, 2018.

 

As of November 30, 2018, the registrant had 23,902,903 shares of common stock, no par value per share, issued and outstanding

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to its 2019 annual meeting of shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K where indicated.  The 2019 Proxy Statement will be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year to which this report relates.

 


MESA AIR GROUP, INC.

ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

For the Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2018

 

INDEX

 

 

 

Page

PART I

Item 1. 

Business

4

Item 1A. 

Risk Factors

14

Item 1B. 

Unresolved Staff Comments

28

Item 2. 

Properties

28

Item 3. 

Legal Proceedings

29

Item 4. 

Mine Safety Disclosures

29

PART II

Item 5. 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

30

Item 6. 

Selected Financial Data

32

Item 7. 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

36

Item 7A. 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

57

Item 8. 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

58

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

84

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

84

Item 9B.

Other Information

84

PART III

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

85

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

85

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

85

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

85

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

85

PART IV

Item 15. 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

86

Signatures 

93

 

 

2


Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that involve risks and uncertainties.  Many of the forward-looking statements are located in Part II, Item 7 of this Form 10-K under the heading “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

Forward-looking statements provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include any statement that does not directly relate to any historical or current fact. Forward-looking statements can also be identified by words such as “future,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects”, “intends,” “plans,” “predicts,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “can,” “may,” and similar terms.  Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and our actual results may differ significantly from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such differences include but are not limited to, those discussed in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the heading “Risk Factors,” which are incorporated herein by reference. All information presented herein is based on our fiscal calendar.  Unless otherwise stated, references to particular years, quarters, months or periods refer to our fiscal years ended September 30 and the associated quarters, months, and periods of those fiscal years. Each of the terms the “Company,” “Mesa Airlines,” “we,” “us” and “our” as used herein refers collectively to Mesa Air Group Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries, unless otherwise stated.  We do not assume any obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements.

3


PART I

ITEM 1.  BUSINESS

General

Mesa Airlines is a regional air carrier providing scheduled passenger service to 110 cities in 39 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico, Cuba and the Bahamas. All of our flights are operated as either American Eagle or United Express flights pursuant to the terms of capacity purchase agreements we entered into with American Airlines, Inc. (“American”) and United Airlines, Inc. (“United”) (each, our “major airline partner”). We have a significant presence in several of our major airline partners’ key domestic hubs and focus cities, including Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Washington-Dulles.

As of September 30, 2018, we operated a fleet of 145 aircraft with approximately 730 daily departures. We operate 64 CRJ-900 aircraft under our capacity purchase agreement with American (our “American Capacity Purchase Agreement”) and 20 CRJ-700 and 60 E-175 aircraft under our capacity purchase agreement with United (our “United Capacity Purchase Agreement”). For our fiscal year ended September 30, 2018, approximately 44% of our aircraft in scheduled service were operated for American and approximately 56% were operated for United. All of our operating revenue in our 2018, 2017 and 2016 fiscal years was derived from operations associated with our American and United Capacity Purchase Agreements.

Our long-term capacity purchase agreements provide us guaranteed monthly revenue for each aircraft under contract, a fixed fee for each block hour and flight actually flown, and reimbursement of certain direct operating expenses in exchange for providing regional flying on behalf of our major airline partners. Our capacity purchase agreements also shelter us, to an extent, from many of the elements that cause volatility in airline financial performance, including fuel prices, variations in ticket prices, and fluctuations in number of passengers. In providing regional flying under our capacity purchase agreements, we use the logos, service marks, flight crew uniforms and aircraft paint schemes of our major airline partners. Our major airline partners control route selection, pricing, seat inventories, marketing and scheduling, and provide us with ground support services, airport landing slots and gate access.

Regional aircraft are optimal for short and medium-haul scheduled flights that connect outlying communities with larger cities and act as “feeders” for domestic and international hubs. In addition, regional aircraft are well suited to serve larger city pairs during off-peak times when load factors on larger jets are low. The lower trip costs and operating efficiencies of regional aircraft, along with the competitive nature of the capacity purchase agreement bidding process, provide significant value to major airlines. According to the Regional Airline Association, we were the fourth largest regional airline in the United States in 2017, as measured by passenger enplanements, and our flights accounted for approximately 8.8% of all passengers carried on U.S. regional airlines.

Regional airlines play a daily, essential role in the U.S. air travel system. According to the Regional Airline Association, 41% of all scheduled passenger flights in the United States in 2017 were operated by regional airlines. Of all the U.S. airports with scheduled passenger service, 63% are served exclusively by regional airlines. Some of the most popular U.S. airports have more than half of their scheduled departures made by regional aircraft, including New York-LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington-Dulles, Charlotte, Houston-Bush and Chicago-O’Hare.

Our Competitive Strengths

We believe that our primary strengths are:

Low-Cost Operator. We believe that we are among the lowest cost operators of regional jet service in the United States. There are several key elements that contribute to our cost efficiencies:

 

Efficient Fleet Composition. We exclusively operate large regional aircraft with 70+ passenger seats on a single FAA certificate. Operating large regional aircraft allows us to enjoy unit cost advantages over smaller regional aircraft. Larger regional aircraft require less fuel and crew resources per passenger carried, and may also have maintenance cost efficiencies.

 

Cost Effective, Long-Term Collective Bargaining Agreements. Our pilots and flight attendants ratified new four-year collective bargaining agreements effective as of July 13, 2017 and October 1, 2017, respectively, which are among the longest in the regional airline industry and include labor rate structures through 2023 for our pilots and 2022 for our flight attendants. We believe that our collective bargaining agreements and favorable labor relationships are critical for pilot retention and will provide more predictable labor costs into 2023.

 

Low Corporate Overhead. Our general and administrative expenses per block hour have decreased by more than 32% over the five-year period ended September 30, 2018. We have significantly reduced our overhead costs by operating with a modest administrative and corporate team, offering cost-effective benefit programs and implementing automated solutions to improve efficiency.

4


 

Competitive Procurement of Certain Operating Functions. We have long-term maintenance agreements with expirations extending from December 2020 to December 2027 with AAR Aircraft Services, Inc. (“AAR), GE Engine Services, LLC. (“GE”), StandardAero Limited (“StandardAero”), Aviall Services, Inc. (“Aviall”) and Bombardier Aerospace (“Bombardier”), respectively, to provide parts procurement, inventory and engine, airframe and component overhaul services. We expect that our long-term agreements with these and other strategic vendors will provide predictable high-quality and cost-effective solutions for most maintenance categories over the next several years.

Recruitment and Retention. We believe that we are well positioned to attract and retain qualified pilot candidates.

 

We believe our recent success in pilot recruiting will continue with the introduction of our Career Path Program (“CPP”) with United. In addition to offering competitive compensation, bonuses and benefits, we believe the following elements contribute to our recruiting advantage:

 

Career Path Program. In March 2018 we announced our CPP with United, which is designed to provide our qualified current and future pilots a path to employment as a pilot at United. We believe that our CPP will help us continue to attract qualified pilots, manage natural attrition and further strengthen our decades-long relationship with United.

 

Modern, Large-Gauged Regional Jets. We exclusively operate large regional aircraft with advanced flight deck avionics. We believe that pilot candidates prefer advanced flight deck avionics because they are similar to those found in the larger commercial aircraft types flown by major airlines.

 

Opportunities for Advancement. We believe that our career progression is among the most attractive in the regional airline industry. During fiscal 2018, our pilots had the opportunity to be promoted from first officer to captain in as little as 12 months.

 

Stable Labor Relations. Throughout our long operating history, we believe that we have had constructive relationships with our employees and their labor representatives. We have never been the subject of a labor strike or labor action that impacted our operations.

 

Enthusiastic and Supportive Culture. Our “pilots helping pilots” philosophy helps us attract, retain and inspire our next generation of pilots. Our team-oriented culture, as demonstrated by the mentorship of our senior pilots, is both encouraged and expected. We strive to create an environment for our personnel where open communication is customary and where we celebrate our successes together.

Stable, Long-Term Revenue-Guarantee Capacity Purchase Agreements. We have long-term capacity purchase agreements with American and United that extend beyond 2020 for 94 of our 144 aircraft in scheduled service (with 34 aircraft expiring between June and December 2019 and 16 aircraft expiring between January and August 2020, if not extended prior to contract expiration). Both of our capacity purchase agreements are “capacity purchase,” rather than revenue sharing arrangements. This contractual structure provides us with a predictable revenue stream and allows us to increase our profit margin to the extent that we are able to lower our operating costs below the costs anticipated by the agreements. In addition, we are not exposed to price fluctuations for fuel, certain insurance expenses, ground operations or landing fees as those costs are either reimbursed under our capacity purchase agreements or paid directly to suppliers by our major airline partners.

Fleet Exclusively Comprised of Large, Efficient Regional Jets. We exclusively operate large regional aircraft with 70+ passenger seats. These aircraft are the highest in demand across the regional airline industry and provide us with best-in-class operating efficiencies, providing our major airline partners greater flexibility in route structuring and increased passenger revenues. As of September 30, 2018, we had 145 aircraft (owned and leased) consisting of the following:

 

 

 

Embraer

Regional

Jet-175

(76 seats)(1)

 

 

Canadair

Regional

Jet-700

(70 seats)

 

 

Canadair

Regional

Jet-900

(76-79

seats)

 

 

Canadair

Regional

Jet-200

(50 seats)(2)

 

 

Total

 

American Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

64

 

 

 

 

 

 

64

 

United Express

 

 

60

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80

 

Subtotal

 

 

60

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

64

 

 

 

 

 

 

144

 

Unassigned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

1

 

Total

 

 

60

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

64

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

145

 

 

(1)

In February 2018, we mutually agreed with United to temporarily remove two aircraft from service under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement. These aircraft were placed back in service in July 2018 and are reflected here.

(2)

CRJ-200 is an operational spare not assigned for service under our capacity purchase agreements.

5


Longstanding Relationships with American and UnitedWe began flying for American, through its predecessor entities, in 1992 and United in 1991. Since 2013, we have added 26 aircraft to our American Capacity Purchase Agreement and 60 aircraft to our United Capacity Purchase Agreement.

Strong Recent Record of Operational Performance. We were ranked the number one regional airline for on-time performance by DOT Air Travel Consumer Report for three of the first nine months of 2018, which was equal to or better than any other regional airline. In addition, we believe that we were the number one regional airline for on-time performance in 2016 and 2017 based on a comparison of our internal data to publicly available DOT data for reporting airlines. Under our capacity purchase agreements, we may receive financial incentives or incur penalties based upon our operational performance, including controllable on-time departures and controllable completion percentages.

Experienced, Long-Tenured Management Team. Our senior management team has extensive operating experience in the regional airline industry. Our Chief Executive Officer and President/Chief Financial Officer have served us in senior officer positions since 1998, and our management team has helped us navigate through and emerge successfully from bankruptcy in early 2011.

Our Business Strategy

Our business strategy consists of the following elements:

Maintain Low-Cost Structure. We have established ourselves as a low cost, efficient and reliable provider of regional airline services. We intend to continue our disciplined cost control approach through responsible outsourcing of certain operating functions, by flying large regional aircraft with associated lower maintenance costs and common flight crews across fleet types, and through the diligent control of corporate and administrative costs implementing company-wide efforts to improve our cost position. Additionally, we expect our long-term collective bargaining agreements to protect us from significant labor cost increases over the next five years. These efficiencies, coupled with the low average seniority of our pilots, has enabled us to compete aggressively on price in our capacity purchase agreement negotiations.

Attractive Work Opportunities. We believe our employees have been, and will continue to be, a key to our success. Our ability to attract, recruit and retain pilots has supported our industry-leading fleet growth. We intend to continue to offer competitive compensation packages, foster a positive and supportive work environment and provide opportunities to fly state-of-the-art, large-gauged regional jets to differentiate us from other carriers and make us an attractive place to work and build a career.

Maintain a Prudent and Conservative Capital Structure. We intend to continue to maintain a prudent capital structure. We believe that the strength of our balance sheet and credit profile will enable us to optimize terms with lessors and vendors and, when preferred by our major airline partners, allow us to procure and finance aircraft on competitive terms. We completed our initial public offering (“IPO”) in August 2018. We intend to use a portion of the IPO proceeds to purchase some of our leased aircraft. The purchase of these leased aircraft will allow us to lower our operating costs and avoid lease-related use restrictions and return conditions. We also intend to use a portion of the IPO proceeds to repay certain higher interest debt and refinance the balance at a reduced interest rate.

 

Minimize Tail Risk. We have structured our aircraft leases and financing arrangements to minimize or eliminate, as much as possible, so-called “tail risk,” which is the amount of aircraft-related lease obligations or projected negative equity existing beyond the term of that aircraft’s corresponding capacity purchase agreement. As of September 30, 2018, we had 18 aircraft with leases extending past the term of their corresponding capacity purchase agreements with an aggregate exposure of less than $33.0 million and no financing arrangements with projected negative equity. We intend to continue to align the terms of our aircraft leases and financing agreements with the terms of our capacity purchase agreements in order to maintain low “tail risk.”

Aircraft Fleet

We fly only large regional jets manufactured by Bombardier and Embraer S.A. (“Embraer”). Operating large regional aircraft allows us to enjoy operational, recruiting and cost advantages over other regional airlines that operate smaller regional aircraft.

The following table lists the aircraft we own and lease as of September 30, 2018:

 

Type of Aircraft

 

Owned

 

 

Leased

 

 

Total

 

 

Passenger

Capacity

 

E-175 Regional Jet

 

 

18

 

 

42

 

(1)

 

60

 

 

 

76

 

CRJ-900 Regional Jet

 

 

48

 

 

 

16

 

 

 

64

 

 

76/79

 

CRJ-700 Regional Jet

 

 

8

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

70

 

CRJ-200 Regional Jet

 

 

1

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

50

 

Total

 

 

75

 

 

 

70

 

 

 

145

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

These aircraft are owned by United and leased to us at nominal amounts.

6


The Bombardier and Embraer regional jets are among the quietest commercial jets currently available and offer many of the amenities of larger commercial jet aircraft, including flight attendant service, a stand-up cabin, overhead and under seat storage, lavatories and in-flight snack and beverage service. The speed of Bombardier and Embraer regional jets is comparable to larger aircraft operated by major airlines, and they have a range of approximately 1,600 miles and 2,100 miles, respectively. We do not currently have any existing arrangements with Bombardier or Embraer to acquire additional aircraft.

Route Network

As of September 30, 2018, we served 110 airports throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Cuba and the Bahamas. Our flight schedules are structured to facilitate the connection of our passengers with the flights of our major airline partners at their hub airports and to maximize local and connecting service to other carriers. Under our American and United Capacity Purchase Agreements, market selection, pricing and yield management functions are performed by our respective major airline partners.

Capacity Purchase Agreements

Our capacity purchase agreements consist of the following:

 

Operation of CRJ-900 aircraft under our American Capacity Purchase Agreement; and

 

Operation of CRJ-700 and E-175 aircraft under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement.

The financial arrangement underlying our American and United Capacity Purchase Agreements includes a revenue-guarantee arrangement. Under the revenue-guarantee provisions of our capacity purchase agreements, our major airline partners pay us a fixed minimum monthly amount per aircraft under contract, plus additional amounts related to departures and block hours flown. We also receive direct reimbursement of certain operating expenses, including insurance. Other expenses, including fuel and ground operations are directly paid to suppliers by our major airline partners. We believe we are in material compliance with the terms of our capacity purchase agreements and enjoy good relationships with our major airline partners.

We benefit from our capacity purchase agreements and revenue guarantees because we are sheltered, to an extent, from some of the elements that cause volatility in airline financial performance, including variations in ticket prices, fluctuations in number of passengers and fuel prices. However, we do not benefit from positive trends in ticket prices (including ancillary revenue programs), the number of passengers enplaned or reductions in fuel prices. Our major airline partners retain all revenue collected from passengers carried on our flights. In providing regional flying under our capacity purchase agreements, we use the logos, service marks and aircraft paint schemes of our major airline partners.

The following table summarizes our available seat miles (“ASMs”) flown and contract revenue recognized under our capacity purchase agreements for our fiscal years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively:

 

 

 

Year Ended September 30, 2018

 

 

Year Ended September 30, 2017

 

 

 

Available

Seat Miles

 

 

Contract

Revenue

 

 

Contract

Revenue

per ASM

 

 

Available

Seat Miles

 

 

Contract

Revenue

 

 

Contract

Revenue

per ASM

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

 

(in thousands)

 

American

 

 

4,417,228

 

 

$

359,467

 

 

¢

8.14

 

 

 

4,427,870

 

 

$

354,614

 

 

¢

8.01

 

United

 

 

5,296,649

 

 

$

279,797

 

 

¢

5.28

 

 

 

5,044,041

 

 

$

264,084

 

 

¢

5.24

 

Total

 

 

9,713,877

 

 

$

639,264

 

 

¢

6.58

 

 

 

9,471,911

 

 

$

618,698

 

 

¢

6.53

 

 

American Capacity Purchase Agreement

As of September 30, 2018, we operated 64 CRJ-900 aircraft for American under our American Capacity Purchase Agreement. In exchange for providing flight services under our American Capacity Purchase Agreement, we receive a fixed monthly minimum amount per aircraft under contract plus certain additional amounts based upon the number of flights and block hours flown during each month. In addition, we may also receive incentives or incur penalties based upon our operational performance, including controllable on-time departures and controllable completion percentages. American also reimburses us for certain costs on an actual basis, including passenger liability and hull insurance and aircraft property taxes, all as set forth in our American Capacity Purchase Agreement. Other expenses, including fuel and certain landing fees, are directly paid to suppliers by American. In addition, American also provides, at no cost to us, certain ground handling and customer service functions, as well as airport-related facilities and gates at American hubs and cities where we operate.

7


Our American Capacity Purchase Agreement establishes minimum levels of flight operations. In prior periods, the FAA Qualification Standards (as defined below) have negatively impacted our ability to hire pilots at a rate sufficient to support required utilization levels, and, as a result, we have issued credits to American pursuant to the terms of our American Capacity Purchase Agreement. For our fiscal years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, we issued credits of approximately $5.2 million and $6.0 million, respectively, under our American Capacity Agreement.

Our American Capacity Purchase Agreement will terminate with respect to different tranches of aircraft between 2021 and 2025, unless otherwise extended or amended. American has the option to unilaterally extend the term of our American Capacity Purchase Agreement up to three times for one year each (on the same terms) with respect to certain aircraft by providing us prior written notice. Our American Capacity Purchase Agreement is subject to termination prior to that date, subject to our right to cure, in various circumstances including:

 

If either American or we become insolvent, file for bankruptcy or fail to pay our debts as they become due, the non-defaulting party may terminate the agreement;

 

Failure by us or American to perform the covenants, conditions or provisions of our American Capacity Purchase Agreement, subject to 15 days’ notice and cure rights;

 

If we are required by the FAA or the DOT to suspend operations and we have not resumed operations within three business days, except as a result of an emergency airworthiness directive from the FAA affecting all similarly equipped aircraft, American may terminate the agreement;

 

If our controllable flight completion factor falls below certain levels for a specified period of time, subject to our right to cure; or

 

Upon a change in our ownership or control without the written approval of American.

In the event that American has the right to terminate our American Capacity Purchase Agreement, American may, in lieu of termination, withdraw up to an aggregate of 14 aircraft from service under our American Capacity Purchase Agreement. Upon any such withdrawal, American’s payments to us would be correspondingly reduced by the number of withdrawn aircraft.

As of September 30, 2018, American held 10.5% of our outstanding common stock (or 7.2% on a fully-diluted basis), which interest American received in exchange for an extension of our capacity purchase agreement during our bankruptcy proceeding.

United Capacity Purchase Agreement

As of September 30, 2018, we operated 20 CRJ-700 and 60 E-175 aircraft for United under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement. In exchange for providing the flight services under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement, we receive a fixed monthly minimum amount per aircraft under contract plus certain additional amounts based upon the number of flights and block hours flown and the results of passenger satisfaction surveys. United also reimburses us for certain costs on an actual basis, including property tax per aircraft and passenger liability insurance. Other expenses, including fuel and certain landing fees, are directly paid to suppliers by United. We also receive a minimum profit margin based upon our operational performance. Under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement, United has purchased 42 of the 60 E-175 aircraft and leases them to us at nominal amounts. United reimburses us on a pass-through basis for all costs related to heavy airframe and engine maintenance, landing gear, auxiliary power units (“APUs”) and component maintenance for the 42 E-175 aircraft owned by United.

Our United Capacity Purchase Agreement permits United, subject to certain conditions, including the payment of certain costs tied to aircraft type, to terminate the agreement in its discretion, or remove aircraft from service, by giving us notice of 90 days or more. In February 2018, we mutually agreed with United to temporarily remove two aircraft from service under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement. In July 2018, we were able to fully staff flight operations and these aircraft were placed back into service under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement. During the temporary removal, we agreed to pay the lease costs associated with the two E-175 aircraft, which totaled $1.9 million as of September 30, 2018. If United elects to terminate our United Capacity Purchase Agreement in its entirety or permanently remove select aircraft from service, we are permitted to return any of the affected E-175 aircraft leased from United at no cost to us. In addition, if United removes any of our 18 owned E-175 aircraft from service at its direction, United would remain obligated to assume the aircraft ownership and associated debt with respect to such aircraft through the end of the term of the agreement.

Our United Capacity Purchase Agreement expires between June and December 2019 with respect to 34 CRJ-700 and E-175 aircraft, between January and August 2020 with respect to 16 E-175 aircraft, and between 2021 and 2028 with respect to 30 of our E-175 aircraft, subject to United’s early termination rights and right to extend (on the same terms) for a total of four additional two-year terms. We intend to work with United to extend our United Capacity Purchase Agreement with respect to these aircraft, but there can be no assurance that we will be able to extend the agreement at acceptable rates, on acceptable terms, or at all.

8


Our United Capacity Purchase Agreement is subject to early termination under various circumstances noted above and including:

 

By United if certain operational performance factors fall below a specified percentage for a specified time, subject to notice under certain circumstances;

 

By United if we fail to perform the material covenants, agreements, terms or conditions of our United Capacity Purchase Agreement or similar agreements with United, subject to thirty (30) days’ notice and cure rights;

 

If either United or we become insolvent, file bankruptcy or fail to pay debts when due, the non-defaulting party may terminate the agreement; or

 

By United if we merge with, or if control of us is acquired by another air carrier or a corporation directly or indirectly owning or controlling another air carrier.

Maintenance and Repairs

A key element of our business and low-cost strategy is the responsible outsourcing of certain aircraft maintenance and other operating functions. We use competitive bidding among qualified vendors to procure these services on the best possible terms. In March 2014, August 2015 and January 2017, we entered into long-term maintenance contracts with AAR to provide fixed-rate parts procurement and component overhaul services for our aircraft fleet. Under these agreements, AAR provides maintenance and engineering services on any aircraft that we designate during the term of the agreement, along with access to spare parts inventory pool in exchange for a fixed monthly fee. Our agreements with AAR expire in 2026, unless earlier terminated for cause. We have not experienced difficulty obtaining spare parts on a timely basis for our aircraft fleet. As of September 30, 2018, $51.0 million of parts inventory was consigned to us by AAR under long-term contracts that is not reflected on our balance sheet.

In July 2012, we entered into a heavy check maintenance contract with Bombardier, to perform heavy check maintenance on our CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 aircraft, which extends through November 2020.

In July 2013, we entered into an engine maintenance contract with GE to perform heavy maintenance on certain CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 engines based on a fixed pricing schedule. The pricing may escalate annually in accordance with GE’s spare parts catalog for engines. The engine maintenance contract extends through 2024.

In 2014, we entered into a ten-year contract with Aviall to provide maintenance and repair services on the wheels, brakes and tires of our CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 aircraft. Under the agreement, we pay Aviall a fixed “cost per landing” fee for all landings of our aircraft during the term of the agreement, which fee is subject to annual adjustment based on increases in the cost of labor and component parts. As of September 30, 2018, $7.1 million of parts inventory was consigned to us by Aviall under long-term contracts that is not reflected on our balance sheet.

We entered into an engine maintenance contract with StandardAero, which became effective on June 1, 2015, to perform heavy maintenance on certain CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 engines based on a fixed pricing schedule. The pricing may escalate annually in accordance with GE’s spare parts catalog for engines. The engine maintenance contract extends through 2020.

Apart from our outsourcing of certain maintenance functions, we have a FAA mandated and approved maintenance program. Our maintenance technicians undergo extensive initial and recurrent training. Aircraft maintenance and repair consists of routine and non-routine maintenance, and work performed is divided into three general categories: line maintenance, heavy maintenance and component service.

Line maintenance consists of routine daily and weekly scheduled maintenance checks on our aircraft. We categorize our line maintenance into four stations and each line maintenance station is categorized by the scope and complexity of work performed. Line maintenance is performed in Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. and represents the majority of and most extensive maintenance we perform.

Major airframe maintenance checks consist of a series of more complex tasks that can take from one to four weeks to accomplish and typically are required approximately every 28 months, on average across our fleet. Engine overhauls and engine performance restoration events are quite extensive and can take two months. We maintain an inventory of spare engines to provide for continued operations during engine maintenance events. We expect to begin the initial planned engine maintenance overhauls on our new engine fleet approximately four to six years after the date of manufacture and introduction into our fleet, with subsequent engine maintenance every four to six years thereafter. Due to our current fleet size, we believe outsourcing all of our heavy maintenance, engine restoration and major part repair, is more economical than performing this work using our internal maintenance team.

9


Competition

We consider our competition to be those U.S. regional airlines that currently hold or compete for capacity purchase agreements with major airlines. Our competition includes, therefore, nearly every other domestic regional airline, including Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation; Endeavor Air, Inc. (owned by Delta) (“Endeavor”); Envoy Air, Inc. (“Envoy”), PSA Airlines, Inc. (“PSA”) and Piedmont Airlines, Inc. (“Piedmont”) (Envoy, PSA and Piedmont are owned by American); Horizon Air Industries, Inc. (owned by Alaska Air Group, Inc.) (“Horizon”); SkyWest Inc., parent of SkyWest Airlines, Inc. and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc.; Republic Airways Holdings Inc.; and Trans States Airlines, Inc.

Major airlines typically offer capacity purchase arrangements to regional airlines on the basis of the following criteria: availability of labor resources; proposed contract economic terms; reliable and on-time flight operations; corporate financial resources including ability to procure and finance aircraft; customer service levels; and other factors.

Certain of our competitors are larger and have significantly greater financial and other resources than we do. Moreover, economic downturns, combined with competitive pressures, have contributed to a number of reorganizations, bankruptcies, liquidations and business combinations among major and regional carriers. The effect of economic downturns is somewhat mitigated by our reliance on capacity purchase agreements with revenue-guarantee provisions, but the renewal and continued profitability of these partnerships with our major airline partners is not guaranteed.

Seasonality

Our results of operations for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of those for the entire year, since the airline industry is subject to seasonal fluctuations and general economic conditions. Our operations are somewhat favorably affected by increased utilization of our aircraft in the summer months and are unfavorably affected by increased fleet maintenance and by inclement weather during the winter months.

Aircraft Fuel

Our capacity purchase agreements provide that our major airline partners source, procure and directly pay third-party vendors for all fuel used in the performance of those agreements. Accordingly, we do not recognize fuel expenses or revenues for flying under our capacity purchase agreements and we face very limited exposure to fuel price fluctuations.

Insurance

We maintain insurance policies we believe are of types customary in the airline industry and as required by the DOT, lessors and other financing parties and our major airline partners under the terms of our capacity purchase agreements. The policies principally provide liability coverage for public and passenger injury; damage to property; loss of or damage to flight equipment; fire; auto; directors’ and officers’ liability; advertiser and media liability; cyber risk liability; fiduciary; workers’ compensation and employer’s liability; and war risk (terrorism). Although we currently believe our insurance coverage is adequate, we cannot assure you that the amount of such coverage will not be changed or that we will not be forced to bear substantial losses from accidents.

Employees

As of September 30, 2018, we employed approximately 3,412 employees, consisting of 1,358 pilots or pilot recruits, 1,287 flight attendants, 55 flight dispatchers, 426 mechanics and 286 employees in administrative roles. Our continued success is partly dependent on our ability to continue to attract and retain qualified personnel. We have never been the subject of a labor strike or labor action that materially impacted our operations.

FAA regulations require pilots to have an Airline Transport Pilot (“ATP”) license with specific ratings for the aircraft to be flown, and to be medically certified as physically fit to fly. FAA and medical certifications are subject to periodic renewal requirements including recurrent training and recent flying experience. Mechanics, quality-control inspectors, and flight dispatchers must be certificated and qualified for specific aircraft. Flight attendants must have initial and periodic competency training and qualification. Training programs are subject to approval and monitoring by the FAA. Management personnel directly involved in the supervision of flight operations, training, maintenance, and aircraft inspection must also meet experience standards prescribed by FAA regulations. All safety-sensitive employees are subject to pre-employment, random, and post-accident drug testing.

The airline industry has from time to time experienced a shortage of qualified personnel, particularly with respect to pilots and maintenance technicians. In addition, as is common with most of our competitors, we have faced considerable turnover of our employees. Regional airline pilots, flight attendants and maintenance technicians often leave to work for larger airlines, which generally offer higher salaries and better benefit programs than regional airlines are financially able to offer. During fiscal 2017, we experienced higher than average turnover as a result of pilot wage increases at certain other regional air carriers and expanded hiring by major carriers. Should the turnover of employees, particularly pilots, sharply increase, the result will be significantly higher training costs than otherwise would be necessary and we may need to request a reduced flight schedule with our major airline partners,

10


which may result in operational performance penalties under our capacity purchase agreements. We cannot assure you that we will be able to recruit, train and retain the qualified employees that we need to carry out our expansion plans or replace departing employees.

As of September 30, 2018, approximately 77.5% of our employees were represented by labor unions under collective-bargaining agreements, as set forth below. No other employees of ours or our subsidiaries are parties to any other collective bargaining agreement or union contracts.

 

Employee Groups

 

Number of

Employees

 

 

Representative

 

Labor

Agreement

Expiration

 

Pilots

 

 

1,358

 

 

Air Line Pilots Association

 

7/13/2021

(1)

Flight Attendants

 

 

1,287

 

 

Association of Flight Attendants

 

10/1/2021

(2)

Dispatchers

 

 

55

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

Mechanics

 

 

426

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

Administrative

 

 

286

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

 

(1)

On July 13, 2017, our pilots ratified a new four-year collective bargaining agreement.

(2)

On October 1, 2017, our flight attendants also ratified a new four-year collective bargaining agreement.

The Railway Labor Act (“RLA”) governs our relations with labor organizations. Under the RLA, the collective bargaining agreements generally do not expire, but instead become amendable as of a stated date. If either party wishes to modify the terms of any such agreement, they must notify the other party in the manner agreed to by the parties. Under the RLA, after receipt of such notice, the parties must meet for direct negotiations, and if no agreement is reached, either party may request the National Mediation Board (“NMB”) to appoint a federal mediator. The RLA prescribes no set timetable for the direct negotiation and mediation process. It is not unusual for those processes to last for many months, and even for a few years. If no agreement is reached in mediation, the NMB in its discretion may declare at some time that an impasse exists, and if an impasse is declared, the NMB proffers binding arbitration to the parties. Either party may decline to submit to arbitration. If arbitration is rejected by either party, a 30-day “cooling off” period commences. During that period (or after), a Presidential Emergency Board (“PEB”) may be established, which examines the parties’ positions and recommends a solution. The PEB process lasts for 30 days and is followed by another “cooling off” period of 30 days. At the end of a “cooling off” period, unless an agreement is reached or action is taken by Congress, the labor organization may strike and the airline may resort to “self-help,” including the imposition of any or all of its proposed amendments and the hiring of new employees to replace any striking workers. Congress and the President have the authority to prevent “self-help” by enacting legislation that, among other things, imposes a settlement on the parties. The table above sets forth our employee groups and status of the collective bargaining agreements.

Safety and Security

We are committed to the safety and security of our passengers and employees. We have taken many steps, both voluntarily and as mandated by governmental authorities, to increase the safety of our operations. Some of the safety and security measures we have taken with our major airline partners include: aircraft security and surveillance, positive bag matching procedures, enhanced passenger and baggage screening and search procedures, and securing of cockpit doors. We are committed to complying with future safety and security requirements.

Our ongoing focus on safety relies on training our employees to proper standards and providing them with the tools and equipment they require so they can perform their job functions in a safe and efficient manner. Safety in the workplace targets several areas of our operation including: dispatch, flight operations and maintenance.

The TSA and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, each a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are responsible for certain civil aviation security matters, including passenger and baggage screening at U.S. airports, and international passenger prescreening prior to entry into or departure from U.S. international flights are subject to customs, border, immigration and similar requirements of equivalent foreign governmental agencies. We are currently in compliance with all directives issued by such agencies. We maintain active, open lines of communication with the TSA at all of our locations to ensure proper standards for security of our personnel, equipment and facilities are exercised throughout the operation.

11


Facilities

In addition to aircraft, we have office and maintenance facilities to support our operations. Each of our facilities are summarized in the following table:  

 

 

Type

 

Location

 

Ownership

 

Approximate

Square Feet

 

Corporate Headquarters

 

Phoenix, Arizona

 

Leased

 

 

33,770

 

Office, Hangar and Warehouse

 

El Paso, Texas

 

Leased

 

 

31,292

 

Warehouse

 

Dulles. Washington

 

Leased

 

 

1,475

 

Hangar

 

Houston, Texas

 

Leased

 

 

74,524

 

Parts/Stores

 

Phoenix, Arizona

 

Leased

 

 

12,000

 

Training Center

 

Phoenix, Arizona

 

Leased

 

 

23,783

 

Hangar

 

Phoenix, Arizona

 

Leased

 

 

22,467

 

Warehouse

 

Tucson, Arizona

 

Leased

 

 

4,676

 

Warehouse

 

Dallas, Texas

 

Leased

 

 

3,420

 

Hangar

 

Dulles, Washington

 

Leased

 

 

27,235

 

Crew Lounge

 

Louisville, Kentucky

 

Leased

 

 

1,171

 

Crew Lounge

 

Dulles, Washington

 

Leased

 

 

1,834

 

 

Our corporate headquarters and training facilities in Phoenix, Arizona are subject to long-term leases expiring on November 30, 2025 and May 31, 2025, respectively.

We believe our facilities are suitable and adequate for our current and anticipated needs.

Foreign Ownership

Under DOT regulations and federal law, we must be owned and controlled by U.S. citizens. The restrictions imposed by federal law and regulations currently require that at least 75% of our voting stock must be owned and controlled, directly and indirectly, by persons or entities who are U.S. citizens, as defined in the Federal Aviation Act, that our president and at least two-thirds of the members of our Board of Directors and other managing officers be U.S. citizens, and that we be under the actual control of U.S. citizens. In addition, at least 51% of our total outstanding stock must be owned and controlled by U.S. citizens and no more than 49% of our stock may be held, directly or indirectly, by persons or entities who are not U.S. citizens and are from countries that have entered into “open skies” air transport agreements with the U.S. which allow unrestricted access between the United States and the applicable foreign country and to points beyond the foreign country on flights serving the foreign country. We are currently in compliance with these ownership provisions. As of September 30, 2018, there were outstanding warrants to purchase 10,614,990 shares of our common stock, with an exercise price of $0.004 per share.  There were 250,000 warrants to purchase shares of our common stock with an exercise price of $3.20 per share that were terminated in June 2018. The warrants are not exercisable in violation of the restrictions imposed by federal law requiring that no more than 24.9% of our stock be voted, directly or indirectly, or controlled by persons who are not U.S. citizens. 

Government Regulation

Aviation Regulation

The DOT and FAA have regulatory authority over air transportation in the United States and all international air service is subject to certain U.S. federal requirements and approvals, as well as the regulatory requirements of the appropriate authorities of the foreign countries involved. The DOT has authority to issue certificates of public convenience and necessity, exemptions and other economic authority required for airlines to provide domestic and foreign air transportation. International routes and international code-sharing arrangements are regulated by the DOT and by the governments of the foreign countries involved. A U.S. airline’s ability to operate flights to and from international destinations is subject to the air transport agreements between the United States and the foreign country and the carrier’s ability to obtain the necessary authority from the DOT and the applicable foreign government.

The U.S. government has negotiated “open skies” agreements with many countries, which allow broad access between the United States and the applicable foreign country. With certain other countries, however, the United States has a restricted air transportation agreement. Our international flights to Mexico are governed by a recently implemented liberalized bilateral air transport agreements which the DOT has determined has all of the attributes of an “open skies” agreement. Our flights to Canada, Cuba and the Bahamas are governed by bilateral air transport agreements between the United States and such countries. Changes in U.S., Mexican, Canadian, Cuban or Bahamian aviation policies could result in the alteration or termination of the corresponding air transport agreement, or otherwise affect our operations to and from these countries. In particular, there is still a degree of uncertainty about the future of scheduled commercial flight operations between the United States and Cuba as a result of changes in diplomatic relations between the two governments, as well as travel and trade restrictions implemented by the U.S. government in 2017. We are largely sheltered from the economic impact changes to existing “open skies” agreements or volatility in U.S., Mexican, Canadian, Cuban or Bahamian aviation polices because our major airline partners control route selection and scheduling under our capacity purchase agreements.

12


The FAA is responsible for regulating and overseeing matters relating to the safety of air carrier flight operations, including the control of navigable air space, the qualification of flight personnel, flight training practices, compliance with FAA airline operating certificate requirements, aircraft certification and maintenance requirements and other matters affecting air safety. The FAA requires each commercial airline to obtain and hold an FAA air carrier certificate. We currently hold an FAR-121 air carrier certificate.

Airport Access

Flights at three major domestic airports are regulated through allocations of landing and takeoff authority (i.e., “slots” and “operating authorizations”) or similar regulatory mechanisms, which limit take-offs and landings at those airports. Each slot represents the authorization to land at or take off from the particular airport during a specified time period. In the United States, the FAA currently regulates the allocation of slots, slot exemptions, operating authorizations or similar capacity allocation mechanisms at two of the airports we serve, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C. and New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA). In addition, John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County, California, has a locally imposed slot system. Our operations at these airports generally require the allocation of slots or analogous regulatory authorizations, which are obtained by our major airline partners.

Consumer Protection Regulation

The DOT also has jurisdiction over certain economic issues affecting air transportation and consumer protection matters, including unfair or deceptive practices and unfair methods of competition, lengthy tarmac delays, air carriers, airline advertising, denied boarding compensation, ticket refunds, baggage liability, contracts of carriage, customer service commitments, customer complaints and transportation of passengers with disabilities. The DOT frequently adopts new consumer protection regulations, such as rules to protect passengers addressing lengthy tarmac delays, chronically delayed flights, capacity purchase disclosure and undisclosed display bias, and is reviewing new guidelines to address the transparency of airline non-ticket fees and refunding baggage fees for delayed checked baggage. The DOT also has authority to review certain joint venture agreements, code-sharing agreements (where an airline places its designator code on a flight operated by another airline) and wet-leasing agreements (where one airline provides aircraft and crew to another airline) between carriers and regulates other economic matters such as slot transactions.

Environmental Regulation

We are subject to various federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations relating to environmental protection matters. These laws and regulations govern such matters as environmental reporting, storage and disposal of materials and chemicals and aircraft noise. We are, and expect in the future to be, involved in various environmental matters and conditions at, or related to, our properties. We are not currently subject to any environmental cleanup orders or actions imposed by regulatory authorities. We are not aware of any active material environmental investigations related to our assets or properties.

Other Regulations

Airlines are also subject to various other federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations. For example, the U.S. Department of Justice has jurisdiction over certain airline competition matters. Labor relations in the airline industry are generally governed by the RLA. The privacy and security of passenger and employee data is regulated by various domestic and foreign laws and regulations.

The U.S. government and foreign governments may consider and adopt new laws, regulations, interpretations and policies regarding a wide variety of matters that could directly or indirectly affect our results of operations. We cannot predict what laws, regulations, interpretations and policies might be considered in the future, nor can we judge what impact, if any, the implementation of any of these proposals or changes might have on our business.

Legal Proceedings

We are subject to commercial and employment litigation claims and to administrative and regulatory proceedings and reviews. We currently believe that the ultimate outcome of such claims, proceedings and reviews will not, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on our financial position, liquidity or results of operations. Additionally, from time to time we are subject to legal proceedings and regulatory oversight in the ordinary course of our business.

Corporate Information

We are a Nevada corporation with our principal executive office in Phoenix, Arizona.  We were founded in 1982 and reincorporated in Nevada in 1996.  In addition to operating Mesa Airlines, we also wholly own Mesa Air Group-Airline Inventory Management, LLC. (“MAG-AIM”), an Arizona limited liability company, which was established to purchase, distribute and manage Mesa Airlines’ inventory of spare rotable and expendable parts.  MAG-AIM’s financial results are reflected in our consolidated financial statements.

Our principal executive offices are located at 410 North 44th Street, Suite 700, Phoenix, Arizona 85008, and our telephone number is (602) 685-4000.  Our website is located at www.mesa-air.com. The information on, or accessible through, our website does not constitute part of, and is not incorporated into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

13


Mesa Airlines, the Mesa Airlines logo and our other registered or common law trade names, trademarks, or service marks appearing in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are our intellectual property.  This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains additional trade names, trademarks, and service marks of other companies that are the property of their respective owners. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trade names, trademarks, or service marks to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us, by these companies.  We have omitted the ® and designations, as applicable, for the trademarks used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to reports filed pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).  We are subject to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act, and we file or furnish reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Such reports and other information we file with the SEC are available free of charge at http://investor.mesa-air.com/financial-information/sec-filings when such reports are available on the SEC’s website. The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov. We periodically provide other information for investors on our corporate website, www.mesa-air.com, and our investor relations website, investor.mesa-air.com.  This includes press releases and other information about financial performance, information on corporate governance and details related to our annual meeting of shareholders.  The information contained on the websites referenced in this Annual Report on Form 10-K is not incorporated by reference into this filing.  Further, our references to website URLs are intended to be inactive textual references only.  

ITEM 1A.  RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Certain factors may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operation. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with all of the other information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our financial statements and the related notes, and in our other filings with the SEC. Our business, financial condition, operating results, cash flow and prospects could be materially and adversely affected by any of these risks or uncertainties. In that case, the trading price of our common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to Our Business

The supply of pilots to the airline industry is limited and may negatively affect our operations and financial condition.

In July 2013, as directed by the U.S. Congress, the FAA issued more stringent pilot qualification and crew member flight training standards, which increased the required training time for new airline pilots (the “FAA Qualification Standards”). The FAA Qualification Standards, which became effective in August 2013, require first officers to hold an ATP certificate, requiring 1,500 hours total flight time as a pilot. Previously, first officers were required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which required 250 hours of flight time. The rule also mandates stricter rules to minimize pilot fatigue. The FAA Qualification Standards (and associated regulations) have dramatically reduced the supply of qualified pilot candidates and has had a negative effect on pilot scheduling, work hours and the number of pilots required to be employed for our operations. To address the diminished supply of qualified pilot candidates, regional airlines, including us, implemented significant pilot wage and bonus increases. The impact of the FAA Qualification Standards (and associated regulations) has substantially increased our labor costs and may continue to negatively impact our operations and financial condition.

In prior periods, the FAA Qualification Standards have negatively impacted our ability to hire pilots at a rate sufficient to support required utilization levels under our American Capacity Purchase Agreement, and, as a result, we have issued credits to American pursuant to the terms of our American Capacity Purchase Agreement. For our fiscal year ended September 30, 2018, we issued credits of approximately $5.2 million under our American Capacity Agreement. Also, in February 2018, we mutually agreed with United to temporarily remove two aircraft from service under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement. In July 2018, we were able to fully staff flight operations and these aircraft were placed back into service under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement. If we are unable to maintain a sufficient number of qualified pilots to operate our scheduled flights, we may need to request reduced flight schedules with our major airline partners and incur monetary performance penalties under our capacity purchase agreements.

In addition, our operations and financial condition may be negatively impacted if we are unable to train pilots in a timely manner. Due to the industry-wide shortage of qualified pilots, driven by the increased flight hours requirements under the FAA Qualification Standards and attrition resulting from the hiring needs of other airlines, pilot training timelines have significantly increased and stressed the availability of flight simulators, instructors and related training equipment. As a result, the training of our pilots may not be accomplished in a cost-efficient manner or in a manner timely enough to support our operational needs.

14


Pilot attrition may continue to negatively affect our operations and financial condition.

In recent years, we have experienced significant volatility in our attrition as a result of pilot wage and bonus increases at other regional air carriers, the growth of cargo, low-cost and ultra low-cost carriers and the number of pilots at major airlines reaching the statutory mandatory retirement age of 65 years. In prior periods, these factors caused our pilot attrition rates to be higher than our ability to hire and retain replacement pilots and we have been unable to provide flight services at or exceeding the minimum flight operating levels expected by our major airline partners. If our attrition rates are higher than our ability to hire and retain replacement pilots, we may need to request a reduced flight schedule with our major airline partners, which may result in operational performance penalties under our capacity purchase agreements and our operations and financial results could be materially and adversely affected.

We are highly dependent on our agreements with our major airline partners.

We derive all of our operating revenue from our capacity purchase agreements with our major airlines partners. American accounted for approximately 54% and 56% of our total revenue for our fiscal years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively. United accounted for approximately 46% and 44% of our revenue for our fiscal years ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively. A termination of either our American or our United capacity purchase agreement would have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Our American Capacity Purchase Agreement expires with respect to different tranches of aircraft between 2021 and 2025, unless otherwise extended or amended. In addition, our American Capacity Purchase Agreement is subject to termination prior to expiration, subject to our right to cure, in various circumstances including if our controllable flight completion factor falls below certain levels for a specified period of time.

Our United Capacity Purchase Agreement expires between June and December 2019 with respect to 20 CRJ-700 and 14 E-175 aircraft, between January and August 2020 with respect to 16 E-175 aircraft, and between 2022 and 2028 with respect to 30 of our E-175 aircraft. We are currently in negotiations with United with respect to the 20 CRJ-700 aircraft expiring between August and December 2019. We cannot predict the outcome of these negotiations and there can be no assurance that we will be able to extend these aircraft at acceptable rates, on acceptable terms, or at all. United is also permitted, subject to certain conditions, to terminate the agreement early in its discretion by giving us notice of 90 days or more. Our United Capacity Purchase Agreement is also subject to termination prior to expiration, subject to our right to cure, in various circumstances including if our controllable flight completion factor or departure performance falls below certain levels for a specified period of time.

If our capacity purchase agreements with American or United were terminated or not renewed, we would be significantly impacted and likely would not have an immediate source of revenue or earnings to offset such loss. Neither American nor United are under any obligation to renew their respective capacity purchase agreements with us. A termination or expiration of either of these agreements would likely have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, cash flows, ability to satisfy debt and lease obligations, operating revenues and net income unless we are able to enter into satisfactory substitute arrangements for the utilization of the affected aircraft by other airline partners, or, alternatively, obtain the airport facilities, gates, ticketing and ground services and make the other arrangements necessary to fly as an independent airline. We may not be able to enter into substitute capacity purchase arrangements, and any such arrangements we might secure may not be as favorable to us as our current agreements. Operating an airline independently from our major airline partners would be a significant departure from our business plan and would likely require significant time and resources, which may not be available to us at that point.

Increases in our labor costs, which constitute a substantial portion of our total operating costs, may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

As a result of the FAA Qualification Standards, the supply of qualified pilots has been dramatically reduced. This shortage of pilots has driven up our pilot salaries and sign-on bonuses and resulted in a material increase in our labor costs. A continued shortage of pilots could require us to further increase our labor costs, which would result in a material reduction in our earnings.

Reduced utilization levels of our aircraft under our capacity purchase agreements would adversely impact our financial results.

Historically, our major airline partners have utilized our flight operations at levels at or near the maximum capacity of our fleet allocations under our capacity purchase agreements, but there can be no assurance that they will continue utilizing our aircraft at that level. If our major airline partners schedule the utilization of our aircraft below historical levels (including taking into account the stage length and frequency of our scheduled flights), we may not be able to maintain operating efficiencies previously obtained, which would negatively impact our operating results and financial condition.

15


Our American Capacity Purchase Agreement establishes minimum levels of flight operations. In prior periods, the FAA Qualification Standards have negatively impacted our ability to hire pilots at a rate sufficient to support required utilization levels, and, as a result, we have issued credits to American pursuant to the terms of our American Capacity Purchase Agreement.

Our United Capacity Purchase Agreement does not require United to schedule any specified minimum level of flight operations for our aircraft. Additionally, United may remove aircraft from our United Capacity Purchase Agreement with 90 days’ prior notice to us. While United pays us a fixed monthly revenue amount for each aircraft under contract, a significant reduction in the utilization levels of our fleet in the future or removal of aircraft from our United Capacity Purchase Agreement at United’s election could reduce our revenues based on the number of flights and block hours flown for United. In February 2018, we mutually agreed with United to temporarily remove two aircraft from service under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement. In July 2018, we were able to fully staff flight operations and these aircraft were placed back into service under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement.

Continued challenges with hiring, training and retaining replacement pilots may lead to reduced utilization levels of our aircraft and additional penalties under our capacity purchase agreements and our operations and financial results could be materially and adversely impacted. Additionally, our major airline partners may change routes and frequencies of flights, which can negatively impact our operating efficiencies. Changes in schedules may increase our flight costs, which could exceed the reimbursed rates paid by our major airline partners. Reduced utilization levels of our aircraft or other changes to our schedules under our capacity purchase agreements would adversely impact our financial results.

If our major airline partners experience events that negatively impact their financial strength or operations, our operations also may be negatively impacted.

We may be directly affected by the financial and operating strength of our major airline partners. Any events that negatively impact the financial strength of our major airline partners or have a long-term effect on the use of our major airline partners by airline travelers would likely have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In the event of a decrease in the financial or operational strength of any of our major airline partners, such partner may seek to reduce, or be unable to make, the payments due to us under their capacity purchase agreement. In addition, in some cases, they may reduce utilization of our aircraft. Although we receive guaranteed monthly revenue for each aircraft under contract and a fixed fee for each block hour or flight actually flown, our partners are not required to schedule any specified level of flight operations for our aircraft. If any of our other current or future major airline partners become bankrupt, our capacity purchase agreement with such partner may not be assumed in bankruptcy and could be terminated. This and other events, which are outside of our control, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, any negative events that occur to other regional carriers and that affect public perception of such carriers generally could also have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our major airline partners may expand their direct operation of regional jets thus limiting the expansion of our relationships with them.

We depend on our major airline partners electing to contract with us instead of operating their own regional jets or operating their own “captive” regional airlines through wholly owned subsidiaries. Currently, the captive regional airlines include Endeavor (owned by Delta), Envoy (owned by American), PSA (owned by American), Piedmont (owned by American) and Horizon (owned by Alaska). These major airlines possess the financial and other resources to acquire and operate their own regional jets, create or grow their own captive regional airlines or acquire other regional air carriers instead of entering into contracts with us. In particular, American, which procures approximately 40% of its regional flying from its wholly owned regional subsidiaries, has expressed a goal of increasing their share to a majority of American’s regional flying over time. We have no guarantee that in the future our major airline partners will choose to enter into contracts with us, or renew their existing agreements with us, instead of operating their own regional jets, allocating flying to their captive regional airlines or entering into relationships with competing regional airlines. A decision by American or United to phase out or limit our capacity purchase agreements or to enter into similar agreements with our competitors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We may be limited from expanding our flying within our major airline partners’ flight systems and there are constraints on our ability to provide services to airlines other than American and United.

Additional growth opportunities within our major airline partners’ flight systems are limited by various factors, including a limited number of independent regional aircraft that each such major airline partner can operate in its regional network due to “scope” clauses in the current collective bargaining agreements with their pilots that restrict the number and size of regional jets that may be operated in their flight systems not flown by their pilots. Except as contemplated by our existing capacity purchase agreements, we cannot be sure that our major airline partners will contract with us to fly any additional aircraft.

16


We may not have additional growth opportunities, or may agree to modifications to our capacity purchase agreements that reduce certain benefits to us in order to obtain additional aircraft, or for other reasons. Given the competitive nature of the airline industry, we believe limited growth opportunities may result in competitors accepting reduced margins and less favorable contract terms in order to secure new or additional capacity purchase operations. Even if we are offered growth opportunities by our major airline partners, those opportunities may involve economic terms or financing commitments that are unacceptable to us. Additionally, our major airline partners may reduce the number of regional jets in their system by not renewing or extending existing flying arrangements with regional operators or transitioning those flying arrangements to their own captive regional carriers. Any one or more of these factors may reduce or eliminate our ability to expand our flight operations with our existing major airline partners.

Additionally, our capacity purchase agreements limit our ability to provide regional flying services to other airlines in certain major airport hubs of American and United. These restrictions may make us a less attractive partner to other major airlines whose regional flying needs do not align with our geographical restrictions.

We have a significant amount of debt and other contractual obligations and that could impair our liquidity and thereby harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The airline business is capital intensive and, as a result, we are highly leveraged. As of September 30, 2018, we had approximately $930.2 million in total long-term debt including $9.7 million of capital lease obligations. Substantially all of our long-term debt was incurred in connection with the acquisition of aircraft and aircraft engines. We also have significant long-term lease obligations primarily relating to our aircraft fleet. These leases are classified as operating leases and are therefore not reflected in our consolidated balance sheets. During our fiscal years ended September 30, 2018, 2017 and 2016, our principal debt service payments totaled $222.2 million, $153.0 million and $75.5 million, respectively, and our principal aircraft lease payments totaled approximately $64.6 million, $107.0 million and $70.0 million, respectively.

We have significant lease obligations with respect to our aircraft, which aggregated to approximately $207.9 million and $316.1 million at September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively. At September 30, 2018, we had 28 aircraft under lease (excluding aircraft leased from United), with an average remaining term of 5.5 years. As of September 30, 2018, future minimum lease payments due under all long-term operating leases were approximately $218.7 million and debt service obligations were $1,130.5 million, respectively, including capital lease obligations.

We are subject to various financial covenants under our financing agreements and leases with, among others, CIT Bank, N.A. (“CIT”), Export Development Canada (“EDC”) and RASPRO Trust 2005, as pass-through trust (“RASPRO”) that are typical for credit facilities and leases of this size, type, and tenor. Our ability to make additional borrowings under our credit facility depends upon satisfaction of these covenants. Our ability to comply with these covenants and requirements may be affected by events beyond our control. Our failure to comply with obligations under our credit facility could result in an event of default under the facilities. A default, if not cured or waived, could prohibit us from obtaining further loans under our credit facilities and permit the lenders thereunder to accelerate payment of their loans. In addition, the lenders would have the right to proceed against the collateral we granted to them, which consists of substantially all of our assets. If our debt is accelerated, we cannot be certain that we will have funds available to pay the accelerated debt or that we will have the ability to refinance the accelerated debt on terms favorable to us, or at all. If we could not repay or refinance the accelerated debt, we could be insolvent and could seek to file for bankruptcy protection. Any such default, acceleration, or insolvency would likely have a material and adverse effect on our business. See “We are required to comply with certain ongoing financial and other covenants under certain credit facilities, and if we fail to meet those covenants or otherwise suffer a default thereunder, our lenders may accelerate the payment of such indebtedness” for a discussion of our financial and other covenants.

We cannot assure you that our operations will generate sufficient cash flow to make our required payments, or that we will be able to obtain financing to acquire additional aircraft or make other capital expenditures necessary for expansion. Our ability to pay the high level of fixed costs associated with our contractual obligations will depend on our operating performance, cash flow and our ability to secure adequate financing, which will in turn depend on, among other things, the success of our current business strategy, the U.S. economy, availability and cost of financing, as well as general economic and political conditions and other factors that are, to some extent, beyond our control. The amount of our fixed obligations could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and could:

 

require that a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations be used for operating lease and maintenance reserve payments, thereby reducing the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes;

 

limit our ability to obtain additional financing to support our expansion plans and for working capital and other purposes on acceptable terms or at all;

17


 

make it more difficult for us to pay our other obligations as they become due during adverse general economic and market industry conditions because any related decrease in revenues could cause us to not have sufficient cash flows from operations to make our scheduled payments; and

 

reduce our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the airline industry and, consequently, place us at a competitive disadvantage to our competitors with lower fixed payment obligations.

Additionally, a failure to pay our operating leases, debt or other fixed cost obligations or a breach of our contractual obligations could result in a variety of further adverse consequences, including the exercise of remedies by our creditors and lessors. In such a situation, it is unlikely that we would be able to cure our breach, fulfill our obligations, make required lease payments or otherwise cover our fixed costs, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We are required to comply with certain ongoing financial and other covenants under certain credit facilities, and if we fail to meet those covenants or otherwise suffer a default thereunder, our lenders may accelerate the payment of such indebtedness.

Under (i) the credit and guaranty agreement with CIT (“CIT Revolving Credit Facility”), we are required to comply with a minimum consolidated interest and rental coverage ratio at the end of each fiscal quarter during the term of such credit facility, (ii) a credit agreement with EDC, we are required to comply with a minimum fixed charge coverage ratio at the end of each fiscal quarter during the term of such credit facility, and (iii) the aircraft lease facility (“RASPRO Lease Facility”) with RASPRO we are required to comply with minimum current ratio and debt ratio covenants and a minimum available cash covenant until all amounts outstanding thereunder have been paid in full.

Failure to comply with the terms of these credit facilities and financing arrangements and the ongoing financial and other covenants thereunder would result in an event of default (as defined in the applicable credit facility and financing agreement) and, to the extent the applicable lenders so elect, an acceleration of our existing indebtedness following the expiration of any applicable cure periods, causing such debt to be immediately due and payable. Acceleration of such indebtedness would also trigger cross-default clauses under our other indebtedness. It could also result in the termination of all commitments to extend further credit under the CIT Revolving Credit Facility. We currently do not have sufficient liquidity to repay all of our outstanding debt in full if such debt were accelerated. If we are unable to pay our debts as they come due, or obtain waivers for such payments, our secured lenders could foreclose on any of our assets securing such debt. These events could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The residual value of our owned aircraft may be less than estimated in our depreciation policies.

As of September 30, 2018, we had approximately $1,250.8 million of property and equipment and related assets, net of accumulated depreciation, of which, $1,048.4 million relates to owned aircraft. In accounting for these long lived assets, we make estimates about the expected useful lives of the assets, the expected residual values of certain of these assets, and the potential for impairment based on the fair value of the assets and the cash flows they generate. Factors indicating potential impairment include, but are not limited to, significant decreases in the market value of the long lived assets, a significant change in the condition of the long lived assets and operating cash flow losses associated with the use of the long lived assets. In the event the estimated residual value of any of our aircraft types is determined to be lower than the residual value assumptions used in our depreciation policies, the applicable aircraft type in our fleet may be impaired and may result in a material reduction in the book value of applicable aircraft types we operate or we may need to prospectively modify our depreciation policies. An impairment on any of the aircraft types we operate or an increased level of depreciation expense resulting from a change to our depreciation policies could result in a material negative impact to our financial results.

The amounts we receive under our capacity purchase agreements may be less than the corresponding costs we incur.

Under our capacity purchase agreements with American and United, a portion of our compensation is based upon pre-determined rates typically applied to production statistics (such as departures and block hours flown). The primary operating costs intended to be compensated by the pre-determined rates include labor costs, including crew training costs, certain aircraft maintenance expenses and overhead costs. During our fiscal year ended September 30, 2018, approximately $42.6 million, or 7.0%, of our operating costs under our capacity purchase agreements were pass-through costs, excluding fuel which is paid directly to suppliers by our major airline partners. If our operating costs for labor, aircraft maintenance and overhead costs exceed the compensation earned from our pre-determined rates under our revenue-guarantee arrangements, our financial position and operating results will be negatively affected.

18


Strikes, labor disputes and increased unionization of our workforces may adversely affect our ability to conduct our business and reduce our profitability.

As of September 30, 2018, approximately 77.5% of our workforce was represented by labor unions, including the Air Line Pilots Association, International (“ALPA”) and the Association of Flight Attendants (“AFA”). On July 13, 2017, our pilots, represented by the ALPA, ratified a new four-year collective bargaining agreement. Similarly, on October 1, 2017, our flight attendants, represented by the AFA, ratified a new four-year collective bargaining agreement. The terms and conditions of our future collective bargaining agreements may be affected by the results of collective bargaining negotiations at other airlines that may have a greater ability, due to larger scale, greater efficiency or other factors, to bear higher costs than we can. In addition, if we are unable to reach agreement with any of our unionized work groups in future negotiations regarding the terms of their collective bargaining agreements, we may be subject to work interruptions, stoppages or shortages. We may also become subject to additional collective bargaining agreements in the future as non-unionized workers may unionize. We are also subject to various ongoing employment disputes outside of the collective bargaining agreements. We consider these to not be material, but any current or future dispute could become material.

Relations between air carriers and labor unions in the United States are governed by the RLA. Under the RLA, collective bargaining agreements generally contain “amendable dates” rather than expiration dates, and the RLA requires that a carrier maintain the existing terms and conditions of employment following the amendable date through a multi-stage and usually lengthy series of bargaining processes overseen by the NMB. This process continues until either the parties have reached agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement, or the parties have been released to “self-help” by the NMB. In most circumstances, the RLA prohibits strikes; however, after release by the NMB, carriers and unions are free to engage in self-help measures such as lockouts and strikes.

Any strike, labor dispute or increased unionization among our employees could disrupt our operations, reduce our profitability or interfere with the ability of our management to focus on executing our business strategies. For example, if a labor strike were to continue for several consecutive days, United may have cause to terminate our United Capacity Purchase Agreement. As a result, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be materially adversely affected.

We face tail risk in that we have aircraft lease commitments that extend beyond our existing capacity purchase agreement contractual terms on certain aircraft.

We currently have aircraft with leases extending past the term of their corresponding capacity purchase agreement with an aggregate exposure of less than $33.0 million. We may not be successful in extending the flying contract terms on these aircraft with our major airline partners. In that event, we intend to pursue alternative uses for those aircraft over the remaining portions of their leases including, but not limited to, operating the aircraft with another major airline under a negotiated capacity purchase agreement, subleasing the aircraft to another operator or marketing them for sale. Additionally, we may negotiate an early lease return agreement with an aircraft’s lessor. In connection with this, we may incur cash and non-cash early lease termination costs that would negatively impact our operations and financial condition. Additionally, if we are unable to extend a flying contract with an existing major airline partner but reach an agreement to place an aircraft into service with a different major airline partner, we likely will incur inefficiencies and incremental costs, such as changing the aircraft livery, which would negatively impact our financial results.

We may incur substantial maintenance costs as part of our leased aircraft return obligations.

Our aircraft lease agreements contain provisions that require us to return aircraft airframes and engines to the lessor in a specified condition or pay an amount to the lessor based on the actual return condition of the equipment. These lease return costs are recorded in the period in which they are incurred and may be materially different than our projections. Any unexpected increase in maintenance return costs may negatively impact our financial position and results of operations.

We may become involved in litigation that may materially adversely affect us.

From time to time, we may become involved in various legal proceedings relating to matters incidental to the ordinary course of our business, including employment, commercial, product liability, class action, whistleblower and other litigation and claims, and governmental and other regulatory investigations and proceedings. Such matters can be time-consuming, divert management’s attention and resources, cause us to incur significant expenses or liability and/or require us to change our business practices. Because of the potential risks, expenses and uncertainties of litigation, we may, from time to time, settle disputes, even where we believe that we have meritorious claims or defenses. Because litigation is inherently unpredictable, we cannot assure you that the results of any of these actions will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

19


Disagreements regarding the interpretation of our capacity purchase agreements with our major airline partners could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

To the extent that we experience disagreements regarding the interpretation of our capacity purchase or other agreements, we will likely expend valuable management time and financial resources in our efforts to resolve those disagreements. Those disagreements may result in litigation, arbitration, settlement negotiations or other proceedings. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that any or all of those proceedings, if commenced, would be resolved in our favor or that we would be able to exercise sufficient leverage in any proceeding relative to our major airline partner to achieve a favorable outcome. An unfavorable result in any such proceeding could have adverse financial consequences or require us to modify our operations. Such disagreements and their consequences could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

We rely on third-party suppliers as the sole manufacturers of our aircraft and aircraft engines.

We depend upon Bombardier and Embraer as the sole manufacturers of our aircraft and GE as the sole manufacturer of our aircraft engines. Our operations could be materially and adversely affected by the failure or inability of Bombardier, Embraer or GE to provide sufficient parts or related maintenance and support services to us in a timely manner, or the interruption of our flight operations as a result of unscheduled or unanticipated maintenance requirements for our aircrafts or engines.

Maintenance costs will likely increase as the age of our regional jet fleet increases.

The average age of our E-175, CRJ-900 and CRJ-700 type aircraft is approximately 2.9, 12.0 and 14.7 years, respectively. We have incurred relatively low maintenance expenses on our E-175 aircraft because most of the parts are under multi-year warranties and a limited number of heavy airframe checks and engine overhauls have occurred. Our maintenance costs will increase significantly, both on an absolute basis and as a percentage of our operating expenses, as our fleet ages and the E-175 warranties expire. In addition, because our current aircraft were acquired over a relatively short period of time, significant maintenance events scheduled for these aircraft will occur at roughly the same intervals, meaning we will incur our most expensive scheduled maintenance obligations across our present fleet at approximately the same time. These more significant maintenance activities result in out-of-service periods during which aircraft are dedicated to maintenance activities and unavailable for flying under our capacity purchase agreements. Any unexpected increase in our maintenance costs as our fleet ages or decreased revenues resulting from out-of-service periods could have an adverse effect on our cash flows, operating results and financial condition.

If we face problems with any of our third-party service providers, our operations could be adversely affected.

Our reliance upon others to provide essential services on behalf of our operations may limit our ability to control the efficiency and timeliness of contract services. We have entered into agreements with contractors to provide various facilities and services required for our operations, including aircraft maintenance, ground facilities and IT services, and expect to enter into additional similar agreements in the future. In particular, we rely on AAR and Aviall to provide fixed-rate parts procurement and component overhaul services for our aircraft fleet and GE to provide engine support. Our agreements with AAR, and other service providers, are subject to termination after notice. If our third-party service providers terminate their contracts with us, or do not provide timely or consistently high-quality service, we may not be able to replace them in a cost-efficient manner or in a manner timely enough to support our operational needs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, our operations could be materially and adversely affected by the failure or inability of AAR, Aviall or GE to provide sufficient parts or related maintenance and support services to us in a timely manner.

Regulatory changes or tariffs could negatively impact our business and financial condition.

We import a substantial portion of the equipment we need. For example, the sole manufacturers of our aircraft, Bombardier and Embraer, are headquartered in Canada and Brazil, respectively. We cannot predict the impact of potential regulatory changes or action by U.S. regulatory agencies, including the potential impact of tariffs or changes in international trade treaties on the cost and timing of parts and aircraft. Our business may be subject to additional costs as a result of potential regulatory changes, which could have an adverse effect on our operations and financial results.

The issuance of operating restrictions applicable to one of the fleet types we operate could negatively impact our business and financial condition.

We rely on a limited number of aircraft types, including CRJ-700, CRJ-900 and E-175 airccraft. The issuance of FAA or manufacturer directives restricting or prohibiting the use of the aircraft types we operate could negatively impact our business and financial results.

20


If we have a failure in our technology or security breaches of our information technology infrastructure our business and financial condition may be adversely affected.

The performance and reliability of our technology, and the technology of our major airline partners, are critical to our ability to compete effectively. Any internal technological error or failure or large scale external interruption in the technological infrastructure we depend on, such as power, telecommunications or the internet, may disrupt our internal network. Any individual, sustained or repeated failure of our technology or that of our major airline partners could impact our ability to conduct our business, lower the utilization of our aircraft and result in increased costs. Our technological systems and related data, and those of our major airline partners, may be vulnerable to a variety of sources of interruption due to events beyond our control, including natural disasters, terrorist attacks, telecommunications failures, computer viruses, hackers and other security issues.

In addition, as a part of our ordinary business operations, we collect and store sensitive data, including personal information of our employees and information of our major airline partners. Our information systems are subject to an increasing threat of continually evolving cybersecurity risks. Unauthorized parties may attempt to gain access to our systems or information through fraud or other means of deception. The methods used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service or sabotage systems are constantly evolving, and may be difficult to anticipate or to detect for long periods of time. We may not be able to prevent all data security breaches or misuse of data. The compromise of our technology systems resulting in the loss, disclosure, misappropriation of, or access to, employees’ or business partners’ information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability or regulatory penalties under laws protecting the privacy of personal information, disruption to our operations and damage to our reputation, any or all of which could adversely affect our business and financial condition.

Our business could be materially adversely affected if we lose the services of our key personnel.

Our success depends to a significant extent upon the efforts and abilities of our senior management team and key financial and operating personnel. In particular, we depend on the services of Jonathan G. Ornstein, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Michael J. Lotz, our President and Chief Financial Officer. Competition for highly qualified personnel is intense, and the loss of any executive officer, senior manager, or other key employee without an adequate replacement, or the inability to attract new qualified personnel, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to various environmental and noise laws and regulations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to increasingly stringent federal, state, local and foreign laws, regulations and ordinances relating to the protection of the environment and noise, including those relating to emissions to the air, discharges (including storm water discharges) to surface and subsurface waters, safe drinking water and the use, management, disposal and release of, and exposure to, hazardous substances, oils and waste materials. We are or may be subject to new or proposed laws and regulations that may have a direct effect (or indirect effect through our third-party specialists or airport facilities at which we operate) on our operations. In addition, U.S. airport authorities are exploring ways to limit de-icing fluid discharges. Any such existing, future, new or potential laws and regulations could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Similarly, we are subject to environmental laws and regulations that require us to investigate and remediate soil or groundwater to meet certain remediation standards. Under certain laws, generators of waste materials, and current and former owners or operators of facilities, can be subject to liability for investigation and remediation costs at locations that have been identified as requiring response actions. Liability under these laws may be strict, joint and several, meaning that we could be liable for the costs of cleaning up environmental contamination regardless of fault or the amount of wastes directly attributable to us.

Our ability to utilize our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be limited.

As of September 30, 2018, we had aggregate federal and state net operating loss carryforwards of approximately $415.1 million and $199.6 million, which expire in 2027-2037 and 2019-2038, respectively, with approximately $20.1 million of state net operating loss carryforwards that expired in 2018 which had a full valuation allowance. Our unused losses generally carry forward to offset future taxable income, if any, until such unused losses expire. We may be unable to use these losses to offset income before such unused losses expire. In addition, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change” (generally defined as a greater than 50% cumulative change in the equity ownership of certain shareholders over a rolling three-year period) under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards and other pre-change tax attributes to offset future taxable income or taxes may be limited. We have experienced ownership changes in the past and may experience ownership changes as a result of future changes in our stock ownership (some of which changes may not be within our control). This, in turn, could materially reduce or eliminate our ability to use our losses or tax attributes to offset future taxable income or tax and have an adverse effect on our future cash flows. See “—Our corporate charter limits certain transfers of our stock, which limits are intended to preserve our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards, and these limits could have an effect on the market price of our common stock.

21


We may not be able to successfully implement our growth strategy.

Our growth strategy includes, among other things, providing regional flying to other airlines and/or entering into the cargo and express shipping business. We face numerous challenges in implementing our growth strategy, including our ability to:

 

provide regional flying to other airlines with hub cities that overlap with our existing airline partners; and

 

enter into relationships with third parties to carry their cargo on terms that are acceptable to us.

Our capacity purchase agreements limit our ability to provide regional flying services to other airlines in certain major airport hubs of American and United. These restrictions may make us a less attractive partner to other major airlines whose regional flying needs do not align with our geographical restrictions.

The potential benefits of entering the air cargo and express shipping sector will depend substantially on our ability to enter into relationships with integrated logistics companies and transition our existing business strategies into a new sector. We may be unsuccessful in entering into relationships with integrated logistics companies to carry cargo on terms that are acceptable to us. Additionally, our ability to transition our existing business strategies into a new sector may be costly, complex and time-consuming, and our management will have to devote substantial time and resources to such effort. Should we transition into this new sector, we may experience difficulties or delays in securing gate access and other airport services necessary to operate in the air cargo and express shipping sector. Our inability to successfully implement our growth strategies, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and any assumptions underlying estimates of expected cost savings or expected revenues may be inaccurate.

We may not be able to make opportunistic acquisitions should we elect to do so as part of our growth strategy.

If we elect to pursue an acquisition, our ability to successfully implement this transaction would depend on a variety of factors, including the approval of our acquisition target’s major airline partners, obtaining financing on acceptable terms and compliance with the restrictions contained in our debt agreements. If we need to obtain our lenders’ consent prior to an acquisition, they may refuse to provide such consent or condition their consent on our compliance with additional restrictive covenants that limit our operating flexibility. Acquisition transactions involve risks, including those associated with integrating the operations or (as applicable) separately maintaining the operations, financial reporting, disparate technologies and personnel of acquired companies; managing geographically dispersed operations; the diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns; unknown risks; and the potential loss of key employees. We may not successfully integrate any businesses we may acquire in the future and may not achieve anticipated revenue and cost benefits relating to any such transactions. Strategic transactions may be expensive, time consuming and may strain our resources. Strategic transactions may not be accretive to our earnings and may negatively impact our results of operations as a result of, among other things, the incurrence of debt, one-time write-offs of goodwill and amortization expenses of other intangible assets. In addition, strategic transactions that we may pursue could result in dilutive issuances of equity securities.

Our ability to obtain financing or access capital markets may be limited.

There are a number of factors that may limit our ability to raise financing or access capital markets in the future, including our significant debt and future contractual obligations, our liquidity and credit status, our operating cash flows, the market conditions in the airline industry, U.S. and global economic conditions, the general state of the capital markets and the financial position of the major providers of commercial aircraft financing. We cannot assure you that we will be able to source external financing for our planned aircraft acquisitions or for other significant capital needs, and if we are unable to source financing on acceptable terms, or unable to source financing at all, our business could be materially adversely affected. To the extent we finance our activities with additional debt, we may become subject to financial and other covenants that may restrict our ability to pursue our business strategy or otherwise constrain our growth and operations.

Negative publicity regarding our customer service could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our business strategy includes the implementation of our major airline partners’ brand and product in order to increase customer loyalty and drive future ticket sales. In addition, we also receive certain amounts under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement based upon the results of passenger satisfaction surveys. However, we may experience a high number of passenger complaints related to, among other things, our customer service. These complaints, together with delayed and cancelled flights, and other service issues, are reported to the public by the DOT. If we do not meet our major airline partners’ expectations with respect to reliability and service, our and our major airline partners’ brand and product could be negatively impacted, which could result in customers deciding not to fly with our major airline partners or with us. If we are unable to provide consistently high-quality customer service, it could have an adverse effect on our relationships with our major airline partners.

22


Risks associated with our presence in international emerging markets, including political or economic instability, and failure to adequately comply with existing legal requirements, may materially adversely affect us.

Some of our target growth markets include countries with less developed economies, legal systems, financial markets and business and political environments are vulnerable to economic and political disruptions, such as significant fluctuations in gross domestic product, interest and currency exchange rates, civil disturbances, government instability, nationalization and expropriation of private assets, trafficking and the imposition of taxes or other charges by governments. The occurrence of any of these events in markets served by us now or in the future and the resulting instability may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We emphasize compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and have implemented and continue to implement and refresh policies, procedures and certain ongoing training of our employees, third-party specialists and partners with regard to business ethics and key legal requirements; however, we cannot assure you that our employees, third-party specialists or partners will adhere to our code of ethics, other policies or other legal requirements. If we fail to enforce our policies and procedures properly or maintain adequate recordkeeping and internal accounting practices to record our transactions accurately, we may be subject to sanctions. In the event we believe or have reason to believe our employees, third-party specialists or partners have or may have violated applicable laws or regulations, we may incur investigation costs, potential penalties and other related costs which in turn may materially adversely affect our reputation and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Risks Related to Our Industry

The airline industry is highly competitive and has undergone a period of consolidation and transition leaving fewer potential major airline partners.

The airline industry is highly competitive. We compete primarily with other regional airlines, some of which are owned by or operated by major airlines. In certain instances, our competitors are larger than us and possess significantly greater financial and other resources than we do. The airline industry has undergone substantial consolidation, including the mergers between Alaska Airlines and Virgin America Inc. in 2016, American and US Airways in 2013, Southwest Airlines Co. and AirTran Airways in 2011, United and Continental Airlines in 2010 and Delta and Northwest Airlines in 2008. Any additional consolidation or significant alliance activity within the airline industry could further limit the number of potential partners with whom we could enter into capacity purchase agreements.

We are subject to significant governmental regulation.

All interstate air carriers, including us, are subject to regulation by the DOT, the FAA and other governmental agencies. Regulations promulgated by the DOT primarily relate to economic aspects of air service. The FAA requires operating, air worthiness and other certificates; approval of personnel who may engage in flight, maintenance or operation activities; record keeping procedures in accordance with FAA requirements; and FAA approval of flight training and retraining programs. We cannot predict whether we will be able to comply with all present and future laws, rules, regulations and certification requirements or that the cost of continued compliance will not have a material adverse effect on our operations. We incur substantial costs in maintaining our current certifications and otherwise complying with the laws, rules and regulations to which we are subject. A decision by the FAA to ground, or require time consuming inspections of or maintenance on, all or any of our aircraft for any reason may have a material adverse effect on our operations. In addition to state and federal regulation, airports and municipalities enact rules and regulations that affect our operations and require that we incur substantial on-going costs.

Airlines are often affected by factors beyond their control including: air traffic congestion at airports; air traffic control inefficiencies; adverse weather conditions, such as hurricanes or blizzards; increased security measures; new travel related taxes or the outbreak of disease; any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Like other airlines, our business is affected by factors beyond our control, including air traffic congestion at airports, air traffic control inefficiencies, increased security measures, new travel-related taxes and fees, adverse weather conditions, natural disasters and the outbreak of disease. Factors that cause flight delays frustrate passengers and increase operating costs and decrease revenues, which in turn could adversely affect profitability. The federal government singularly controls all U.S. airspace, and airlines are completely dependent on the FAA to operate that airspace in a safe, efficient and affordable manner. The air traffic control system, which is operated by the FAA, faces challenges in managing the growing demand for U.S. air travel. U.S. and foreign air-traffic controllers often rely on outdated technologies that routinely overwhelm the system and compel airlines to fly inefficient, indirect routes resulting in delays. In addition, there are currently proposals before Congress that could potentially lead to the privatization of the United States’ air traffic control system, which could adversely affect our business. Further, implementation of the Next Generation Air Transport System by the FAA would result in changes to aircraft routings and flight paths that could lead to increased noise complaints and lawsuits, resulting in increased costs. There are additional proposals before Congress that would treat a wide range of consumer protection issues, including, among other things, proposals to regulate seat size, which could increase the costs of doing business.

23


Adverse weather conditions and natural disasters, such as hurricanes, winter snowstorms or earthquakes, can cause flight cancellations or significant delays. Cancellations or delays due to adverse weather conditions or natural disasters, air traffic control problems or inefficiencies, breaches in security or other factors may affect us to a greater degree than other, larger airlines that may be able to recover more quickly from these events, and therefore could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition to a greater degree than other air carriers. Any general reduction in airline passenger traffic could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Terrorist activities or warnings have dramatically impacted the airline industry and will likely continue to do so.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath have negatively impacted the airline industry in general, including our operations. If additional terrorist attacks are launched against the airline industry, there will be lasting consequences of the attacks, which may include loss of life, property damage, increased security and insurance costs, increased concerns about future terrorist attacks, increased government regulation and airport delays due to heightened security. We cannot provide any assurance that these events will not harm the airline industry generally or our operations or financial condition in particular.

The occurrence of an aviation accident involving our aircraft would negatively impact our operations and financial condition.

An accident or incident involving our aircraft could result in significant potential claims of injured passengers and others, as well as repair or replacement of a damaged aircraft and its consequential temporary or permanent loss from service. In the event of an accident, our liability insurance may not be adequate to offset our exposure to potential claims and we may be forced to bear substantial losses from the accident. Substantial claims resulting from an accident in excess of our related insurance coverage would harm our operational and financial results. Moreover, any aircraft accident or incident, even if fully insured, could cause a public perception that our operations are less safe or reliable than other airlines.

An outbreak of a disease or similar public health threat could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial position and results of operations.

An outbreak of a disease or similar public health threat that affects travel demand, travel behavior, or travel restrictions could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Owning Our Common Stock

The market price of our common stock may be volatile, which could cause the value of an investment in our stock to decline.

The market price of our common stock may fluctuate substantially due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:

 

announcements concerning our major airline partners, competitors, the airline industry or the economy in general;

 

strategic actions by us, our major airline partners, or our competitors, such as acquisitions or restructurings;

 

media reports and publications about the safety of our aircraft or the aircraft type we operate;

 

new regulatory pronouncements and changes in regulatory guidelines;

 

announcements concerning the availability of the type of aircraft we use;

 

significant volatility in the market price and trading volume of companies in the airline industry;

 

changes in financial estimates or recommendations by securities analysts or failure to meet analysts’ performance expectations;

 

sales of our common stock or other actions by insiders or investors with significant shareholdings, including sales by our principal shareholders; and

 

general market, political and other economic conditions.

The stock markets in general have experienced substantial volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. Broad market fluctuations may materially adversely affect the trading price of our common stock.

In the past, shareholders have sometimes instituted securities class action litigation against companies following periods of volatility in the market price of their securities. Any similar litigation against us could result in substantial costs, divert management’s attention and resources and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

24


If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business or publish negative reports about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common stock depends in part on the research and reports that securities and industry analysts may publish about us or our business. If one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrade our stock or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the trading price of our common stock would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases to cover our company or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our stock could decrease, which may cause the trading price of our common stock and the trading volume of our common stock to decline.

The value of our common stock may be materially adversely affected by additional issuances of common stock by us or sales by our principal shareholders.

Any future issuances or sales of our common stock by us will be dilutive to our existing common shareholders. Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public or private market, a perception in the market that such sales could occur, or the issuance of securities exercisable or convertible into our common stock, could adversely affect the prevailing price of our common stock.

The value of our common stock may be materially adversely affected by additional issuances of common stock underlying our outstanding warrants.

As of September 30, 2018, we had outstanding warrants to purchase an aggregate of 10,614,990 shares of our common stock, all of which were originally issued to non-U.S. citizens who were claimholders in our bankruptcy proceedings in order to maintain compliance with restrictions imposed by federal law on foreign ownership of U.S. airlines. Any future warrant exercises by our existing warrant holders will be dilutive to our existing common shareholders. All of the shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of our warrants will be freely tradeable without restrictions or further registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public or private market, a perception in the market that such sales could occur, or the issuance of securities exercisable or convertible into our common stock, could adversely affect the prevailing price of our common stock.

Provisions in our charter documents might deter acquisition bids for us, which could adversely affect the price of our common stock.

Our second amended and restated articles of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that, among other things:

 

authorize our Board of Directors, without shareholder approval, to designate and fix the voting powers, designations, preferences, limitations, restrictions and relative rights of one or more series of preferred stock and to issue shares of one or more series of preferred stock so designated, or rights to acquire such preferred stock, that could dilute the interest of, or impair the voting power of, holders of our common stock and could also have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing a change of control;

 

establish advance notice procedures that shareholders must comply with in order to nominate candidates to our Board of Directors and propose matters to be brought before an annual or special meeting of our shareholders, which may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of our company;

 

authorize a majority of our Board of Directors to appoint a director to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of our Board of Directors or the resignation, death or removal of a director, which may prevent shareholders from being able to fill vacancies on our Board of Directors;

 

restrict the number of directors constituting our Board of Directors to within a set range, and give our Board of Directors exclusive authority to increase or decrease the number of directors within such range, which may prevent shareholders from being able to fill vacancies on our Board of Directors; and

 

restrict the ability of shareholders to call special meetings of shareholders.

Our corporate charter includes provisions limiting ownership by non-U.S. citizens.

To comply with restrictions imposed by federal law on foreign ownership of U.S. airlines, our second amended and restated articles of incorporation restrict the ownership and voting of shares of our common stock by people and entities who are not “citizens of the United States” as that term is defined in 49 U.S.C. § 40102(a). That statute defines “citizen of the United States” as, among other things, a U.S. corporation, of which the president and at least two-thirds of the board of directors and other managing officers are individuals who are citizens of the United States, which is under the actual control of citizens of the United States and in which at least 75% of the voting interest is owned or controlled by persons who are citizens of the United States. Our second amended and restated articles of incorporation prohibit any non-U.S. citizen from owning or controlling more than 24.9% of the aggregate votes of all

25


outstanding shares of our common stock or 49.0% of the total number of outstanding shares of our capital stock. The restrictions imposed by the above-described ownership caps are applied to each non-U.S. citizen in reverse chronological order based on the date of registration on our foreign stock record. At no time may shares of our capital stock held by non-U.S. citizens be voted unless such shares are reflected on the foreign stock record. The voting rights of non-U.S. citizens having voting control over any shares of our capital stock are subject to automatic suspension to the extent required to ensure that we are in compliance with applicable law. In the event any transfer or issuance of shares of our capital stock to a non-U.S. citizen would result in non-U.S. citizens owning more than the above-described cap amounts, such transfer or issuance will be void and of no effect.

As of September 30, 2018, we had outstanding warrants to purchase 10,614,990 shares of our common stock with an exercise price of $0.004 per share. We are currently in compliance with all applicable foreign ownership restrictions.

Our corporate charter limits certain transfers of our stock, which limits are intended to preserve our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards, and these limits could have an effect on the market price and liquidity of our common stock.

To reduce the risk of a potential adverse effect on our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards for federal income tax purposes, our second amended and restated articles of incorporation prohibit the transfer of any shares of our capital stock that would result in (i) any person or entity owning 4.75% or more of our then-outstanding capital stock, or (ii) an increase in the percentage ownership of any person or entity owning 4.75% or more of our then-outstanding capital stock. These transfer restrictions expire upon the earliest of (i) the repeal of Section 382 of the Code or any successor statute if our Board of Directors determines that such restrictions are no longer necessary to preserve our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards, (ii) the beginning of a fiscal year to which our Board of Directors determines that no net operating losses may be carried forward, or (iii) such other date as determined by our Board of Directors. These transfer restrictions apply to the beneficial owner of the shares of our capital stock. The clients of an investment advisor are treated as the beneficial owners of stock for this purpose if the clients have the right to receive dividends, if any, the power to acquire or dispose of the shares of our capital stock, and the right to proceeds from the sale of our capital stock. Certain transactions approved by our Board of Directors, such as mergers and consolidations meeting certain requirements set forth in our articles of incorporation, are exempt from the above-described transfer restrictions. Our Board of Directors also has the ability to grant waivers, in its discretion, with respect to transfers of our stock that would otherwise be prohibited.

The transfer restrictions contained in our second amended and restated articles of incorporation may impair or prevent a sale of common stock by a shareholder and may adversely affect the price at which a shareholder can sell our common stock. In addition, this limitation may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control of the Company, creating a perception that a change in control cannot occur or otherwise discouraging takeover attempts that some shareholders may consider beneficial, which could also adversely affect the market price of our common stock. We cannot predict the effect that this provision in our second amended and restated articles of incorporation may have on the market price of our common stock.

We currently do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock and, consequently, your only opportunity to achieve a return on your investment is if the price of our common stock appreciates.

We have not historically paid dividends on shares of our common stock and do not expect to pay dividends on such shares in the foreseeable future. Additionally, our RASPRO Lease Facility and GECAS Lease Facility contain restrictions that limit our ability to or prohibit us from paying dividends to holders of our common stock. Any future determination to pay dividends will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, restrictions contained in current or future leases and financing instruments, business prospects and such other factors as our Board of Directors deems relevant, including restrictions under applicable law. Consequently, your only opportunity to achieve a positive return on your investment in us will be if the market price of our common stock appreciates.

We are an “emerging growth company,” and the reduced disclosure and regulatory requirements applicable to “emerging growth companies” may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We qualify as an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”), and therefore we may take advantage of reduced disclosure and regulatory requirements that are otherwise generally applicable to public companies. As an emerging growth company:

 

we are not required to obtain an attestation and report from our independent registered public accounting firm on our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act;

 

we may present reduced disclosure regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements; and

 

we are not required to hold nonbinding advisory shareholder votes on executive compensation or golden parachute arrangements.

26


We may take advantage of these reduced requirements until we are no longer an “emerging growth company,” which will occur upon the earliest of (i) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of our IPO (i.e. September 30, 2023), (ii) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenue is $1.07 billion or more, (iii) the date on which we have, during the previous rolling three-year period, issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities and (iv) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” as defined in the Exchange Act. Investors may find our common stock less attractive or our company less comparable to certain other public companies because we will rely on these reduced requirements.

In addition, the JOBS Act permits an “emerging growth company” to take advantage of an extended transition period to comply with new or revised accounting standards. This effectively permits the delayed adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. However, we are electing to “opt out” of such extended transition period and, as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards on the dates for which compliance is required for non-emerging growth companies. This election is irrevocable.

The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources, increase our operating costs, divert management’s attention and affect our ability to attract and retain qualified board members or executive officers.

We became a public company in August 2018. As a result, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the listing requirements of The Nasdaq Global Select Market, and other applicable securities rules and regulations. Compliance with these rules and regulations will increase our legal and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, time-consuming, or costly, and increase demand on our systems and resources, particularly after we are no longer an “emerging growth company.” The Exchange Act requires, among other things, that we file annual, quarterly, and current reports with respect to our business and results of operations. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. To maintain and, if required, improve our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting to meet this standard, significant resources and management oversight may be required. As a result, management’s attention may be diverted from other business concerns, which could harm our business and results of operations. We will need to hire additional employees or engage outside consultants to comply with these requirements, increasing our costs and expenses.

In addition, changing laws, regulations, and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure are creating uncertainty for public companies, increasing legal and financial compliance costs and making some activities more time-consuming. These laws, regulations, and standards are subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. We intend to invest resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards, and this investment may result in increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management’s time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations, and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to their application and practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us, and our business may suffer.

Being a public company has also increased the cost of our director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs in the future to obtain similar coverage. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our Board of Directors, particularly to serve on our board committees, and qualified executive officers.

As a result of disclosure of information in filings required of a public company, our business and financial condition will become more visible, which we believe may result in threatened or actual litigation, including by competitors and other third parties. If such claims are successful, our business and results of operations could suffer, and even if the claims do not result in litigation or are resolved in our favor, these claims, and the time and resources necessary to resolve them, could divert the resources of our management and harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We will be required to assess our internal control over financial reporting on an annual basis, and any future adverse findings from such assessment could result in a loss of investor confidence in our financial reports, result in significant expenses to remediate any internal control deficiencies and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We are required, pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, to furnish a report by management on, among other things, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for our fiscal year ending September 30, 2019. This assessment includes disclosure of any material weaknesses identified by our management in our internal control over financial reporting, as well as a statement that our independent registered public accounting firm has issued an opinion on our internal control over financial reporting, provided that our independent registered public accounting firm will not be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until our first annual report required to be filed with the SEC following the later of the date we are deemed to be an “accelerated filer” or a “large accelerated filer,” each as defined in the Exchange Act, or the date we are no longer an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act. We will be required to disclose changes made in our internal control and

27


procedures on a quarterly basis. To comply with the requirements of being a public company, we may need to undertake various actions, such as implementing new internal controls and procedures and hiring accounting or internal audit staff. We have begun the costly and challenging process of compiling the system and processing documentation necessary to perform the evaluation needed to comply with Section 404, and we may not be able to complete our evaluation, testing, and any required remediation in a timely fashion or at all.

In future periods, if we fail to achieve and maintain an effective internal control environment, we could suffer material misstatements in our financial statements and fail to meet our reporting obligations, which would likely cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information. Additionally, ineffective internal control over financial reporting could expose us to increased risk of fraud or misuse of corporate assets and subject us to potential delisting from the regulatory investigations, civil or criminal sanctions and litigation, any of which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

ITEM 1B.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None

ITEM 2.  PROPERTIES

Flight Equipment

As of September 30, 2018, our fleet available for scheduled service consisted of the following aircraft:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scheduled

 

 

Average

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passenger

 

 

Flight

 

 

Cruising

 

 

Average

 

Aircraft Type

 

Owned

 

 

Leased

 

 

Total

 

 

Capacity

 

 

Range (miles)

 

 

Speed (mph)

 

 

Age (years)

 

E-175 Regional Jet

 

 

18

 

 

 

42

 

 

 

60

 

 

 

76

 

 

 

2,100

 

 

 

530

 

 

 

2.9

 

CRJ-900 Regional Jet

 

 

48

 

 

 

16

 

 

 

64

 

 

76/79

 

 

 

1,500

 

 

 

530

 

 

 

12.0

 

CRJ-700 Regional Jet

 

 

8

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

70

 

 

 

1,600

 

 

 

530

 

 

 

14.7

 

CRJ-200 Regional Jet

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

50

 

 

 

1,500

 

 

 

530

 

 

 

24.7

 

Total

 

 

75

 

 

 

70

 

 

 

145

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several factors may impact our fleet size throughout our fiscal 2019 and thereafter, including contract expirations, lease expirations, growth opportunities and opportunities to transition to an alternative airline partner. Below is our fiscal 2019 outlook on our fleet by aircraft type. Our actual future fleet size and mix of aircraft types will likely vary, and may vary materially, from our current fleet size.

 

CRJ-900s As of September 30, 2018, we operated 64 CRJ-900 aircraft under our American Capacity Purchase Agreement. Our American Capacity Purchase Agreement will expire with respect to different tranches of aircraft between 2021 and 2025, unless otherwise extended or amended. American has the option to unilaterally extend the term of our American Capacity Purchase Agreement up to three times for one year each (on the same terms) with respect to certain aircraft by providing us prior written notice. Our American Capacity Purchase Agreement is subject to termination prior to that date, subject to our right to cure, in various circumstances.

 

CRJ-700s As of September 30, 2018, we operated 20 CRJ-700 aircraft under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement. Subject to certain early termination rights, the capacity purchase agreement for each of the 20 CRJ-700 aircraft expires between August and December 2019. Our United Capacity Purchase Agreement permits United, subject to certain conditions, including the payment of certain costs tied to aircraft type, to terminate the agreement in its discretion, or remove aircraft from service, by giving us notice of 90 days or more.   

 

E-175s – As of September 30, 2018, we operated 60 E-175 aircraft under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement. Our United Capacity Purchase Agreement expires between June 2019 and August 2020 with respect to 30 of the E-175 aircraft (owned by United), subject to United’s early termination rights. United also has the right to extend the term of these aircraft under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement for four additional two-year terms (for a maximum of eight years). In addition, 18 of the E-175 aircraft (owned by us) operating under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement expire between January 2028 and November 2028, subject to United’s early termination rights. During our fiscal 2017, we agreed with United to expand our United Capacity Purchase Agreement to include, subject to early termination rights, 12 additional E-175 aircraft (purchased by United), the last of which entered service in January 2018. These additional E-175 aircraft have a five-year term under our United Capacity Purchase Agreement, subject to United’s right to extend for up to four additional two-year terms (for a maximum of eight additional years). Our United Capacity Purchase Agreement permits United, subject to certain conditions, including the payment of certain costs tied to aircraft type, to terminate the agreement in its discretion, or remove aircraft from service, by giving us 90 days notice.

 

CRJ-200s – As of September 30, 2018, we operated one CRJ-200 aircraft as an operational spare.

28


Facilities

In addition to aircraft we have office and maintenance facilities to support our operations.  Each of our facilities are summarized in the following table:

 

Type

 

Location

 

Ownership

 

Approximate

Square Feet

 

Corporate Headquarters

 

Phoenix, Arizona

 

Leased

 

 

33,770

 

Office, Hangar and Warehouse

 

El Paso, Texas

 

Leased

 

 

31,292

 

Warehouse

 

Dulles. Washington

 

Leased

 

 

1,475

 

Hangar

 

Houston, Texas

 

Leased

 

 

74,524

 

Parts/Stores

 

Phoenix, Arizona

 

Leased

 

 

12,000

 

Training Center

 

Phoenix, Arizona

 

Leased

 

 

23,783

 

Hangar

 

Phoenix, Arizona

 

Leased

 

 

22,467

 

Warehouse

 

Tucson, Arizona

 

Leased

 

 

4,676

 

Warehouse

 

Dallas, Texas

 

Leased

 

 

3,420

 

Hangar

 

Dulles, Washington

 

Leased

 

 

27,235

 

Crew Lounge

 

Louisville, Kentucky

 

Leased

 

 

1,171

 

Crew Lounge

 

Dulles, Washington

 

Leased

 

 

1,834

 

Our corporate headquarters and training facilities in Phoenix, Arizona are subject to long-term leases expiring on November 30, 2025 and May 31, 2025 respectively.

We believe our facilities are suitable and adequate for our current and anticipated needs.

ITEM 3.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

We are subject to certain legal actions which we consider routine to our business activities. As of September 30, 2018, our management believed, after consultation with legal counsel, that the ultimate outcome of such legal matters was not likely to have a material adverse effect on our financial position, liquidity or results of operations.

ITEM 4.  MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

The disclosure required by this item is not applicable.

29


PART II

ITEM 5.  MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information

Our common stock has traded on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “MESA” since August 10, 2018.  Prior to that date, there was no public market for our common stock.

 

Holders of Record

As of November 30, 2018 we had 66 holders of record of our common stock.  Because many of our shares of common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of stockholders represented by these record holders.

The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is ComputerShare Trust Company, N.A.

Stock Split

On August 8, 2018 we filed a Second Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation, which, among other things: (i) effected a 2.5-for-1 stock split of our common stock; and (ii) increased the authorized number of shares of our common and preferred stock to 125,000,000 and 5,000,000, respectively. All references to share and per share amounts in the consolidated financial statements have been retrospectively revised to reflect the stock split and increase in authorized shares.

Dividends

We have not declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock.  We currently intend to retain any future earnings and do not expect to pay any cash dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future.  Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors, subject to applicable laws, and will depend on our financial condition, operating results, capital requirements, general business conditions, and other factors that our Board of Directors considers relevant.

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

The information required by this item with respect to our equity compensation plans is incorporated by reference to our definitive proxy statement for our 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (“2019 Proxy Statement”) to be filed with the SEC within 120 days of our fiscal year ended September 30, 2018.

 

30


Stock Performance Graph

The following Performance Graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing. 

The following graph compares the cumulative total return on our common stock with that of the Nasdaq Stock Market (U.S. Companies) and the Nasdaq Stock Market Transportation Index. The period shown commences on August 10, 2018, and ends on September 30, 2018, the end of our fiscal year. The graph assumes an investment of $100.00 in each of the above on the close of market on August 10, 2018. The stock performance shown on the graph below represents historical stock performance and is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

 

 

 

 

INDEXED RETURNS

 

 

 

Base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Period

 

 

Months Ending

 

Company Name/Index

 

8/10/2018

 

 

8/31/2018

 

 

9/30/2018

 

Mesa Air Group, Inc.

 

$

100.00

 

 

$

117.36

 

 

$

117.96

 

NASDAQ Composite

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

103.53

 

 

 

102.80

 

NASDAQ Transportation Index

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

102.71

 

 

 

103.70

 

 

This performance graph is not deemed to be incorporated by reference into any of our other filings under the Exchange Act, or the Securities Act, except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filings.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

None

Use of Proceeds

On August 9, 2018, the SEC declared our registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-226173) effective for our IPO.

There has been no material change in the planned use of proceeds from our IPO as described in our final prospectus filed with the SEC on August 10, 2018, pursuant to Rule 424 (b)(4).

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

None

 

31


ITEM 6.  SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following tables summarize our consolidated financial data.  We derived our selected consolidated statements of operations data for our fiscal years ended September 30, 2018, 2017 and 2016 from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected consolidated balance sheet data as of September 30, 2018 and 2017 has been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected consolidated statements of operations data for our fiscal years ended September 30, 2015 and 2014 and consolidated balance sheet data as of September 30, 2016, September 30, 2015 and September 30, 2014 have been derived from our consolidated financial statements that are not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in the future. You should read the following selected financial data in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements, including the accompanying notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 

Years Ended September 30,

 

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014 (1)

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

Operating revenues

 

$

681,595

 

 

$

643,576

 

 

$

587,836

 

 

$

506,099

 

 

$

436,025

 

Operating income

 

 

72,648

 

 

 

100,294

 

 

 

56,758

 

 

 

79,235

 

 

 

40,855

 

Net income (loss)

 

 

33,255

 

 

 

32,828

 

 

 

14,920

 

 

 

38,999

 

 

 

18,764

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income per share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic (2)

 

$

2.46

 

 

$

3.01

 

 

$

1.56

 

 

$

5.03

 

 

$

2.53

 

Diluted (2)

 

$

1.32

 

 

$

1.40

 

 

$

0.62

 

 

$

1.61

 

 

$

0.82

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted-average common shares outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

13,516,199

 

 

 

10,918,527

 

 

 

9,558,242

 

 

 

7,749,665

 

 

 

7,425,165

 

Diluted

 

 

25,171,175

 

 

 

23,385,778

 

 

 

24,082,114

 

 

 

24,161,935

 

 

 

22,983,286

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

1,472,388

 

 

$

1,357,649

 

 

$

1,283,230

 

 

$

863,401

 

 

$

721,044

 

Current assets

 

 

197,917

 

 

 

145,839

 

 

 

105,167

 

 

 

121,903

 

 

 

128,899

 

Long-term debt, net of current maturities

 

 

760,177

 

 

 

803,874

 

 

 

803,115

 

 

 

471,790

 

 

 

370,032

 

Stockholders' equity

 

 

374,467

 

 

 

222,224

 

 

 

189,151

 

 

 

171,844

 

 

 

132,138

 

Cash dividends declared per common share

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

$

 

Non-GAAP financial data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA (3)

 

$

163,806

 

 

$

160,828

 

 

$

103,159

 

 

$

122,506

 

 

$

73,805

 

Adjusted EBITDAR (3)

 

$

232,698

 

 

$

233,379

 

 

$

174,794

 

 

$

191,589

 

 

$

154,747

 

 

(1)

Our operations data for our fiscal years ended September 30, 2014 include results from our historical go! operations. We operated go! as an inter-island air carrier in Hawaii from 2006 to 2014.

(2)

See Note 9 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for an explanation of the method used to calculate the basic and diluted earnings per share.

(3)

We define Adjusted EBITDA as earnings before interest, income taxes, and depreciation and amortization, adjusted for the impact of revaluation of liability awards and lease termination costs. We define Adjusted EBITDAR as earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization and aircraft rent, adjusted for the impact of revaluation of liability awards and lease termination costs. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR are included as supplemental disclosure because our senior management believes that they are well recognized valuation metrics in the airline industry that are frequently used by companies, investors, securities analysts and other interested parties in comparing companies in our industry.

Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR have limitations as analytical tools. Some of the limitations applicable to these measures include: (i) Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR do not reflect the impact of certain cash charges resulting from matters we consider not to be indicative of our ongoing operations; (ii) Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR do not reflect our cash expenditures, or future requirements, for capital expenditures or contractual commitments; (iii) Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR do not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs; (iv) Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR do not reflect the interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments, on our debts; (v) although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future; and (vi) Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR do not reflect any cash requirements for such replacements and other companies in our industry may calculate Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR differently than we do, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure. Because of these limitations, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for performance measures calculated in accordance with GAAP. In addition, Adjusted

32


EBITDAR should not be viewed as a measure of overall performance because it excludes aircraft rent, which is a normal, recurring cash operating expense that is necessary to operate our business. For the foregoing reasons, each of Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR has significant limitations which affect its use as an indicator of our profitablility. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this information.

The following table sets forth a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDAR for the periods presented below:

 

 

 

Year Ended September 30,

 

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Reconciliation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

 

$

33,255

 

 

$

32,828

 

 

$

14,920

 

Income tax (benefit) expense

 

 

(17,426

)

 

 

20,874

 

 

 

9,926

 

Income before taxes

 

$

15,829

 

 

$

53,702

 

 

$

24,846

 

Revaluation of liability awards(1)

 

 

11,084

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lease termination costs(2)

 

 

15,109

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted income before taxes

 

 

42,022

 

 

 

53,702

 

 

 

24,846

 

Interest expense

 

 

56,867

 

 

 

46,110

 

 

 

32,618

 

Interest income

 

 

(114

)

 

 

(32

)

 

 

(325

)

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

65,031

 

 

 

61,048

 

 

 

46,020

 

Adjusted EBITDA

 

 

163,806

 

 

 

160,828

 

 

 

103,159

 

Aircraft rent

 

 

68,892

 

 

 

72,551

 

 

 

71,635

 

Adjusted EBITDAR

 

 

232,698

 

 

 

233,379

 

 

 

174,794

 

 

(1)

Our financial results reflect a one-time, non-cash increase in accrued compensation of approximately $13.5 million related to an increase in the value of our stock appreciation rights (“SARs”) associated with an increase in fair value of our common stock as well as a change in accounting methodology from the intrinsic value method to the fair value method. These changes resulted in a general and administrative expense of approximately $11.1 million as well as an offset of approximately $2.4 million to retained earnings as a result of the change in accounting methodology.

(2)

Our financial results include a one-time, non-cash lease termination expense of $15.1 million related to our acquisition of nine CRJ-900 aircraft, which were previously leased under our aircraft lease facility with Wells Fargo Bank Northwest, National Association, as owner trustee and lessor (the “GECAS Lease Facility”), for $76.5 million.

 

33


Selected Operating Data

The following table summarizes certain operating data that we believe are useful indicators of our operating performance for our fiscal years ended September 30, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively. The definitions of certain terms related to the airline industry used in the table can be found under “Selected Financial Data - Glossary of Airline Terms” below.

 

 

 

Year Ended September 30,

 

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014 (1)

 

Operating Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block hours

 

 

410,974

 

 

 

395,083

 

 

 

368,468

 

 

 

308,681

 

 

 

225,720

 

Departures

 

 

227,978

 

 

 

221,990

 

 

 

208,399

 

 

 

172,033

 

 

 

140,165

 

Passengers

 

 

13,556,774

 

 

 

13,005,844

 

 

 

12,497,424

 

 

 

10,632,903

 

 

 

8,520,917

 

Available seat miles—ASMs (thousands)

 

 

9,713,877

 

 

 

9,471,911

 

 

 

8,823,595

 

 

 

7,356,450

 

 

 

4,932,516

 

Revenue passenger miles—RPMs (thousands)

 

 

7,699,065

 

 

 

7,392,688

 

 

 

7,019,586

 

 

 

6,019,316

 

 

 

4,103,834

 

Contract revenue per available seat mile—

   CRASM (in cents)

 

¢

6.58

 

 

¢

6.53

 

 

¢

6.45

 

 

¢

6.54

 

 

¢

8.26

 

Operating cost per available seat mile —

   CASM (in cents)

 

¢

6.27

 

 

¢

5.74

 

 

¢

6.02

 

 

¢

5.80

 

 

¢

8.01

 

Average stage length (miles)

 

 

560

 

 

561

 

 

557

 

 

565