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American Airlines Group Inc.
Date: June 22, 2020
Derek J. Kerr
Executive Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer
American Airlines, Inc.
Date: June 22, 2020
Derek J. Kerr
Executive Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer
FOR RELEASE: Sunday, June 21, 2020
AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP ANNOUNCES PROPOSED OFFERINGS OF
COMMON STOCK AND CONVERTIBLE SENIOR NOTES DUE 2025
FORT WORTH, Texas American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) (the Company) today announced proposed underwritten public offerings of $750,000,000 of shares of its common stock (the Common Stock and, such offering, the Common Stock Offering) and $750,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its convertible senior notes due 2025 (the Convertible Notes and such offering, the Convertible Notes Offering).
The Company intends to grant the underwriters of the offerings a 30-day option to purchase, in whole or in part, up to $112,500,000 of additional shares of Common Stock in the Common Stock Offering and a 30-day option to purchase, in whole or in part, up to $112,500,000 aggregate principal amount of additional Convertible Notes in the Convertible Notes Offering, in each case solely to cover over-allotments, if any. The Company expects to use the net proceeds from the Common Stock Offering and the Convertible Notes Offering for general corporate purposes and to enhance the Companys liquidity position. The closing of neither the Common Stock Offering nor the Convertible Notes Offering is conditioned upon the closing of the other offering.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Citigroup, BofA Securities and J.P. Morgan are acting as the joint active book-runners and as representatives of the underwriters for the Common Stock Offering and the Convertible Notes Offering. The Company has filed a registration statement (including a prospectus) with the SEC as well as preliminary prospectus supplements with respect to each of the offerings to which this communication relates. Before you invest, you should read the applicable preliminary prospectus supplement and the prospectus in that registration statement and other documents the Company has filed with the SEC for more complete information about the Company and these offerings. You may get these documents free by visiting EDGAR on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Alternatively, the Company, any underwriter or any dealer participating in the applicable offering will arrange to send you the applicable preliminary prospectus supplement (or, when available, the applicable final prospectus supplement) and the accompanying prospectus upon request to: Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, NY 10282, or by telephone at (866) 471-2526 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; Citigroup, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717, or by telephone at (800) 831-9146; BofA Securities, NC1-004-03-43, 200 North College Street, 3rd floor, Charlotte, NC 28255-0001, Attn: Prospectus Department, or by email at: email@example.com; or J.P. Morgan, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Ave., Edgewood, NY 11717, Attn: Prospectus Department, or by telephone at: (866) 803-9204, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the shares of Common Stock or the Convertible Notes or any other securities and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration and qualification under the securities laws of such state or jurisdiction.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain of the statements contained or referred to herein, including those regarding the proposed offerings, should be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as may, will, expect, intend, anticipate, believe, estimate, plan, project, could, should, would, continue, seek, target, guidance, outlook, if current trends continue, optimistic, forecast and other similar words. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the Companys plans, objectives, expectations, intentions, estimates and strategies for the future, and other statements that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements are based on the Companys current objectives, beliefs and expectations, and they are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and financial position and timing of certain events to differ materially from the information in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those set forth herein as well as in American Airlines Group Inc.s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2020 (especially in Part I, Item 2. Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Part II, Item 1A. Risk Factors), and other risks and uncertainties listed from time to time in the Companys other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In particular, the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak to economic conditions and the travel industry in general and the financial position and operating results of the Company in particular have been material, are changing rapidly, and cannot be predicted. Additionally, there may be other factors of which the Company is not currently aware that may affect matters discussed in the forward-looking statements and may also cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. The Company does not assume any obligation to publicly update or supplement any forward-looking statement to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting these forward-looking statements other than as required by law. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof or as of the dates indicated in the statement.
- 2 -
FOR RELEASE: June 21, 2020
AMERICAN AIRLINES ANNOUNCES PROPOSED OFFERING OF SENIOR SECURED NOTES AND NEW TERM LOAN
FORT WORTH, Texas American Airlines, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) (the Company) today announced a proposed private offering of $1.5 billion aggregate principal amount of secured senior notes due 2025 (the Notes). The Notes will be guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by American Airlines Group Inc. (the Guarantor). The Company also announced it intends to enter into a new $500 million Term Loan B Facility due 2024 (the Term Loan) concurrently with the closing of the offering of the Notes.
The Company expects to use a portion of the net proceeds from the offering of the Notes and borrowings under the Term Loan to refinance its delayed draw term loan facility which the Company and the Guarantor entered into on March 18, 2020 and is scheduled to mature on March 17, 2021, with the remainder for general corporate purposes and to enhance the Companys liquidity position. The final terms and amounts of the Notes and the Term Loan are subject to market and other conditions, and may be materially different than expectations. Neither the closing of the Notes offering nor the Term Loan is conditioned upon the closing of the other financing.
The Notes and the Term Loan will be pari passu obligations secured (i) on a first lien basis by a diverse pool of certain slots, gates and routes collateral that the Company uses to provide non-stop scheduled air carrier services between certain airports in the United States and certain airports in Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and Switzerland, and (ii) on a second lien basis by a pool of certain slots, gates and routes collateral the Company uses to provide non-stop scheduled air carrier services between certain airports in the United States and certain airports in the European Union and United Kingdom.
The Notes will be offered and sold only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers, as defined in, and in reliance on Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act) and to non-U.S. persons in offshore transactions outside the United States in reliance on Regulation S under the Securities Act. The Notes will not be registered under the Securities Act or any other securities laws of any jurisdiction and will not have the benefit of any exchange offer or other registration rights. The Notes may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the Notes nor shall there be any sale of the Notes in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. This news release is being issued pursuant to and in accordance with Rule 135c under the Securities Act.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain of the statements contained or referred to herein, including those regarding the proposed offering and Term Loan, should be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as may, will, expect, intend, anticipate, believe, estimate, plan, project, could, should, would, continue, seek, target, guidance, outlook, if current trends continue, optimistic, forecast and other similar words. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the Companys plans, objectives, expectations, intentions, estimates and strategies for the future, and other statements that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements are based on the Companys current objectives, beliefs and expectations, and they are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and financial position and timing of certain events to differ materially from the information in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those set forth herein as well as in American Airlines Group Inc.s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2020 (especially in Part I, Item 2. Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Part II, Item 1A. Risk Factors), and other risks and uncertainties listed from time to time in the Companys other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In particular, the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak to economic conditions and the travel industry in general and the financial position and operating results of the Company in particular have been material, are changing rapidly, and cannot be predicted. Additionally, there may be other factors of which the Company is not currently aware that may affect matters discussed in the forward-looking statements and may also cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. The Company does not assume any obligation to publicly update or supplement any forward-looking statement to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting these forward-looking statements other than as required by law. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof or as of the dates indicated in the statement.
References to we, us, our, the Company and similar terms in this exhibit refer to American Airlines Group Inc. (AAG) and its consolidated subsidiaries, including American Airlines, Inc (American). Below are certain risk factors that may affect our business, results of operations and financial condition, or the trading price of our common stock or other securities. We caution the reader that these risk factors may not be exhaustive. We operate in a continually changing business environment, and new risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time. Management cannot predict such new risks and uncertainties, nor can it assess the extent to which any of the risk factors below or any such new risks and uncertainties, or any combination thereof, may impact our business.
The outbreak and global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in a severe decline in demand for air travel which has adversely impacted our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity. The duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and similar public health threats that we may face in the future, could result in additional adverse effects on our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity.
The COVID-19 outbreak, along with the measures governments and private organizations worldwide have implemented in an attempt to contain the spread of this pandemic, has resulted in a severe decline in demand for air travel, which has adversely affected our business, operations and financial condition to an unprecedented extent. Measures ranging from travel restrictions, shelter in place and quarantine orders, limitations on public gatherings to cancellation of public events and many others have resulted in a precipitous decline in demand for both domestic and international business and leisure travel. In response to this material deterioration in demand, we have taken a number of aggressive actions to ameliorate our business, operations and financial condition. We have focused on reducing our capacity, making structural changes to our fleet, implementing cost reductions, preserving cash and improving our overall liquidity position. We have reduced our system-wide capacity and will continue to monitor conditions and to proactively evaluate and adjust our schedule to match demand. Additionally, we have determined to retire certain mainline aircraft earlier than planned including Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Airbus A330-300 and Embraer 190 aircraft as well as regional aircraft, including certain Embraer 140 and Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft, which we expect will allow us to be more efficient by reducing the number of sub-fleets we operate, and we have also placed a significant number of aircraft, including our A330-200 fleet and a number of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, into temporary storage. We have moved quickly to attempt to better align our costs with our reduced schedule and made other cost-saving initiatives (including reductions in maintenance expense, marketing expense, event and training expenses, airport facilities expense, salaries and benefits expense, and other volume-related expense reductions, including fuel). Nonetheless, we incurred significant negative cash flow in the first quarter of 2020, we continue to do so, and we expect to continue to do so until there is a significant recovery in demand for air travel. The duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic remain uncertain, and there can be no assurance that these actions will suffice to sustain our business and operations through this pandemic. We expect our results of operations for fiscal 2020 to be materially impacted.
We have taken and will take additional actions to improve our financial position, including measures to improve liquidity, such as obtaining financial assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). We have been approved to receive approximately $5.8 billion from the U.S. Treasury Department through the Payroll Support Program under the CARES Act of which $4.1 billion has been received as of June 1, 2020. In connection with the financial assistance we have received and expect to receive under the Payroll Support Program, we will be required to comply with certain provisions of the CARES Act, including the requirement that funds provided pursuant to the Payroll Support Program be used exclusively for the continuation of payment of employee wages, salaries and benefits; the requirement against involuntary furloughs and reductions in employee pay rates and benefits through September 30, 2020; the requirement that certain levels of commercial air
service be maintained; provisions prohibiting the repurchase of AAGs common stock and the payment of common stock dividends through September 30, 2021; and restrictions on the payment of certain executive compensation until March 24, 2022. Additionally, under the Payroll Support Program, we and certain of our subsidiaries are subject to substantial and continuing reporting obligations. We also applied for a secured loan in the amount of approximately $4.75 billion through the loan program under the CARES Act and are in the process of obtaining such secured loan, the timing and terms of which remain subject to ongoing negotiation, entry by the parties into definitive documentation and certain closing conditions. If we receive a secured loan from the U.S. Treasury Department under the loan program, the stock repurchase, dividend and executive compensation restrictions will remain in place through the date that is one year after such secured loan is fully repaid. The substance and duration of these restrictions may materially affect our operations, and we may not be successful in managing these impacts.
We intend to pursue the issuance of additional unsecured and secured debt securities, equity securities and equity-linked securities and/or the entry into additional bilateral and syndicated secured and/or unsecured credit facilities. There can be no assurance as to the timing of any such financing transactions, which may be in the near term, or that we will be able to obtain such additional financing on favorable terms, or at all. Any such actions could be conducted in the near term, may be material in nature, could result in the incurrence of significant additional indebtedness and could impose significant covenants and restrictions to which we are not currently subject. The measures we have taken to reduce our expenditures and to improve our liquidity, and any other strategic actions that we may take in the future in response to COVID-19 may not be effective in offsetting decreased demand, and we will not be permitted to take certain strategic actions, such as prescribed levels of furloughs and lay-offs or reductions in capacity as a result of the restrictions imposed by the CARES Act, which could result in a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.
The full extent of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our longer-term operational and financial performance will depend on future developments, many of which are outside our control, including the effectiveness of the mitigation strategies discussed above, the duration and spread of COVID-19, including any recurrence of the pandemic, and related travel advisories and restrictions, the impact of COVID-19 on overall long-term demand for air travel, the impact on demand and capacity which could result from government mandates on air service including, for instance, any requirement for passengers to wear face coverings while traveling or have their temperature checked or have administered other tests or examinations prior to entering an airport or boarding an airplane, or which would limit the number of seats that can be occupied on an aircraft to allow for social distancing, if our employees are unable to work because they are quarantined or sickened as a result of exposure to COVID-19, or if they are subject to additional governmental COVID-19 curfews or shelter in place health orders or similar restrictions, the impact of COVID-19 on the financial health and operations of our business partners and future governmental actions, all of which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. At this time, we are also not able to predict whether the COVID-19 pandemic will result in permanent changes to our customers behavior, with such changes including but not limited to a permanent reduction in business travel as a result of increased usage of virtual and teleconferencing products and more broadly a general reluctance to travel by consumers, each of which could have a material impact on our business.
In addition, an outbreak of another disease or similar public health threat, or fear of such an event, that affects travel demand, travel behavior or travel restrictions could adversely impact our business, financial condition and operating results. Outbreaks of other diseases could also result in increased government restrictions and regulation, such as those actions described above or otherwise, which could adversely affect our operations.
Downturns in economic conditions could adversely affect our business.
Due to the discretionary nature of business and leisure travel spending and the highly competitive nature of the airline industry, our revenues are heavily influenced by the condition of the U.S. economy and economies in other regions of the world. Unfavorable conditions in these broader economies have resulted, and may result in the future, in decreased passenger demand for air travel, changes in booking practices and related reactions by our competitors, all of which in turn have had, and may have in the future, a strong negative effect on our business. In particular, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated decline in economic activity and increase in unemployment levels are expected to have a severe and prolonged effect on the global economy generally and, in turn, is expected to depress demand for air travel into the foreseeable future. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the duration and severity of this pandemic, we can provide no assurance as to when and at what pace demand for air travel will return to pre-pandemic levels, if at all. Accordingly, we cannot predict the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on our business, financial condition and results of operations. See also The outbreak and global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in a severe decline in demand for air travel which has adversely impacted our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity. The duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and similar public health threats that we may face in the future, could result in additional adverse effects on our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity and The airline industry is intensely competitive and dynamic.
We will need to obtain sufficient financing or other capital to operate successfully.
Our business plan contemplates continued significant investments related to modernizing our fleet, improving the experience of our customers and updating our facilities. Significant capital resources will be required to execute this plan. We estimate that, based on our commitments as of March 31, 2020, our planned aggregate expenditures for aircraft purchase commitments and certain engines on a consolidated basis for calendar years 2020-2024 would be approximately $8.4 billion. We may also require financing to refinance maturing obligations and to provide liquidity to fund other corporate requirements, in particular given the severe decline in revenue we have experienced as a result of COVID-19. If needed to meet our liquidity needs, it may be difficult for us to raise additional capital on acceptable terms, or at all, due to, among other factors: our substantial level of existing indebtedness, particularly following the additional liquidity transactions completed and contemplated in response to the impact of COVID-19; our non-investment grade credit rating; market conditions; the availability of assets to use as collateral for loans or other indebtedness, which has been reduced as a result of certain financing transactions we have undertaken since the beginning of 2020 and may be further reduced as we continue to seek significant additional liquidity; and the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the global economy generally and the air transportation industry in particular. Accordingly, we will need substantial financing or other capital resources to finance such aircraft and engines and meet such other liquidity needs. If we are unable to arrange such financing at customary advance rates and on terms and conditions acceptable to us, we may need to use cash from operations or cash on hand to purchase such aircraft and engines or may seek to negotiate deferrals for such aircraft and engines with the applicable aircraft and engine manufacturers or otherwise defer corporate obligations. Depending on numerous factors applicable at the time we seek capital, many of which are out of our control, such as the state of the domestic and global economies, the capital and credit markets view of our prospects and the airline industry in general, and the general availability of debt and equity capital, the financing or other capital resources that we will need may not be available to us, or may be available only on onerous terms and conditions. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in obtaining financing or other needed sources of capital to operate successfully. An inability to obtain necessary financing on acceptable terms would have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our high level of debt and other obligations may limit our ability to fund general corporate requirements and obtain additional financing, may limit our flexibility in responding to competitive developments and cause our business to be vulnerable to adverse economic and industry conditions.
We have significant amounts of indebtedness and other obligations, including pension obligations, obligations to make future payments on flight equipment and property leases related to airport and other facilities, and substantial non-cancelable obligations under aircraft and related spare engine purchase agreements. Moreover, currently a substantial portion of our assets are pledged to secure our indebtedness. Our substantial indebtedness and other obligations, which are generally greater than the indebtedness and other obligations of our competitors, could have important consequences. For example, they may:
make it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness;
limit our ability to obtain additional funding for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, investments, integration costs and general corporate purposes, and adversely affect the terms on which such funding can be obtained;
require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on our indebtedness and other obligations, thereby reducing the funds available for other purposes;
make us more vulnerable to economic downturns, industry conditions and catastrophic external events, particularly relative to competitors with lower relative levels of financial leverage;
significantly constrain our ability to respond, or respond quickly, to unexpected disruptions in our own operations, the U.S. or global economies, or the businesses in which we operate, or to take advantage of opportunities that would improve our business, operations, or competitive position versus other airlines;
limit our ability to withstand competitive pressures and reduce our flexibility in responding to changing business and economic conditions;
contain covenants requiring us to maintain an aggregate of at least $2.0 billion of unrestricted cash and cash equivalents and amounts available to be drawn under revolving credit facilities; and
contain restrictive covenants that could, among other things:
limit our ability to merge, consolidate, sell assets, incur additional indebtedness, issue preferred stock, make investments and pay dividends; and
if breached, result in an event of default under our indebtedness.
In addition, in response to the travel restrictions, decreased demand and other effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had and is expected to have on our business, we currently anticipate that it will be necessary to obtain a significant amount of additional financing in the near-term from a variety of sources. Such financing may include the issuance of additional unsecured or secured debt securities, equity securities and equity-linked securities, as well as additional bilateral and syndicated secured and/or unsecured credit facilities, among other items. There can be no assurance as to the timing of any such financing transactions, which may be in the near term, or that we will be able to obtain such additional financing on favorable terms, or at all. Any such actions could be conducted in the near term, may be material in nature, could result in the incurrence of significant additional indebtedness and could impose significant covenants and restrictions to which we are not currently subject. In particular, in connection with the financial assistance we have received and expect to receive through the Payroll Support Program and loan program under the CARES Act, we will be required to comply with the relevant provisions of the CARES Act,
including the requirement that funds provided pursuant to the Payroll Support Program be used exclusively for the continuation of payment of employee wages, salaries and benefits; the requirement against involuntary furloughs and reductions in employee pay rates and benefits through September 30, 2020; the requirement that certain levels of commercial air service be maintained; provisions prohibiting the repurchase of AAG common stock and the payment of common stock dividends through September 30, 2021; and restrictions on the payment of certain executive compensation until March 24, 2022. Additionally, under the Payroll Support Program we and certain of our subsidiaries are subject to substantial and continuing reporting obligations. Moreover, as a result of the recent financing activities we have undertaken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of financings with respect to which such covenants and provisions apply has increased, thereby subjecting us to more substantial risk of cross-default and cross-acceleration in the event of breach, and additional covenants and provisions could become binding on us as we continue to seek additional liquidity.
The obligations discussed above, including those imposed as a result of the CARES Act and any additional financings we may be required to undertake as a result of the impact of COVID-19, could also impact our ability to obtain additional financing, if needed, and our flexibility in the conduct of our business, and could materially adversely affect our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition.
Further, a substantial portion of our long-term indebtedness bears interest at fluctuating interest rates, primarily based on the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) for deposits of U.S. dollars. LIBOR tends to fluctuate based on general short-term interest rates, rates set by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks, the supply of and demand for credit in the London interbank market and general economic conditions. We have not hedged our interest rate exposure with respect to our floating rate debt. Accordingly, our interest expense for any particular period will fluctuate based on LIBOR and other variable interest rates. To the extent the interest rates applicable to our floating rate debt increase, our interest expense will increase, in which event we may have difficulties making interest payments and funding our other fixed costs, and our available cash flow for general corporate requirements may be adversely affected.
On July 27, 2017, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (the authority that regulates LIBOR) announced that it intends to stop compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. It is unclear whether new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021. Similarly, it is not possible to predict whether LIBOR will continue to be viewed as an acceptable market benchmark, what rate or rates may become acceptable alternatives to LIBOR, or what effect these changes in views or alternatives may have on financial markets for LIBOR-linked financial instruments. While the U.S. Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, is considering replacing U.S. dollar LIBOR with a newly created index, calculated based on repurchase agreements backed by treasury securities, we cannot currently predict whether this index will gain widespread acceptance as a replacement for LIBOR. It is not possible to predict the effect of these changes, other reforms or the establishment of alternative reference rates in the United Kingdom, the United States or elsewhere. See also the discussion of interest rate risk in Part I, Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk Interest in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020.
We may in the future pursue amendments to our LIBOR-based debt transactions to provide for a transaction mechanism or other reference rate in anticipation of LIBORs discontinuation, but we may not be able to reach an agreement with our lenders on any such amendments. As of March 31, 2020, we had $10.7 billion of borrowings based on LIBOR. The replacement of LIBOR with a comparable or successor rate could cause the amount of interest payable on our long-term debt to be different or higher than expected.
The loss of key personnel upon whom we depend to operate our business or the inability to attract additional qualified personnel could adversely affect our business.
We believe that our future success will depend in large part on our ability to retain or attract highly qualified management, technical and other personnel. We may not be successful in retaining key personnel or in attracting other highly qualified personnel. Among other things, the CARES Act imposes significant restrictions on executive compensation which, assuming we receive a secured loan from the U.S. Treasury Department, will remain in place through the date that is one year after such secured loan is fully repaid. Such restrictions, over time, will likely result in lower executive compensation in the airline industry than is prevailing in other industries which may present retention challenges in the case of executives presented with alternative, non-airline opportunities. Any inability to retain or attract significant numbers of qualified management and other personnel would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The airline industry is intensely competitive and dynamic.
Our competitors include other major domestic airlines and foreign, regional and new entrant airlines, as well as joint ventures formed by some of these airlines, many of which have more financial or other resources and/or lower cost structures than ours, as well as other forms of transportation, including rail and private automobiles. In many of our markets we compete with at least one low-cost carrier (including so-called ultra-low-cost carriers). Our revenues are sensitive to the actions of other carriers in many areas including pricing, scheduling, capacity, amenities, loyalty benefits and promotions, which can have a substantial adverse impact not only on our revenues, but on overall industry revenues. These factors may become even more significant in periods when the industry experiences large losses (such as the current one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic), as airlines under financial stress, or in bankruptcy, may institute pricing structures intended to achieve near-term survival rather than long-term viability.
Low-cost carriers (including so-called ultra-low-cost carriers) have a profound impact on industry revenues. Using the advantage of low unit costs, these carriers offer lower fares in order to shift demand from larger, more established airlines, and represent significant competitors, particularly for customers who fly infrequently, are price sensitive and therefore tend not to be loyal to any one particular carrier. A number of these low-cost carriers have announced growth strategies including commitments to acquire significant numbers of new aircraft for delivery in the next few years. These low-cost carriers are attempting to continue to increase their market share through growth and, potentially, consolidation, and are expected to continue to have an impact on our revenues and overall performance. We and several other large network carriers have implemented Basic Economy fares designed to more effectively compete against low-cost carriers, but we cannot predict whether these initiatives will be successful. While historically these carriers have provided competition in domestic markets, we have recently experienced new competition from low-cost carriers on international routes, including low-cost airlines executing international long-haul expansion strategies. The actions of existing or future low-cost carriers, including those described above, could have a material adverse effect on our operations and financial performance.
We provide air travel internationally, directly as well as through joint business, alliance, codeshare and similar arrangements to which we are a party. While our network is comprehensive, compared to some of our key global competitors, we generally have somewhat greater relative exposure to certain regions (for example, Latin America) and somewhat lower relative exposure to others (for example, China). Our financial performance relative to our key competitors will therefore be influenced significantly by macro-economic conditions in particular regions around the world and the relative exposure of our network to the markets in those regions, including the duration of declines in demand for travel to specific regions as a result of the continuing outbreak of COVID-19 and the speed with which demand for travel to these regions returns.
In providing international air transportation, we compete to provide scheduled passenger and cargo service between the U.S. and various overseas locations with U.S. airlines, foreign investor-owned airlines and foreign state-owned or state-affiliated airlines. Competition is increasing from foreign state-owned and state-affiliated airlines in the Gulf region. These carriers have large numbers of international widebody aircraft in service and on order and are increasing service to the U.S. from locations both in and outside the Middle East. Service to and from locations outside of the Middle East is provided by some of these carriers under so-called fifth freedom rights permitted under international treaties which allow service to and from stopover points between an airlines home country and the ultimate destination. Such flights, such as a stopover in Europe on flights to the United States, allow the carrier to sell tickets for travel between the stopover point and the United States in competition with service provided by us. We believe these state-owned and state-affiliated carriers in the Gulf region, including their affiliated carriers, benefit from significant government subsidies, which have allowed them to grow quickly, reinvest in their product and expand their global presence.
Our international service exposes us to foreign economies and the potential for reduced demand when any foreign country we serve suffers adverse local economic conditions or if governments restrict commercial air service to or from any of these markets. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a precipitous decline in demand for air travel, in particular international travel, in part as a result of the imposition by the U.S. and foreign governments of restrictions on travel from certain regions. In addition, open skies agreements, which are now in place with a substantial number of countries around the world, provide international airlines with open access to U.S. markets, potentially subjecting us to increased competition on our international routes. See also Our business is subject to extensive government regulation, which may result in increases in our costs, disruptions to our operations, limits on our operating flexibility, reductions in the demand for air travel, and competitive disadvantages.
Certain airline alliances, joint ventures and joint businesses have been, or may in the future be, granted immunity from antitrust regulations by governmental authorities for specific areas of cooperation, such as joint pricing decisions. To the extent alliances formed by our competitors can undertake activities that are not available to us, our ability to effectively compete may be hindered. Our ability to attract and retain customers is dependent upon, among other things, our ability to offer our customers convenient access to desired markets. Our business could be adversely affected if we are unable to maintain or obtain alliance and marketing relationships with other air carriers in desired markets.
American has established a transatlantic joint business agreement (JBA) with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair, a transpacific JBA with Japan Airlines and a JBA relating to Australia and New Zealand with Qantas Airways, each of which has been granted antitrust immunity. The transatlantic JBA relationship benefits from a grant of antitrust immunity from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and was reviewed by the European Commission (EC) in July 2010. In connection with this review, we provided certain commitments to the EC regarding, among other things, the availability of take-off and landing slots at London Heathrow (LHR) or London Gatwick (LGW) airports. The commitments accepted by the EC are binding for 10 years. In October 2018, in anticipation of the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU), commonly referred to as Brexit, and the expiry of the EC commitments in July 2020, the United Kingdom Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened an investigation into the transatlantic JBA. We continue to fully cooperate with the CMA and in May 2020, the CMA published a notice of intention to accept certain commitments related to the transatlantic JBA offered by the carriers and invited representations from interested third parties. An application for antitrust immunity is also
pending with the DOT to add Aer Lingus, which is owned by the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, to the transatlantic JBA. The foregoing arrangements are important aspects of our international network and we are dependent on the performance and continued cooperation of the other airlines party to those agreements. No assurances can be given as to any benefits that we may derive from such arrangements or any other arrangements that may ultimately be implemented, or whether or not regulators will, or if granted continue to, approve or impose material conditions on our business activities.
Additional mergers and other forms of industry consolidation, including antitrust immunity grants, may take place and may not involve us as a participant. Depending on which carriers combine and which assets, if any, are sold or otherwise transferred to other carriers in connection with any such combinations, our competitive position relative to the post-combination carriers or other carriers that acquire such assets could be harmed. In addition, as carriers combine through traditional mergers or antitrust immunity grants, their route networks will grow, and that growth will result in greater overlap with our network, which in turn could decrease our overall market share and revenues. Such consolidation is not limited to the U.S., but could include further consolidation among international carriers in Europe and elsewhere.
Additionally, our AAdvantage loyalty program, which is an important element of our sales and marketing programs, faces significant and increasing competition from the loyalty programs offered by other travel companies, as well as from similar loyalty benefits offered by banks and other financial services companies. Competition among loyalty programs is intense regarding the rewards, fees, required usage, and other terms and conditions of these programs. These competitive factors affect our ability to attract and retain customers, increase usage of our loyalty program and maximize the revenue generated by our loyalty program.
Our business has been and will continue to be affected by many changing economic and other conditions beyond our control, including global events that affect travel behavior, and our results of operations could be volatile and fluctuate due to seasonality.
Our business, results of operations and financial condition have been and will continue to be affected by many changing economic and other conditions beyond our control, including, among others:
actual or potential changes in international, national, regional and local economic, business and financial conditions, including recession, inflation, higher interest rates, wars, terrorist attacks and political instability;
changes in consumer preferences, perceptions, spending patterns and demographic trends;
changes in the competitive environment due to industry consolidation, changes in airline alliance affiliations, and other factors;
actual or potential disruptions to the United States National Airspace System (the ATC system);
increases in costs of safety, security, and environmental measures;
outbreaks of diseases that affect travel behavior; and
weather and natural disasters, including increases in frequency, severity or duration of such disasters, and related costs caused by more severe weather due to climate change.
In particular, an outbreak of a contagious disease such as the Ebola virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, H1N1 influenza virus, avian flu, Zika virus, COVID-19 or any other similar illness, if it were to become associated with air travel or persist for an extended period, could materially affect the airline industry and us by reducing revenues and adversely impacting our operations and passengers travel behavior. See also The outbreak and global spread of COVID-19 has resulted in a severe decline in demand for air travel which has adversely impacted our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity. The duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and similar public health threats that we may face in the future, could result in additional adverse effects on our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity. As a result of these or other conditions beyond our control, our results of operations could be volatile and subject to rapid and unexpected change. In addition, due to generally weaker demand for air travel during the winter, our revenues in the first and fourth quarters of the year could be weaker than revenues in the second and third quarters of the year.
Our business is very dependent on the price and availability of aircraft fuel. Continued periods of high volatility in fuel costs, increased fuel prices or significant disruptions in the supply of aircraft fuel could have a significant negative impact on consumer demand, our operating results and liquidity.
Our operating results are materially impacted by changes in the availability, price volatility and cost of aircraft fuel, which represents one of the largest single cost items in our business and thus is a significant factor in the price of airline tickets. Market prices for aircraft fuel have fluctuated substantially over the past several years and prices continue to be highly volatile.
Because of the amount of fuel needed to operate our business, even a relatively small increase or decrease in the price of fuel can have a material effect on our operating results and liquidity. Due to the competitive nature of the airline industry and unpredictability of the market for air travel, we can offer no assurance that we may be able to increase our fares, impose fuel surcharges or otherwise increase revenues or decrease other operating costs sufficiently to offset fuel price increases. Similarly, we cannot predict actions that may be taken by our competitors in response to changes in fuel prices.
Although we are currently able to obtain adequate supplies of aircraft fuel, we cannot predict the future availability, price volatility or cost of aircraft fuel. Natural disasters (including hurricanes or similar events in the U.S. Southeast and on the Gulf Coast where a significant portion of domestic refining capacity is located), political disruptions or wars involving oil-producing countries, economic sanctions imposed against oil-producing countries or specific industry participants, changes in fuel-related governmental policy, the strength of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies, changes in the cost to transport or store petroleum products, changes in access to petroleum product pipelines and terminals, speculation in the energy futures markets, changes in aircraft fuel production capacity, environmental concerns and other unpredictable events may result in fuel supply shortages, distribution challenges, additional fuel price volatility and cost increases in the future. For instance, effective January 1, 2020, rules adopted by the International Maritime Organization restrict the sulfur content allowable in marine fuels from 3.5% to 0.5%, which is expected to cause increased demand by maritime shipping companies for low-sulfur fuel and potentially lead to increased costs of aircraft fuel. Any of these factors or events could cause a disruption in or increased demands on oil production, refinery operations, pipeline capacity or terminal access and possibly result in significant increases in the price of aircraft fuel and diminished availability of aircraft fuel supply.
Our aviation fuel purchase contracts generally do not provide meaningful price protection against increases in fuel costs. Our current policy is not to enter into transactions to hedge our fuel consumption, although we review this policy from time to time based on market conditions and other factors. Although spot prices for oil and jet fuel
are presently very low by historical standards, we do not currently view the market opportunities to hedge fuel prices as attractive because, among other things, the forward curve for the purchase of such products, or hedges related to such products, is very steep, any hedging would potentially require significant capital or collateral to be placed at risk, and our future fuel needs remain unclear due to uncertainties regarding air travel demand. Accordingly, as of March 31, 2020, we did not have any fuel hedging contracts outstanding to hedge our fuel consumption. As such, and assuming we do not enter into any future transactions to hedge our fuel consumption, we will continue to be fully exposed to fluctuations in fuel prices and, while the price of fuel has been at historically low levels during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no assurance that it will remain so and any increase in fuel prices, coupled with the severe reduction in demand we are experiencing, during the COVID-19 pandemic will materially affect our business in an adverse manner. See also the discussion in Part I, Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk Aircraft Fuel in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020.
Union disputes, employee strikes and other labor-related disruptions, or our inability to otherwise maintain labor costs at competitive levels may adversely affect our operations and financial performance.
Relations between air carriers and labor unions in the U.S. are governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA). Under the RLA, collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) 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 National Mediation Board (NMB). For the dates that the CBAs with our major work groups become amendable under the RLA, see Part I, Item 1. Business Employees and Labor Relations in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
In the case of a CBA that is amendable under the RLA, if no agreement is reached during direct negotiations between the parties, either party may request that the NMB appoint a federal mediator. The RLA prescribes no timetable for the direct negotiation and mediation processes, and it is not unusual for those processes to last for many months or even several years. If no agreement is reached in mediation, the NMB in its discretion may declare that an impasse exists and proffer binding arbitration to the parties. Either party may decline to submit to arbitration, and if arbitration is rejected by either party, a 30-day cooling off period commences. During or after that period, 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 30-day cooling off period. At the end of this cooling off period, unless an agreement is reached or action is taken by Congress, the labor organization may exercise self-help, such as a strike, which could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
None of the unions representing our employees presently may lawfully engage in concerted slowdowns or refusals to work, such as strikes, sick-outs or other similar activity, against us. Nonetheless, there is a risk that employees, either with or without union involvement, could engage in one or more concerted refusals to work that could individually or collectively harm the operation of our airline and impair our financial performance. Additionally, some of our unions have brought and may continue to bring grievances to binding arbitration, including those related to wages. If successful, there is a risk these arbitral avenues could result in material additional costs that we did not anticipate. See also Part I, Item 1. Business Employees and Labor Relations in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
As of December 31, 2019, approximately 85% of our employees were represented for collective bargaining purposes by labor unions. Currently, we believe our labor costs are competitive relative to the other large network carriers. However, we cannot provide assurance that labor costs going forward will remain competitive because we
are in negotiations for several important new labor agreements now and other agreements are scheduled to become amendable, competitors may significantly reduce their labor costs or we may agree to higher-cost provisions unilaterally or in connection with our current or future labor negotiations.
We have significant pension and other postretirement benefit funding obligations, which may adversely affect our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition.
Our pension funding obligations are significant. The amount of these obligations will depend on the performance of investments held in trust by the pension plans, interest rates for determining liabilities and actuarial experience. The minimum funding obligation applicable to our pension plans was subject to favorable temporary funding rules that expired at the end of 2017 and, as a result, our minimum pension funding obligations increased materially beginning in 2019. In addition, we have significant obligations for retiree medical and other postretirement benefits. Additionally, we participate in the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) National Pension Fund (the IAM Pension Fund). The funding status of the IAM Pension Fund is subject to the risk that other employers may not meet their obligations, which under certain circumstances could cause our obligations to increase. Furthermore, if we were to withdraw from the IAM Pension Fund, if the IAM Pension fund were to terminate, or if the IAM Pension Fund were to undergo a mass withdrawal, we could be subject to liability as imposed by law.
Any damage to our reputation or brand image could adversely affect our business or financial results.
Maintaining a good reputation globally is critical to our business. Our reputation or brand image could be adversely impacted by, among other things, any failure to maintain high ethical, social and environmental sustainability practices for all of our operations and activities, our impact on the environment, public pressure from investors or policy groups to change our policies, such as movements to institute a living wage, customer perceptions of our advertising campaigns, sponsorship arrangements or marketing programs, customer perceptions of our use of social media, or customer perceptions of statements made by us, our employees and executives, agents or other third parties. Damage to our reputation or brand image or loss of customer confidence in our services could adversely affect our business and financial results, as well as require additional resources to rebuild our reputation.
Moreover, the outbreak and spread of COVID-19 have adversely impacted consumer perceptions of the health and safety of travel, and in particular airline travel, and these negative perceptions could continue even after the pandemic subsides. Actual or perceived risk of infection on our flights could have a material adverse effect on the publics perception of us, which could harm our reputation and business. We have taken various measures to reassure our team members and the traveling public of the safety of air travel, including requirements that passengers wear face coverings, the provision of protective equipment for team members and enhanced cleaning procedures onboard aircraft and in airports. We expect that we will continue to incur COVID-19 related costs as we sanitize aircraft, implement additional hygiene-related protocols and take other actions to limit the threat of infection among our employees and passengers. However, we cannot assure that these or any other actions we might take in response to COVID-19 will be sufficient to restore the confidence of consumers in the safety of air travel.
We are at risk of losses and adverse publicity stemming from any public incident involving our company, our people or our brand, including any accident or other public incident involving our personnel or aircraft, or the personnel or aircraft of our regional, codeshare or joint business operators.
In a modern world where news can be captured and travel rapidly, we are at risk of adverse publicity stemming from any public incident involving our company, our people or our brand. Such an incident could involve the actual or alleged behavior of any of our more than 131,000 employees. Further, if our personnel, one of our
aircraft, a type of aircraft in our fleet, or personnel of, or an aircraft that is operated under our brand by, one of our regional operators or an airline with which we have a marketing alliance, joint business or codeshare relationship, were to be involved in a public incident, accident, catastrophe or regulatory enforcement action, we could be exposed to significant reputational harm and potential legal liability. The insurance we carry may be inapplicable or inadequate to cover any such incident, accident, catastrophe or action. In the event that our insurance is inapplicable or inadequate, we may be forced to bear substantial losses from an incident or accident. In addition, any such incident, accident, catastrophe or action involving our personnel, one of our aircraft (or personnel and aircraft of our regional operators and our codeshare partners), or a type of aircraft fleet could create an adverse public perception, which could harm our reputation, result in air travelers being reluctant to fly on our aircraft or those of our regional operators or codeshare partners, and adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our business is subject to extensive government regulation, which may result in increases in our costs, disruptions to our operations, limits on our operating flexibility, reductions in the demand for air travel, and competitive disadvantages.
Airlines are subject to extensive domestic and international regulatory requirements. In the last several years, Congress has passed laws, and the DOT, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and several of their respective international counterparts have issued regulations and a number of other directives, that affect the airline industry. These requirements impose substantial costs on us and restrict the ways we may conduct our business.
For example, the FAA from time to time issues directives and other regulations relating to the maintenance and operation of aircraft that require significant expenditures or operational restrictions. These requirements can be issued with little or no notice, or can otherwise impact our ability to efficiently or fully utilize our aircraft, and in some instances have resulted in the temporary grounding of aircraft types altogether (including the March 2019 grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, including the 24 aircraft in our fleet, which remains in place as of the date of the Current Report on Form 8-K to which this exhibit is attached), or otherwise caused substantial disruption and resulted in material costs to us and lost revenues. The FAA also exercises comprehensive regulatory authority over nearly all technical aspects of our operations. Our failure to comply with such requirements has in the past and may in the future result in fines and other enforcement actions by the FAA or other regulators. In the future, any new regulatory requirements, particularly requirements that limit our ability to operate or price our products, could have a material adverse effect on us and the industry.
DOT consumer rules, and rules promulgated by certain analogous agencies in other countries we serve, dictate procedures for customer handling during long onboard delays, further regulate airline interactions with passengers, including passengers with disabilities, through the ticketing process, at the airport, and onboard the aircraft, and require disclosures concerning airline fares and ancillary fees such as baggage fees. Other DOT rules apply to post-ticket purchase price increases and an expansion of tarmac delay regulations to international airlines. In 2020, the DOT is expected to implement a number of new regulations that will impact us, including disability rules for accessible lavatories and refunds for checked bag fees in the event of certain delays in delivery.
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act mandates the federalization of certain airport security procedures and imposes additional security requirements on airports and airlines, most of which are funded by a per-ticket tax on passengers and a tax on airlines. Present and potential future security requirements can have the effect of imposing costs and inconvenience on travelers, potentially reducing the demand for air travel.
The results of our operations, demand for air travel, and the manner in which we conduct business each may be affected by changes in law and future actions taken by governmental agencies, including:
changes in law that affect the services that can be offered by airlines in particular markets and at particular airports, or the types of fares offered or fees that can be charged to passengers;
the granting and timing of certain governmental approvals (including antitrust or foreign government approvals) needed for codesharing alliances, joint businesses and other arrangements with other airlines;
restrictions on competitive practices (for example, court orders, or agency regulations or orders, that would curtail an airlines ability to respond to a competitor);
the adoption of new passenger security standards or regulations that impact customer service standards;
restrictions on airport operations, such as restrictions on the use of slots at airports or the auction or reallocation of slot rights currently held by us;
the adoption of more restrictive locally-imposed noise restrictions; and
restrictions on travel or special guidelines regarding aircraft occupancy or hygiene related to COVID-19.
Each additional regulation or other form of regulatory oversight increases costs and adds greater complexity to airline operations and, in some cases, may reduce the demand for air travel. There can be no assurance that the increased costs or greater complexity associated with our compliance with new rules, anticipated rules or other forms of regulatory oversight will not have a material adverse effect on us.
Any significant reduction in air traffic capacity at and in the airspace serving key airports in the U.S. or overseas could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, the ATC system is not successfully modernizing to meet the growing demand for U.S. air travel. Air traffic controllers rely on outdated procedures and technologies that routinely compel airlines, including ourselves, to fly inefficient routes or take significant delays on the ground. The ATC systems inability to manage existing travel demand has led government agencies to implement short-term capacity constraints during peak travel periods or adverse weather conditions in certain markets, resulting in delays and disruptions of air traffic. The outdated technologies also cause the ATC system to be less resilient in the event of a failure. For example, an automation failure and an evacuation, in 2015 and 2017, respectively, at the Washington Air Route Control Center resulted in cancellations and delays of hundreds of flights traversing the greater Washington, D.C. airspace.
In the early 2000s, the FAA embarked on a path to modernize the national airspace system, including migration from the current radar-based ATC system to a GPS-based system. This modernization of the ATC system, generally referred to as NextGen, has been plagued by delays and cost overruns, and it remains uncertain when the full array of benefits expected from this modernization will be available to the public and the airlines, including ourselves. Failure to update the ATC system in a timely manner and the substantial costs that may be imposed on airlines, including ourselves, in order to fund a modernized ATC system may have a material adverse effect on our business.
Further, our business has been adversely impacted when government agencies have ceased to operate as expected including due to partial shut-downs, sequestrations or similar events and the COVID-19 pandemic. These events have resulted in, among other things, reduced demand for air travel, an actual or perceived reduction in ATC and security screening resources and related travel delays, as well as disruption in the ability of the FAA to grant required regulatory approvals, such as those that are involved when a new aircraft is first placed into service.
Our operating authority in international markets is subject to aviation agreements between the U.S. and the respective countries or governmental authorities, such as the EU, and in some cases, fares and schedules require the approval of the DOT and/or the relevant foreign governments. Moreover, alliances with international carriers may be subject to the jurisdiction and regulations of various foreign agencies. The U.S. government has negotiated open skies agreements with many countries, which agreements allow unrestricted route authority access between the U.S. and the foreign markets. While the U.S. has worked to increase the number of countries with which open skies agreements are in effect, a number of markets important to us, including China, do not have open skies agreements. For example, the open skies air services agreement between the U.S. and the EU, which took effect in March 2008, provides airlines from the U.S. and EU member states open access to each others markets, with freedom of pricing and unlimited rights to fly from the U.S. to any airport in the EU. As a result of the agreement and a subsequent open skies agreement involving the U.S. and the United Kingdom, which was agreed in anticipation of Brexit, we face increased competition in these markets, including LHR. Bilateral and multilateral agreements among the U.S. and various foreign governments of countries we serve but which are not covered by an open skies treaty are subject to periodic renegotiation. We currently operate a number of international routes under government arrangements that limit the number of airlines permitted to operate on the route, the capacity of the airlines providing services on the route, or the number of airlines allowed access to particular airports. If an open skies policy were to be adopted for any of these markets, it could have a material adverse impact on us and could result in the impairment of material amounts of our related tangible and intangible assets. In addition, competition from foreign airlines, revenue-sharing joint ventures, JBAs, and other alliance arrangements by and among other airlines could impair the value of our business and assets on the open skies routes.
Brexit occurred on January 31, 2020 under the terms of the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community (the Withdrawal Agreement). There will now be a transition period during which the United Kingdom and the EU will seek to negotiate an agreement governing their future relationship, including in relation to air services. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, this transition period is scheduled to end on December 31, 2020, with a potential extension of up to two years, although the United Kingdom government has passed legislation preventing any such extension of the transition period. We face risks associated with Brexit, notably given the extent of our passenger and cargo traffic and that of our joint business partners that flows through LHR in the United Kingdom. During the transition period, our current air services may continue as we currently conduct them. However, Brexit will mandate further modification in the current regulatory regime, including in relation to commercial air service. The precise scope of traffic rights between the EU and the United Kingdom remains uncertain and therefore the continuation of our current services, and those of our partners, is not assured and could be subject to disruption. During the transition period, the United Kingdom and the EU will seek to implement a new air services agreement. We cannot predict the terms of any such successor air services agreement or whether changes in the relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU, including whether or not an agreement governing their future relationship is reached before the end of the transition period, could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. More generally, changes in U.S. or foreign government aviation policies could result in the alteration or termination of such agreements, diminish the value of route authorities, slots or other assets located abroad, or otherwise adversely affect our international operations.
We operate a global business with international operations that are subject to economic and political instability and have been, and in the future may continue to be, adversely affected by numerous events, circumstances or government actions beyond our control.
We operate a global business with significant operations outside of the U.S. Our current international activities and prospects have been and in the future could be adversely affected by government policies, reversals or delays in the opening of foreign markets, increased competition in international markets, the performance of our alliance, joint business and codeshare partners in a given market, exchange controls or other restrictions on repatriation of funds, currency and political risks (including changes in exchange rates and currency devaluations), environmental regulation, increases in taxes and fees and changes in international government regulation of our operations, including the inability to obtain or retain needed route authorities and/or slots. In particular, the outbreak and global spread of COVID-19 has severely impacted the demand for international travel and has resulted in the imposition of significant governmental restrictions on commercial air service to or from certain regions. We have responded by suspending a significant majority of our international flights through at least June 2020 and delaying the introduction of certain new international routes. We can provide no assurance as to when such restrictions will be eased or lifted, when demand for international travel will return to pre-pandemic levels, if at all, or whether certain international destinations we previously served will be economical in the future. Fluctuations in foreign currencies, including devaluations, exchange controls and other restrictions on the repatriation of funds, have significantly affected and may continue to significantly affect our operating performance, liquidity and the value of any cash held outside the U.S. in local currency.
Such fluctuations in foreign currencies, including devaluations, cannot be predicted by us and can significantly affect the value of our assets located outside the United States. These conditions, as well as any further delays, devaluations or imposition of more stringent repatriation restrictions, may materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
More generally, our industry may be affected by any deterioration in global trade relations, including shifts in the trade policies of individual nations. For example, much of the demand for international air travel is the result of business travel in support of global trade. Should protectionist governmental policies, such as increased tariff or other trade barriers, travel limitations and other regulatory actions, have the effect of reducing global commercial activity, the result could be a material decrease in the demand for international air travel. Additionally, certain of the products and services that we purchase, including certain of our aircraft and related parts, are sourced from suppliers located in foreign countries, and the imposition of new tariffs, or any increase in existing tariffs, by the U.S. government in respect of the importation of such products could materially increase the amounts we pay for them. In particular, on October 2, 2019, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), as part of an ongoing dispute with the EU before the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning, among other things, aircraft subsidies, was authorized by an arbitration tribunal of the WTO to impose up to $7.5 billion per year in import tariffs on certain goods originating from the EU. In October 2019, the USTR imposed tariffs on certain imports from the EU, including certain Airbus aircraft that we previously contracted to purchase, which were initially subject to an ad valorem duty of 10%. On February 14, 2020, the USTR increased such duty to 15% effective March 18, 2020. While the scope and rate of these tariffs are subject to change, if and to the extent these tariffs are imposed on us without any available means for us to mitigate or pass on the burden of these tariffs to Airbus, the effective cost of new Airbus aircraft required to implement our fleet plan would increase.
Brexit occurred on January 31, 2020 under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. There will now be a transition period during which the United Kingdom and the EU will seek to negotiate an agreement governing their future relationship, including in relation to air services. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, this transition period is
scheduled to end on December 31, 2020, with a potential extension of up to two years, although the United Kingdom government has passed legislation preventing any such extension of the transition period. We face risks associated with Brexit, notably given the extent of our passenger and cargo traffic and that of our joint business partners that flows through LHR in the United Kingdom. During the transition period, our current air services may continue as we currently conduct them. The precise scope of traffic rights between the EU and the United Kingdom remains uncertain and therefore the continuation of our current services, and those of our partners, is not assured and could be subject to disruption. During the transition period, the United Kingdom and the EU will seek to implement a new air services agreement. We cannot predict the terms of any such successor air services agreement or whether changes in the relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU, including whether or not an agreement governing their future relationship is reached before the end of the transition period, could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Moreover, Brexit could adversely affect European or worldwide economic or market conditions and could contribute to further instability in global financial markets. In addition, Brexit has created uncertainty as to the future trade relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom, including air traffic services. LHR is presently a very important element of our international network, however it may become less desirable as a destination or as a hub location after Brexit when compared to other airports in Europe. Brexit could also lead to legal and regulatory uncertainty such as the identity of the relevant regulators, new regulatory action and/or potentially divergent treaties, laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which EU treaties, laws and regulations to replace or replicate, including those governing aviation, labor, environmental, data protection/privacy, competition and other matters applicable to the provision of air transportation services by us or our alliance, joint business or codeshare partners. For example in October 2018, in anticipation of Brexit and the expiry of the EC commitments in July 2020, the CMA opened an investigation into the transatlantic JBA. We continue to fully cooperate with the CMA, and in May 2020, the CMA published a notice of intention to accept certain commitments related to the transatlantic JBA offered by the carriers and invited representations from interested third parties. The impact on our business of any treaties, laws and regulations that replace the existing EU counterparts, or other governmental or regulatory actions taken by the United Kingdom or the EU in connection with or subsequent to Brexit, cannot be predicted, including whether or not regulators will continue to approve or impose material conditions on our business activities. Any of these effects, and others we cannot anticipate, could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may be adversely affected by conflicts overseas or terrorist attacks; the travel industry continues to face ongoing security concerns.
Acts of terrorism or fear of such attacks, including elevated national threat warnings, wars or other military conflicts, may depress air travel, particularly on international routes, and cause declines in revenues and increases in costs. The attacks of September 11, 2001 and continuing terrorist threats, attacks and attempted attacks materially impacted and continue to impact air travel. Increased security procedures introduced at airports since the attacks of September 11, 2001 and any other such measures that may be introduced in the future generate higher operating costs for airlines. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act mandated improved flight deck security, deployment of federal air marshals on board flights, improved airport perimeter access security, airline crew security training, enhanced security screening of passengers, baggage, cargo, mail, employees and vendors, enhanced training and qualifications of security screening personnel, additional provision of passenger data to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency and enhanced background checks. A concurrent increase in airport security charges and procedures, such as restrictions on carry-on baggage, has also had and may continue to have a disproportionate impact on short-haul travel, which constitutes a significant portion of our flying and revenue. Implementation of and compliance with increasingly-complex security and customs requirements will continue to
result in increased costs for us and our passengers, and have caused and likely will continue to cause periodic service disruptions and delays. We have at times found it necessary or desirable to make significant expenditures to comply with security-related requirements while seeking to reduce their impact on our customers, such as expenditures for automated security screening lines at airports. As a result of competitive pressure, and the need to improve security screening throughput to support the pace of our operations, it is unlikely that we will be able to capture all security-related costs through increased fares. In addition, we cannot forecast what new security requirements may be imposed in the future, or their impact on our business.
We are subject to risks associated with climate change, including increased regulation of our CO2 emissions and the potential increased impacts of severe weather events on our operations and infrastructure.
There is increasing global regulatory focus on climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2). In particular, the International Civil Aviation Organization is in the process of adopting rules, including the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), that will require American to limit the CO2 emissions of a significant majority of our international flights to a baseline level equal to our 2019-2020 average emissions from such flights.
At this time, the costs of our obligations under CORSIA are uncertain and cannot be fully predicted. For example, we will not directly control our CORSIA compliance costs during the CORSIA Pilot and First Phases because such phases include a sharing mechanism for the growth in emissions for the global aviation sector. In addition, there is uncertainty with respect to the future supply, demand and price of sustainable or lower carbon aircraft fuel, carbon offset credits and technologies that could allow airlines to reduce their emissions of CO2. Due to the competitive nature of the airline industry and unpredictability of the market for air travel, we can offer no assurance that we may be able to increase our fares, impose surcharges or otherwise increase revenues or decrease other operating costs sufficiently to offset our costs of meeting obligations under CORSIA.
In the event that CORSIA does not come into force as expected, American and other airlines could become subject to an unpredictable and inconsistent array of national or regional emissions restrictions, creating a patchwork of complex regulatory requirements that will often affect global competitors differently and frequently offer no meaningful aviation environmental improvements. Concerns over climate change are likely to result in continued attempts by municipal, state, regional, and federal agencies to adopt requirements or change business environments related to aviation that, if successful, may result in increased costs to the airline industry and us. In addition, several countries and U.S. states have adopted or are considering adopting programs to regulate domestic GHG emissions. Finally, certain airports have adopted, and others could in the future adopt, GHG emission or climate-neutral goals that could impact our operations or require us to make changes or investments in our infrastructure.
All such climate change-related regulatory activity and developments may adversely affect our business and financial results by requiring us to reduce our emissions, make capital investments to modernize certain aspects of our operations, purchase carbon offset credits, or otherwise incur additional costs related to our emissions. Such activity may also impact us indirectly by increasing our operating costs, including fuel costs.
Finally, the potential physical effects of climate change, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, floods, fires, sea-level rise and other climate-related events, could affect our operations, infrastructure and financial results. Operational impacts, such as the canceling of flights, could result in loss of revenue. We could incur significant costs to improve the climate resiliency of our infrastructure and otherwise prepare for, respond to, and mitigate such physical effects of climate change. We are not able to accurately predict the materiality of any potential losses or costs associated with the physical effects of climate change.
We are subject to many forms of environmental and noise regulation and may incur substantial costs as a result.
We are subject to a number of increasingly stringent federal, state, local and foreign laws, regulations and ordinances relating to the protection of the environment and noise reduction, including those relating to emissions to the air, discharges to surface and subsurface waters, safe drinking water, and the management of hazardous substances, oils and waste materials. Compliance with environmental laws and regulations can require significant expenditures, and violations can lead to significant fines and penalties.
We are also subject to other environmental laws and regulations, including those that require us to investigate and remediate soil or groundwater to meet certain remediation standards. Under federal law, 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 waste directly attributable to us. We have liability for investigation and remediation costs at various sites, although such costs currently are not expected to have a material adverse effect on our business.
We have various leases and agreements with respect to real property, tanks and pipelines with airports and other operators. Under these leases and agreements, we have agreed to indemnify the lessor or operator against environmental liabilities associated with the real property or operations described under the agreement, even in certain cases where we are not the party responsible for the initial event that caused the environmental damage. We also participate in leases with other airlines in fuel consortiums and fuel committees at airports, and such indemnities are generally joint and several among the participating airlines.
Governmental authorities in several U.S. and foreign cities are also considering, or have already implemented, aircraft noise reduction programs, including the imposition of nighttime curfews and limitations on daytime take offs and landings. We have been able to accommodate local noise restrictions imposed to date, but our operations could be adversely affected if locally-imposed regulations become more restrictive or widespread.
We depend on a limited number of suppliers for aircraft, aircraft engines and parts.
We depend on a limited number of suppliers for aircraft, aircraft engines and many aircraft and engine parts. For example, under our current fleet plan, by the end of 2020 all of our mainline aircraft will have been manufactured by either Airbus or Boeing and all of our regional aircraft will have been manufactured by either Bombardier or Embraer. Further, our supplier base continues to consolidate as evidenced by the recent acquisition of Rockwell Collins by United Technologies, the recent transactions involving Airbus and Bombardier and the pending transactions involving Boeing and Embraer, and Bombardier and Mitsubishi. Due to the limited number of these suppliers, we are vulnerable to any problems associated with the performance of their obligation to supply key aircraft, parts and engines, including design defects, mechanical problems, contractual performance by suppliers, adverse perception by the public that would result in customer avoidance of any of our aircraft or any action by the FAA or any other regulatory authority resulting in an inability to operate our aircraft, even temporarily. In particular, in March 2019, the FAA ordered the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which remains in place as of the date of the Current Report on Form 8-K to which this exhibit is attached.
Delays in scheduled aircraft deliveries or other loss of anticipated fleet capacity, and failure of new aircraft to perform as expected, may adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The success of our business depends on, among other things, effectively managing the number and types of aircraft we operate. If, for any reason, we are unable to accept or secure deliveries of new aircraft on contractually scheduled delivery dates, this could have negative impacts on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Our failure to integrate newly purchased aircraft into our fleet as planned might require us to seek extensions of the terms for some leased aircraft or otherwise delay the exit of certain aircraft from our fleet. Such unanticipated extensions or delays may require us to operate existing aircraft beyond the point at which it is economically optimal to retire them, resulting in increased maintenance costs, or reductions to our schedule, thereby reducing revenues. If new aircraft orders are not filled on a timely basis, we could face higher financing and operating costs than planned. In addition, if the aircraft we receive do not meet expected performance or quality standards, including with respect to fuel efficiency, safety and reliability, we could face higher financing and operating costs than planned and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely impacted. For instance, in March 2019, the FAA grounded all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, including the 24 aircraft in our fleet. For the duration of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, we have been unable to take delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft we have on order from Boeing and have in some instances been required to extend the service lives of older, less efficient aircraft and delay service that we planned to offer. Further, deliveries of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have remained suspended following the grounding, and Boeing is not currently manufacturing new 737 MAX aircraft. Depending on the ultimate duration of the grounding, various Boeing 737 MAX aircraft financings and financing commitments we previously obtained may be terminated and, as a result, we may be required to obtain alternate financing and financing commitments for these aircraft, which may not be available on terms and conditions as favorable as the previously obtained financings and financing commitments. Further, once the grounding has been lifted, we are likely to be subject to training requirements. Boeing has recommended that pilots receive special flight simulator training before operating the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and although the FAA is ultimately responsible for establishing training requirements for operating the Boeing 737 MAX, such additional training would further delay the aircrafts return to service and impose restrictions on our ability to optimize our fleet. This and other operational requirements and uncertainties regarding the timing of the delivery of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft we have on order and how rapidly we will be able to take delivery of and integrate such Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into our fleet could potentially result in further significant constraints on our operating efficiency, capacity and growth plans. In addition, the timing of the 737 MAXs recertification and return to service, and the resumption of deliveries, could be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We rely heavily on technology and automated systems to operate our business, and any failure of these technologies or systems could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We are highly dependent on existing and emerging technology and automated systems to operate our business. These technologies and systems include our computerized airline reservation system, flight operations systems, financial planning, management and accounting systems, telecommunications systems, website, maintenance systems and check-in kiosks. In order for our operations to work efficiently, our website and reservation system must be able to accommodate a high volume of traffic, maintain secure information and deliver flight information, as well as issue electronic tickets and process critical financial information in a timely manner. Substantially all of our tickets are issued to passengers as electronic tickets. We depend on our reservation system, which is hosted and maintained under a long-term contract by a third-party service provider, to be able to issue, track and accept these electronic tickets. If our technologies or automated systems are not functioning or if our third-party service providers were to fail to adequately provide technical support, system maintenance or timely software upgrades for any one of our key existing systems, we could experience service disruptions or delays, which could harm our business and result in the loss of important data, increase our expenses and decrease our revenues. In the event that one or more of our primary technology or systems vendors goes into bankruptcy, ceases operations or fails to perform as promised, replacement services may not be readily available on a timely basis, at competitive rates or at all, and any transition time to a new system may be significant.
Our technologies and automated systems cannot be completely protected against events that are beyond our control, including natural disasters, power failures, terrorist attacks, cyber-attacks, data theft, equipment and software failures, computer viruses or telecommunications failures. Substantial or sustained system failures could cause service delays or failures and result in our customers purchasing tickets from other airlines. We cannot assure that our security measures, change control procedures or disaster recovery plans are adequate to prevent disruptions or delays. Disruption in or changes to these technologies or systems could result in a disruption to our business and the loss of important data. Any of the foregoing could result in a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We face challenges in integrating our computer, communications and other technology systems.
While we have to date successfully integrated many of our computer, communication and other technology systems in connection with the merger of US Airways, Inc. and American, including our customer reservations system and our pilot, flight attendant and fleet scheduling system, we still have to complete several additional important system integration or replacement projects. In a number of prior airline mergers, the integration of these systems or deployment of replacement systems has taken longer, been more disruptive and cost more than originally forecasted. The implementation process to integrate or replace these various systems will involve a number of risks that could adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition. New systems will replace multiple legacy systems and the related implementation will be a complex and time-consuming project involving substantial expenditures for implementation consultants, system hardware, software and implementation activities, as well as the transformation of business and financial processes.
We cannot assure that our security measures, change control procedures or disaster recovery plans will be adequate to prevent disruptions or delays in connection with systems integration or replacement. Disruptions in or changes to these systems could result in a disruption to our business and the loss of important data. Any of the foregoing could result in a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Evolving data security and privacy requirements could increase our costs, and any significant data security incident could disrupt our operations, harm our reputation, expose us to legal risks and otherwise materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our business requires the secure processing and storage of sensitive information relating to our customers, employees, business partners and others. However, like any global enterprise operating in todays digital business environment, we are subject to threats to the security of our networks and data, including threats potentially involving criminal hackers, hacktivists, state-sponsored actors, corporate espionage, employee malfeasance, and human or technological error. These threats continue to increase as the frequency, intensity and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions increase around the world. We have been the target of cybersecurity attacks in the past and expect that we will continue to be in the future.
Furthermore, in response to these threats there has been heightened legislative and regulatory focus on data privacy and cybersecurity in the U.S., the EU and elsewhere, particularly with respect to critical infrastructure providers, including those in the transportation sector. As a result, we must comply with a proliferating and fast-evolving set of legal requirements in this area, including substantive cybersecurity standards as well as requirements for notifying regulators and affected individuals in the event of a data security incident. This regulatory environment is increasingly challenging and may present material obligations and risks to our business, including significantly
expanded compliance burdens, costs and enforcement risks. For example, in May 2018, the EUs new General Data Protection Regulation commonly referred to as GDPR, came into effect, which imposes a host of new data privacy and security requirements, imposing significant costs on us and carrying substantial penalties for non-compliance.
In addition, many of our commercial partners, including credit card companies, have imposed data security standards that we must meet. In particular, we are required by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, founded by the credit card companies, to comply with their highest level of data security standards. While we continue our efforts to meet these standards, new and revised standards may be imposed that may be difficult for us to meet and could increase our costs.
A significant cybersecurity incident could result in a range of potentially material negative consequences for us, including unauthorized access to, disclosure, modification, misuse, loss or destruction of company systems or data; theft of sensitive, regulated or confidential data, such as personal identifying information or our intellectual property; the loss of functionality of critical systems through ransomware, denial of service or other attacks; a deterioration in our relationships with business partners and other third parties; and business delays, service or system disruptions, damage to equipment and injury to persons or property. 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. The constantly changing nature of the threats means that we may not be able to prevent all data security breaches or misuse of data. Similarly, we depend on the ability of our key commercial partners, including our regional carriers, distribution partners and technology vendors, to conduct their businesses in a manner that complies with applicable security standards and assures their ability to perform on a timely basis. A security failure, including a failure to meet relevant payment security standards, breach or other significant cybersecurity incident affecting one of our partners could result in potentially material negative consequences for us.
In addition, the costs and operational consequences of defending against, preparing for, responding to and remediating an incident of cybersecurity breach may be substantial. As cybersecurity threats become more frequent, intense and sophisticated, costs of proactive defense measures are increasing. Further, we could be exposed to litigation, regulatory enforcement or other legal action as a result of an incident, carrying the potential for damages, fines, sanctions or other penalties, as well as injunctive relief and enforcement actions requiring costly compliance measures. A significant number of recent privacy and data security incidents, including those involving other large airlines, have resulted in very substantial adverse financial consequences to those companies. A cybersecurity incident could also impact our brand, harm our reputation and adversely impact our relationship with our customers, employees and stockholders. Accordingly, failure to appropriately address these issues could result in material financial and other liabilities and cause significant reputational harm to our company.
If we encounter problems with any of our third-party regional operators or third-party service providers, our operations could be adversely affected by a resulting decline in revenue or negative public perception about our services.
A significant portion of our regional operations are conducted by third-party operators on our behalf, substantially all of which are provided for under capacity purchase agreements. Due to our reliance on third parties to provide these essential services, we are subject to the risk of disruptions to their operations, which has in the past and may in the future result from many of the same risk factors disclosed in this exhibit, such as the impact of adverse economic conditions, the inability of third parties to hire or retain skilled personnel, including pilots and mechanics, and other risk factors, such as an out-of-court or bankruptcy restructuring of any of our regional operators. Several of these third-party regional operators provide significant regional capacity that we would be
unable to replace in a short period of time should that operator fail to perform its obligations to us. Disruptions to capital markets, shortages of skilled personnel and adverse economic conditions in general have subjected certain of these third-party regional operators to significant financial pressures, which have in the past and may in the future lead to bankruptcies among these operators. In particular, the significant decline in demand for air travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and related governmental restrictions on travel have materially impacted demand for services provided by our regional carriers and, as a result, we have significantly reduced our regional capacity and expect to maintain these reduced levels of capacity for the foreseeable future. We expect the disruption to services resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to adversely affect our regional operators, some of whom may experience significant financial stress, declare bankruptcy or otherwise cease to operate. We may also experience disruption to our regional operations or incur financial damages if we terminate the capacity purchase agreement with one or more of our current operators or transition the services to another provider. Any significant disruption to our regional operations would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, our reliance upon others to provide essential services on behalf of our operations may result in our relative inability 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 distribution and sale of airline seat inventory, reservations, provision of information technology and services, regional operations, aircraft maintenance, ground services and facilities and baggage handling. Similar agreements may be entered into in any new markets we decide to serve. These agreements are generally subject to termination after notice by the third-party service provider. We are also at risk should one of these service providers cease operations, and there is no guarantee that we could replace these providers on a timely basis with comparably priced providers, or at all. Any material problems with the efficiency and timeliness of contract services, resulting from financial hardships or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We rely on third-party distribution channels and must manage effectively the costs, rights and functionality of these channels.
We rely on third-party distribution channels, including those provided by or through global distribution systems (GDSs) (e.g., Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport), conventional travel agents, travel management companies and online travel agents (OTAs) (e.g., Expedia, including its booking sites Orbitz and Travelocity, and Booking Holdings, including its booking sites Kayak and Priceline), to distribute a significant portion of our airline tickets, and we expect in the future to continue to rely on these channels. We are also dependent upon the ability and willingness of these distribution channels to expand their ability to distribute and collect revenues for ancillary products (e.g., fees for selective seating). These distribution channels are more expensive and at present have less functionality in respect of ancillary product offerings than those we operate ourselves, such as our website at www.aa.com. Certain of these distribution channels also effectively restrict the manner in which we distribute our products generally. To remain competitive, we will need to manage successfully our distribution costs and rights, increase our distribution flexibility and improve the functionality of our distribution channels, while maintaining an industry-competitive cost structure. Further, as distribution technology changes we will need to continue to update our technology by acquiring new technology from third parties, building the functionality ourselves, or a combination, which in any event will likely entail significant technological and commercial risk and involve potentially material investments. These imperatives may affect our relationships with conventional travel agents, travel management companies, GDSs and OTAs, including if consolidation of conventional travel agents, travel management companies, GDSs or OTAs continues, or should any of these parties seek to acquire other technology providers thereby potentially limiting our technology alternatives, such as the proposed acquisition of Farelogix by Sabre. Any inability to manage our third-party distribution costs, rights and functionality at a competitive level or any material diminishment or disruption in the distribution of our tickets could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If we are unable to obtain and maintain adequate facilities and infrastructure throughout our system and, at some airports, adequate slots, we may be unable to operate our existing flight schedule and to expand or change our route network in the future, which may have a material adverse impact on our operations.
In order to operate our existing and proposed flight schedule and, where desirable, add service along new or existing routes, we must be able to maintain and/or obtain adequate gates, check-in counters, operations areas, operations control facilities and administrative support space. As airports around the world become more congested, it may not be possible for us to ensure that our plans for new service can be implemented in a commercially viable manner, given operating constraints at airports throughout our network, including those imposed by inadequate facilities at desirable airports.
In light of constraints on existing facilities, there is presently a significant amount of capital spending underway at major airports in the United States, including large projects underway at a number of airports where we have significant operations, such as Chicago OHare International Airport (ORD), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). This spending is expected to result in increased costs to airlines and the traveling public that use those facilities as the airports seek to recover their investments through increased rental, landing and other facility costs. In some circumstances, such costs could be imposed by the relevant airport authority without our approval. Accordingly, our operating costs are expected to increase significantly at many airports at which we operate, including a number of our hubs and gateways, as a result of capital spending projects currently underway and additional projects that we expect to commence over the next several years.
In addition, operations at three major domestic airports, certain smaller domestic airports and many foreign airports we serve are regulated by governmental entities through allocations of slots or similar regulatory mechanisms that limit the rights of carriers to conduct operations at those airports. Each slot represents the authorization to land at or take off from the particular airport during a specified time period and may have other operational restrictions as well. In the U.S., the DOT and the FAA currently regulate the allocation of slots or slot exemptions at DCA and two New York City airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport and LGA. Our operations at these airports generally require the allocation of slots or similar regulatory authority. In addition to slot restrictions, operations at DCA and LGA are also limited based on a so-called perimeter rule which generally limits the stage length of the flights that can be operated from those airports to 1,250 and 1,500 miles, respectively. Similarly, our operations at LHR, international airports in Beijing, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo and other airports outside the U.S. are regulated by local slot authorities pursuant to the International Airline Trade Association Worldwide Scheduling Guidelines and/or applicable local law. Termination of slot controls at some or all of the foregoing airports could affect our operational performance and competitive position. We currently have sufficient slots or analogous authorizations to operate our existing flights and we have generally, but not always, been able to obtain the rights to expand our operations and to change our schedules. However, there is no assurance that we will be able to obtain sufficient slots or analogous authorizations in the future or as to the cost of acquiring such rights because, among other reasons, such allocations are often sought after by other airlines and are subject to changes in governmental policies. Due to the dramatic reduction in air travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are in many instances relying on exemptions granted by applicable authorities from the requirement that we continuously use certain slots, gates and routes or risk having such operating rights revoked, and we cannot predict whether such exemptions will continue to be granted or whether we ultimately could be at risk of losing valuable operating rights. We cannot provide any assurance that regulatory changes regarding the allocation of slots, the continued enforcement of a perimeter rule or similar regulatory authority will not have a material adverse impact on our operations.
Our ability to provide service can also be impaired at airports, such as LAX and ORD where the airport gate and other facilities are currently inadequate to accommodate all of the service that we would like to provide, or airports such as Dallas Love Field Airport where we have no access to gates at all.
Any limitation on our ability to acquire or maintain adequate gates, ticketing facilities, operations areas, operations control facilities, slots (where applicable), or office space could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Interruptions or disruptions in service at one of our key facilities could have a material adverse impact on our operations.
We operate principally through our hubs and gateways in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. Substantially all of our flights either originate at or fly into one of these locations. A significant interruption or disruption in service at one of our hubs, gateways or other airports where we have a significant presence, resulting from air traffic control delays, weather conditions, natural disasters, growth constraints, performance by third-party service providers (such as electric utility or telecommunications providers), failure of computer systems, disruptions at airport facilities or other key facilities used by us to manage our operations (such as occurred in the United Kingdom at LGW on December 20, 2018 and LHR on January 8, 2019 due to unauthorized drone activity), labor relations, power supplies, fuel supplies, terrorist activities, or otherwise could result in the cancellation or delay of a significant portion of our flights and, as a result, could have a severe impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition. We have limited control, particularly in the short term, over the operation, quality or maintenance of many of the services on which our operations depend and over whether vendors of such services will improve or continue to provide services that are essential to our business.
Changes to our business model that are designed to increase revenues may not be successful and may cause operational difficulties or decreased demand.
We have recently instituted, and intend to institute in the future, changes to our business model designed to increase revenues and offset costs. These measures include further segmentation of the classes of services we offer, such as Premium Economy service and Basic Economy service, enhancements to our AAdvantage loyalty program, charging separately for services that had previously been included within the price of a ticket, increasing other pre-existing fees, reconfiguration of our aircraft cabins, and efforts to optimize our network including by focusing growth on a limited number of large hubs. We may introduce additional initiatives in the future; however, as time goes on, we expect that it will be more difficult to identify and implement additional initiatives. We cannot assure that these measures or any future initiatives will be successful in increasing our revenues. Additionally, the implementation of these initiatives may create logistical challenges that could harm the operational performance of our airline or result in decreased demand. Also, our implementation of any new or increased fees might reduce the demand for air travel on our airline or across the industry in general, particularly if weakened economic conditions make our customers more sensitive to increased travel costs or provide a significant competitive advantage to other carriers that determine not to institute similar charges.
Our intellectual property rights, particularly our branding rights, are valuable, and any inability to protect them may adversely affect our business and financial results.
We consider our intellectual property rights, particularly our branding rights such as our trademarks applicable to our airline and AAdvantage loyalty program, to be a significant and valuable aspect of our business. We protect our intellectual property rights through a combination of trademark, copyright and other forms of legal protection, contractual agreements and policing of third-party misuses of our intellectual property. Our failure to obtain or adequately protect our intellectual property or any change in law that lessens or removes the current legal protections of our intellectual property may diminish our competitiveness and adversely affect our business and financial results. Any litigation or disputes regarding intellectual property may be costly and time-consuming and may divert the attention of our management and key personnel from our business operations, either of which may adversely affect our business and financial results.
We may be a party to litigation in the normal course of business or otherwise, which could affect our financial position and liquidity.
From time to time, we are a party to or otherwise involved in legal proceedings, claims and government inspections or investigations and other legal matters, both inside and outside the United States, arising in the ordinary course of our business or otherwise. We are currently involved in various legal proceedings and claims that have not yet been fully resolved, and additional claims may arise in the future. Legal proceedings can be complex and take many months, or even years, to reach resolution, with the final outcome depending on a number of variables, some of which are not within our control. Litigation is subject to significant uncertainty and may be expensive, time-consuming, and disruptive to our operations. Although we will vigorously defend ourselves in such legal proceedings, their ultimate resolution and potential financial and other impacts on us are uncertain. For these and other reasons, we may choose to settle legal proceedings and claims, regardless of their actual merit. If a legal proceeding is resolved against us, it could result in significant compensatory damages, and in certain circumstances punitive or trebled damages, disgorgement of revenue or profits, remedial corporate measures or injunctive relief imposed on us. If our existing insurance does not cover the amount or types of damages awarded, or if other resolution or actions taken as a result of the legal proceeding were to restrain our ability to operate or market our services, our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows could be materially adversely affected. In addition, legal proceedings, and any adverse resolution thereof, can result in adverse publicity and damage to our reputation, which could adversely impact our business.
A higher than normal number of pilot retirements, more stringent duty time regulations, increased flight hour requirement for commercial airline pilots, reductions in the number of military pilots entering the commercial workforce, increased training requirements and other factors have caused a shortage of pilots that could materially adversely affect our business.
We currently have a higher than normal number of pilots eligible for retirement. Large numbers of pilots in the industry are approaching the FAAs mandatory retirement age of 65. Our pilots and other employees are subject to rigorous certification standards, and our pilots and other crew members must adhere to flight time and rest requirements. Commencing in 2013, the minimum flight hour requirement to achieve a commercial pilots license in the United States (an Air Transport Pilots certificate) increased from 250 to 1,500 hours, thereby significantly increasing the time and cost commitment required to become licensed to fly commercial aircraft. Additionally, the number of military pilots being trained by the U.S. armed forces and available as commercial pilots upon their retirement from military service has been decreasing. These and other factors have contributed to a shortage of qualified, entry-level pilots and increased compensation costs, particularly for our regional subsidiaries and our other regional partners who are being required by market conditions to pay significantly increased wages and large signing bonuses to their pilots in an attempt to achieve desired staffing levels. The foregoing factors have also led to increased competition from large, mainline carriers attempting to meet their hiring needs. We believe that this
industry-wide pilot shortage is becoming an increasing problem for airlines in the United States. Our regional partners have recently been unable to hire adequate numbers of pilots to meet their needs, resulting in a reduction in the number of flights offered, disruptions, increased costs of operations, financial difficulties and other adverse effects, and these circumstances may become more severe in the future and thereby cause a material adverse effect on our business.
Increases in insurance costs or reductions in insurance coverage may adversely impact our operations and financial results.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 led to a significant increase in insurance premiums and a decrease in the insurance coverage available to commercial air carriers. Accordingly, our insurance costs increased significantly, and our ability to continue to obtain insurance even at current prices remains uncertain. If we are unable to maintain adequate insurance coverage, our business could be materially and adversely affected. Additionally, severe disruptions in the domestic and global financial markets could adversely impact the claims paying ability of some insurers. Future downgrades in the ratings of enough insurers could adversely impact both the availability of appropriate insurance coverage and its cost. Because of competitive pressures in our industry, our ability to pass along additional insurance costs to passengers is limited. As a result, further increases in insurance costs or reductions in available insurance coverage could have an adverse impact on our financial results.
The airline industry is heavily taxed.
The airline industry is subject to extensive government fees and taxation that negatively impact our revenue and profitability. The U.S. airline industry is one of the most heavily taxed of all industries. These fees and taxes have grown significantly in the past decade for domestic flights, and various U.S. fees and taxes also are assessed on international flights. For example, as permitted by federal legislation, most major U.S. airports impose a per-passenger facility charge on us. In addition, the governments of foreign countries in which we operate impose on U.S. airlines, including us, various fees and taxes, and these assessments have been increasing in number and amount in recent years. Moreover, we are obligated to collect a federal excise tax, commonly referred to as the ticket tax, on domestic and international air transportation. We collect the excise tax, along with certain other U.S. and foreign taxes and user fees on air transportation (such as passenger security fees), and pass along the collected amounts to the appropriate governmental agencies. Although these taxes and fees are not our operating expenses, they represent an additional cost to our customers. There are continuing efforts in Congress and in other countries to raise different portions of the various taxes, fees, and charges imposed on airlines and their passengers, including the passenger facility charge, and we may not be able to recover all of these charges from our customers. Increases in such taxes, fees and charges could negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Under DOT regulations, all governmental taxes and fees must be included in the prices we quote or advertise to our customers. Due to the competitive revenue environment, many increases in these fees and taxes have been absorbed by the airline industry rather than being passed on to the customer. Further increases in fees and taxes may reduce demand for air travel, and thus our revenues.
Our ability to utilize our NOL Carryforwards may be limited.
Under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code), a corporation is generally allowed a deduction for net operating losses (NOLs) carried over from prior taxable years (NOL Carryforwards). As of December 31, 2019, we had available NOL Carryforwards of approximately $9.1 billion for regular federal income tax purposes that will expire, if unused, beginning in 2023, and approximately $3.0 billion for state income tax purposes that will expire, if unused, between 2020 and 2039. Our NOL Carryforwards are subject to adjustment on audit by the Internal Revenue Service and the respective state taxing authorities.
Our ability to use our NOL Carryforwards also will depend on the amount of taxable income generated in future periods. We presently do not have a valuation allowance on our net deferred tax assets. If our financial results continue to be adversely impacted by COVID-19, there can be no assurance that a valuation allowance on our net deferred tax assets will not be required in the future. Such valuation allowance could be material. Additionally, the NOL Carryforwards may expire before we can generate sufficient taxable income to use them.
A corporations ability to deduct its federal NOL Carryforwards and to utilize certain other available tax attributes can be substantially constrained under the general annual limitation rules of Section 382 of the Code (Section 382) if it undergoes an ownership change as defined in Section 382 (generally where cumulative stock ownership changes among material stockholders exceed 50 percent during a rolling three-year period). In 2013, we experienced an ownership change in connection with our emergence from bankruptcy and US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways Group) experienced an ownership change in connection with the acquisition of US Airways Group by AMR Corporation (the Merger). The general limitation rules for a debtor in a bankruptcy case are liberalized where the ownership change occurs upon emergence from bankruptcy. We elected to be covered by certain special rules for federal income tax purposes that permitted approximately $9.0 billion (with $7.3 billion of unlimited NOL still remaining at December 31, 2019) of our federal NOL Carryforwards to be utilized without regard to the annual limitation generally imposed by Section 382. If the special rules are determined not to apply, our ability to utilize such federal NOL Carryforwards may be subject to limitation. In addition, under the loan program of the CARES Act, a government acquisition of warrants, stock options, common or preferred stock or other equity acquired in relation to the program does not result in an ownership change for purposes of section 382. This exception does not apply for companies issuing warrants, stock options, common or preferred stock or other equity pursuant to the Payroll Support Program and accordingly will not apply to the warrants issued by us under that program. Substantially all of our remaining federal NOL Carryforwards attributable to US Airways Group and its subsidiaries are subject to limitation under Section 382 as a result of the Merger; however, our ability to utilize such NOL Carryforwards is not anticipated to be effectively constrained as a result of such limitation. Similar limitations may apply for state income tax purposes.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, an ownership change subsequent to our emergence from bankruptcy may severely limit or effectively eliminate our ability to utilize our NOL Carryforwards and other tax attributes. To reduce the risk of a potential adverse effect on our ability to utilize our NOL Carryforwards, our Certificate of Incorporation contains transfer restrictions applicable to certain substantial stockholders. These restrictions may adversely affect the ability of certain holders of AAG common stock to dispose of or acquire shares of AAG common stock. Although the purpose of these transfer restrictions is to prevent an ownership change from occurring, no assurance can be given that an ownership change will not occur even with these restrictions in place. See also Certain provisions of AAGs Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws make it difficult for stockholders to change the composition of our Board of Directors and may discourage takeover attempts that some of our stockholders might consider beneficial.
The commercial relationships that we have with other airlines, including any related equity investment, may not produce the returns or results we expect.
An important part of our strategy to expand our network has been to expand our commercial relationships with other airlines, such as by entering into global alliance, joint business and codeshare relationships, and, in one recent instance involving China Southern Airlines Company Limited, by making a significant equity investment in
another airline in connection with initiating such a commercial relationship. We may explore similar non-controlling investments in, and joint ventures and strategic alliances with, other carriers as part of our global business strategy. We face competition in forming and maintaining these commercial relationships since there are a limited number of potential arrangements and other airlines are looking to enter into similar relationships, and our inability to form or maintain these relationships or inability to form as many of these relationships as our competitors may have an adverse effect on our business. Any such existing or future investment could involve significant challenges and risks, including that we may not realize a satisfactory return on our investment or that they may not generate the expected revenue synergies. In addition, as a result of the global spread of COVID-19, the industry has experienced a precipitous decline in demand for air travel both internationally and domestically, which is expected to continue into the foreseeable future and could materially disrupt the timely execution of our strategic operating plans, including the finalization, approval and implementation of new strategic relationships or the expansion of existing relationships. These events could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If our financial condition worsens, provisions in our credit card processing and other commercial agreements may adversely affect our liquidity.
We have agreements with companies that process customer credit card transactions for the sale of air travel and other services. These agreements allow these credit card processing companies, under certain conditions (including, with respect to certain agreements, our failure to maintain certain levels of liquidity), to hold an amount of our cash (a holdback) equal to some or all of the advance ticket sales that have been processed by that credit card processor, but for which we have not yet provided the air transportation. Additionally, such credit card processing companies may require cash or other collateral reserves to be established. These credit card processing companies are not currently entitled to maintain any holdbacks pursuant to these requirements. These holdback requirements can be modified at the discretion of the credit card processing companies upon the occurrence of specific events, including material adverse changes in our financial condition. In light of the effect COVID-19 is having on demand for air travel and, in turn, capacity, we have seen an increase in demand from consumers for refunds on their tickets, and we anticipate this will continue to be the case for the near future. Requests for refunds may reduce our liquidity and risk triggering liquidity covenants in these processing agreements and, in doing so, could force us to post cash or other collateral with the credit card processing companies in respect of advance ticket sales. The imposition of holdback requirements, up to and including 100% of relevant advanced ticket sales, would materially reduce our liquidity. Likewise, other of our commercial agreements contain provisions that allow other entities to impose less-favorable terms, including the acceleration of amounts due, in the event of material adverse changes in our financial condition. For example, we maintain certain letters of credit, insurance- and surety-related agreements under which counterparties may require collateral, including cash collateral.
We have a significant amount of goodwill, which is assessed for impairment at least annually. In addition, we may never realize the full value of our intangible assets or long-lived assets, causing us to record material impairment charges.
Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets are not amortized, but are assessed for impairment at least annually, or more frequently if conditions indicate that an impairment may have occurred. In accordance with applicable accounting standards, we first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is necessary to perform a quantitative impairment test. In addition, we are required to assess certain of our other long-lived assets for impairment if conditions indicate that an impairment may have occurred.
Future impairment of goodwill or other long-lived assets could be recorded in results of operations as a result of changes in assumptions, estimates, or circumstances, some of which are beyond our control. There can be no assurance that a material impairment charge of goodwill or tangible or intangible assets will be avoided. The value of our aircraft could be impacted in future periods by changes in supply and demand for these aircraft. Such changes in supply and demand for certain aircraft types could result from grounding of aircraft by us or other airlines, including as a result of significant or prolonged declines in demand for air travel and corresponding reductions to capacity. In the first quarter of 2020, we recorded an $815 million impairment charge associated with our decision to retire certain mainline aircraft, principally Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Airbus A330-300 and Embraer 190 aircraft as well as regional aircraft, including certain Embraer 140 and Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft, earlier than previously planned as a result of the decline in demand for air travel due to COVID-19. We can provide no assurance that a material impairment loss of tangible or intangible assets will not occur in a future period, and the risk of future material impairments has been significantly heightened as result of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our flight schedules and business. Such impairment charges could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The price of AAG common stock has been and may in the future be volatile.
The market price of AAG common stock has fluctuated in the past, and may fluctuate substantially in the future, due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
macro-economic conditions, including the price of fuel;
changes in market values of airline companies as well as general market conditions;
our operating and financial results failing to meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors;
changes in financial estimates or recommendations by securities analysts;
changes in our level of outstanding indebtedness and other obligations;
changes in our credit ratings;
material announcements by us or our competitors;
expectations regarding our capital deployment program, including any existing or potential future share repurchase programs and any future dividend payments that may be declared by our Board of Directors, or any determination to cease repurchasing stock or paying dividends (which we have suspended for an indefinite period in accordance with the applicable requirements under the CARES Act);
new regulatory pronouncements and changes in regulatory guidelines;
general and industry-specific economic conditions;
changes in our key personnel;
public sales of a substantial number of shares of AAG common stock or issuances of AAG common stock upon the exercise or conversion of restricted stock unit awards, stock appreciation rights, or other securities that may be issued from time to time, including warrants we have or will issue in connection with our receipt of funds under the CARES Act;
increases or decreases in reported holdings by insiders or other significant stockholders; and
fluctuations in trading volume.
We have ceased making repurchases of our common stock and paying dividends on our common stock as required by the CARES Act. Following the end of those restrictions, if we do decide to make repurchases of or pay dividends on our common stock, we cannot guarantee that we will continue to do so or that our capital deployment program will enhance long-term stockholder value. Our capital deployment program could increase the volatility of the price of our common stock and diminish our cash reserves.
Since July 2014, as part of our capital deployment program, our Board of Directors had approved seven share repurchase programs aggregating $13.0 billion of authority. As of March 31, 2020, there was $420 million of remaining authority to repurchase shares under our current $2.0 billion share repurchase program. In connection with our receipt of payroll support under the CARES Act, we agreed not to repurchase shares of AAG common stock through September 30, 2021. If we receive a secured loan from the U.S. Treasury Department pursuant to the CARES Act, we will be prohibited from repurchasing shares of AAG common stock through the date that is one year after such secured loan is fully repaid. If we determine to make any share repurchases in the future, such repurchases under our repurchase programs may be made through a variety of methods, which may include open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, block trades or accelerated share repurchase transactions. These share repurchase programs do not obligate us to acquire any specific number of shares or to repurchase any specific number of shares for any fixed period, and may be suspended again at any time at our discretion and without prior notice. The timing and amount of repurchases, if any, will be subject to market and economic conditions, applicable legal requirements, such as the requirements of the CARES Act and other relevant factors. Our repurchase of AAG common stock may be limited, suspended or discontinued at any time at our discretion and without prior notice.
Our Board of Directors commenced declaring quarterly cash dividends in July 2014 as part of our capital deployment program. In connection with our receipt of payroll support under the CARES Act, we agreed not to pay dividends on AAG common stock through September 30, 2021. If we receive a secured loan from the U.S. Treasury Department pursuant to the CARES Act, we will be prohibited from paying dividends on AAG common stock through the date that is one year after such secured loan is fully repaid. If we determine to make any dividends in the future, such dividends that may be declared and paid from time to time will be subject to market and economic conditions, applicable legal requirements and other relevant factors. We are not obligated to continue a dividend for any fixed period, and the payment of dividends may be suspended or discontinued again at any time at our discretion and without prior notice. We will continue to retain future earnings to develop our business, as opportunities arise, and evaluate on a quarterly basis the amount and timing of future dividends based on our operating results, financial condition, capital requirements and general business conditions. The amount and timing of any future dividends may vary, and the payment of any dividend does not assure that we will pay dividends in the future.
In addition, any future repurchases of AAG common stock or payment of dividends, or any determination to cease repurchasing stock or paying dividends, could affect our stock price and increase its volatility. The existence of a share repurchase program and any future dividends could cause our stock price to be higher than it would otherwise be and could potentially reduce the market liquidity for our stock. Additionally, any future
repurchases of AAG common stock or payment of dividends will diminish our cash reserves, which may impact our ability to finance future growth and to pursue possible future strategic opportunities and acquisitions. Further, our repurchase of AAG common stock may fluctuate such that our cash flow may be insufficient to fully cover our share repurchases. Although our share repurchase programs are intended to enhance long-term stockholder value, there is no assurance that they will do so.
AAGs Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws include provisions that limit voting and acquisition and disposition of our equity interests.
Our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws include significant provisions that limit voting and ownership and disposition of our equity interests as described in Part II, Item 5. Market for American Airlines Groups Common Stock, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity SecuritiesOwnership Restrictions in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019. These restrictions may adversely affect the ability of certain holders of AAG common stock and our other equity interests to vote such interests and adversely affect the ability of persons to acquire shares of AAG common stock and our other equity interests.
Certain provisions of AAGs Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws make it difficult for stockholders to change the composition of our Board of Directors and may discourage takeover attempts that some of our stockholders might consider beneficial.
Certain provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws, as currently in effect, may have the effect of delaying or preventing changes in control if our Board of Directors determines that such changes in control are not in our best interest and the best interest of our stockholders. These provisions include, among other things, the following:
advance notice procedures for stockholder proposals to be considered at stockholders meetings;
the ability of our Board of Directors to fill vacancies on the board;
a prohibition against stockholders taking action by written consent;
stockholders are restricted from calling a special meeting unless they hold at least 20% of our outstanding shares and follow the procedures provided for in the amended Bylaws;
a requirement that holders of at least 80% of the voting power of the shares entitled to vote in the election of directors approve any amendment of our Bylaws submitted to stockholders for approval; and
super-majority voting requirements to modify or amend specified provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation.
These provisions are not intended to prevent a takeover, but are intended to protect and maximize the value of the interests of our stockholders. While these provisions have the effect of encouraging persons seeking to acquire control of our company to negotiate with our Board of Directors, they could enable our Board of Directors to prevent a transaction that some, or a majority, of our stockholders might believe to be in their best interest and, in that case, may prevent or discourage attempts to remove and replace incumbent directors. In addition, we are subject to the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which prohibits business combinations with interested stockholders. Interested stockholders do not include stockholders whose acquisition of our securities is approved by the Board of Directors prior to the investment under Section 203.