Annual Report
Table of Contents

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 [NO FEE REQUIRED]

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005

 

OR

 

¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 [NO FEE REQUIRED]

 

For the transition period from                      to                     

 

Commission File Number 1-8957

 

ALASKA AIR GROUP, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware   91-1292054
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)   (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 

19300 International Boulevard, Seattle, Washington 98188

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (206) 392-5040

 

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

 

Title of Each Class


  

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered


Common Stock, $1.00 Par Value

   New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    No  ¨

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ¨    No  x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  ¨

 

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

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer  x      Accelerated filer  ¨      Non-accelerated filer  ¨

 

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

 

As of December 31, 2005, shares of common stock outstanding totaled 33,454,146. The aggregate market value of the shares of common stock of Alaska Air Group, Inc. held by nonaffiliates on June 30, 2005, was approximately $991 million (based on the closing price of $29.75 per share on the New York Stock Exchange on that date).

 

DOCUMENTS TO BE INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Title of Document


  

Part Hereof Into Which Document is to be Incorporated


Definitive Proxy Statement Relating to
2006 Annual Meeting of Shareholders
   Part III

 



Table of Contents

ALASKA AIR GROUP, INC.

Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I

   3

ITEM 1.

  

BUSINESS

   3

ITEM 1A.

  

RISK FACTORS

   12

ITEM 1B.

  

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

   12

ITEM 2.

  

PROPERTIES

   12

ITEM 3.

  

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

   13

ITEM 4.

  

SUBMISSION OF MATTERS TO A VOTE OF SECURITY HOLDERS

   14

PART II

   15

ITEM 5.

  

MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT’S COMMON STOCK, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS, AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

   15

ITEM 6.

  

SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OPERATING DATA

   17

ITEM 7.

  

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

   23

ITEM 7A.

  

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURE ABOUT MARKET RISK

   50

ITEM 8.

  

CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

   51

ITEM 9.

  

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

   51

ITEM 9A.

  

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

   51

ITEM 9B.

  

OTHER INFORMATION

   52

PART III

   53

ITEM 10.

  

DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

   53

ITEM 11.

  

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

   53

ITEM 12.

  

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT

   53

ITEM 13.

  

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS

   53

ITEM 14.

  

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

   53

PART IV

   54

ITEM 15.

  

EXHIBITS, CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

   54

SIGNATURES

   55

 

Cautionary Note regarding Forward-Looking Statements

 

In addition to historical information, this Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are those that predict or describe future events or trends and that do not relate solely to historical matters. You can generally identify forward-looking statements as statements containing the words “believe,” “expect,” “will,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “project,” “assume” or other similar expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, our expectations concerning operations and financial conditions, including changes in capacity, revenues and costs, future financing plans and needs, overall economic conditions, plans and objectives for future operations, and the impact on us of our results of operations in recent years and the sufficiency of our financial resources to absorb that impact. Other forward-looking statements include statements which do not relate solely to historical facts, such as, without limitation, statements which discuss the possible future effects of current known trends or uncertainties, or which indicate that the future effects of known trends or uncertainties cannot be predicted, guaranteed, or assured. You should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements because the matters they describe are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other unpredictable factors, many of which are beyond our control. Our forward-looking statements are based on the information currently available to us and speak only as of the date on which this report was filed with the SEC. We expressly disclaim any obligation to issue any updates or revisions to our forward-looking statements, even if subsequent events cause our expectations to change regarding the matters discussed in those statements. Over time, our actual results, performance or achievements will likely differ from the anticipated results, performance or achievements that are expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements, and such differences might be significant and materially adverse to our shareholders. Many important factors that could cause such a difference are described in this Form 10-K, on page 12, under the caption “Item 1A: Risk Factors,” and beginning on page 42 under the caption “Risk Factors” under Item 7 below, which you should review carefully. Please consider our forward-looking statements in light of those risks as you read this report.

 

2


Table of Contents

PART I

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (Air Group or the Company) is a holding company that was incorporated in Delaware in 1985. Our two principal subsidiaries are Alaska Airlines, Inc. (Alaska) and Horizon Air Industries, Inc. (Horizon). Both subsidiaries operate as airlines, although their business plans, competition, and economic risks differ substantially. Alaska is a major airline, operates an all-jet fleet, and its average passenger trip length is 1,009 miles. Horizon is a regional airline, operates jet and turboprop aircraft, and its average passenger trip is 382 miles. Individual financial information for Alaska and Horizon is reported in Note 13 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Air Group’s corporate offices are located at 19300 International Boulevard, Seattle, Washington, 98188. Air Group’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports are accessible free of charge at www.alaskaair.com. The information contained on our website is not a part of this annual report on Form 10-K. As used in this Form 10-K, the terms “Air Group,” “our,” “we” and the “Company” refer to Alaska Air Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

 

Alaska

 

Alaska Airlines, Inc. is an Alaska corporation that was organized in 1932 and incorporated in 1937. Alaska principally serves destinations in the state of Alaska and North/South service between cities in the Western U.S., Canada and Mexico. Alaska also provides East/West service to 8 cities, primarily from Seattle. In 2005, Alaska carried 16.8 million revenue passengers. In each year since 1973, Alaska has carried more passengers between Alaska and the U.S. mainland than any other airline. West Coast passenger traffic accounted for 47% of Alaska’s 2005 revenue passenger miles, passenger traffic within Alaska and between Alaska and the U.S. mainland accounted for 20%, the Mexico markets accounted for 10%, the Canada markets accounted for 5%, and other markets accounted for 18%. Based on passenger enplanements, Alaska’s leading airports are Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland and Anchorage. Based on 2005 revenues, its leading nonstop routes are Seattle-Anchorage, Seattle-Los Angeles, and Seattle-San Diego. At December 31, 2005, Alaska’s operating fleet consisted of 110 jet aircraft.

 

Horizon

 

Horizon Air Industries, Inc., a Washington corporation, was acquired by Air Group in 1986. It is the largest regional airline in the Pacific Northwest, and serves 40 cities in seven states and six cities in Canada under the Horizon brand. The Horizon brand flying consists of Horizon’s native network flying and contract flying for Alaska. In addition to operating under the Horizon brand, on January 1, 2004, Horizon began operating regional jet service branded as Frontier JetExpress under a 12-year agreement with Frontier Airlines. Horizon is currently operating nine 70-seat Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft under the Frontier JetExpress brand, representing approximately 23% of total Horizon capacity and approximately 9% of total Horizon revenue in 2005. In 2005, Horizon carried 6.5 million revenue passengers. Approximately 95% of Horizon’s revenue passenger miles are flown domestically, primarily in the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The Canada markets accounted for 5% of revenue passenger miles in 2005. Based on passenger enplanements, Horizon’s leading airports are Seattle, Portland, Boise, and Spokane. Based on revenues in 2005, its leading nonstop routes are Portland-Seattle, Spokane-Seattle, and Seattle-Vancouver. At December 31, 2005, Horizon’s operating fleet consisted of 19 jets and 46 turboprop aircraft. Except for those flights operating as Frontier JetExpress, Horizon flights are listed under the Alaska Airlines designator code in airline reservation systems.

 

3


Table of Contents

Alaska and Horizon integrate their flight schedules to provide service between any two points served by their systems. In 2005, 24% of Horizon’s passengers connected to flights operated by Alaska compared to 28% in 2004. Both airlines endeavor to distinguish themselves from competitors by providing a higher level of customer service. The airlines’ outstanding employees and excellent service in the form of advance seat assignments, expedited check-in, attention to customer needs, a generous frequent flyer program, well-maintained aircraft, a first-class section aboard Alaska aircraft, and other amenities are regularly recognized by independent studies and surveys of air travelers.

 

Industry Conditions

 

The airline industry is highly competitive and is characterized by low profit margins and high fixed costs, primarily for wages, aircraft fuel, aircraft ownership costs and facilities rents. Because expenses of a flight do not vary significantly with the number of passengers carried, a relatively small change in the number of passengers or in pricing has a disproportionate effect on an airline’s operating and financial results. Accordingly, a minor shortfall in expected revenue levels could cause a disproportionately negative impact on our results of operations. Passenger demand and ticket prices are, to a large measure, influenced by the general state of the economy, current events and industry capacity.

 

The industry is currently in a state of flux. The airline industry continued to be challenged in 2005, resulting in bankruptcy filings by several of the major “legacy” carriers during the year, including Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines. Under bankruptcy reorganization, carriers gain a competitive advantage by significantly reducing their costs. In addition, so called “Low Cost Carriers” (LCCs) have continued to grow rapidly and currently carry more than 30% of total U.S. domestic passenger traffic. Because of their cost advantage, LCCs have and continue to exert downward pressure on ticket prices from historical levels, although fares have increased on average in 2005 in response to high fuel prices. Because of the relatively low barriers to entry, we expect the expansion of low cost and low fare carriers to continue. We compete with many of these carriers now, and expect to compete with new entrants in the future.

 

Most major US carriers, including Alaska, are working aggressively to cut operating costs, including renegotiation of collective bargaining agreements and vendor agreements. Labor costs generally make up 30% to 40% of an airline’s total operating costs. Most major airlines, including ours, have employee groups who are represented by collective bargaining agreements. Often, airlines with unionized work forces have higher labor costs than carriers without unionized work forces, and may not have the ability to adjust labor costs downward fast enough to respond to new competition. We have been able to reduce our wage and benefit costs during 2005 primarily as a result of a reduction in pilot wages which took effect in May 2005, subcontracting our ramp services operation in Seattle beginning in the second quarter of 2005, the closure of our heavy maintenance facility in Oakland, the subcontracting of our fleet services, and our management reorganization, all of which occurred during the last six months of 2004. Our wage and benefit costs decreased 5% in 2005, versus increases of 3% and 10% in 2004 and 2003, respectively.

 

Fuel costs generally represent 15% to 25% of an airline’s operating costs. Fuel prices can be volatile and largely uncontrollable. Fuel prices have increased significantly over the past three years. Our fuel cost per gallon increased 36%, 44%, and 15% in 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. Our economic fuel cost per gallon (which is the net price we pay after the benefit of settled fuel hedges) increased 21% in 2005, 39% in 2004 and 14% in 2003.

 

During 2005 and 2004, load factors increased in the wake of strong demand and a healthy economy. Load factor growth slowed in the second half of 2005; however, revenues remained strong due to improving yields as the industry responded to record high fuel prices.

 

4


Table of Contents

MARKETING AND COMPETITION

 

Alliances with Other Airlines

 

Alaska and Horizon have marketing alliances with other airlines that provide reciprocal frequent flyer mileage credit and redemption privileges and code sharing on certain flights as set forth below. Alliances enhance Alaska’s and Horizon’s revenues by offering our customers more travel destinations and better mileage credit/redemption opportunities and by gaining us access to more connecting traffic from other airlines, and by providing members of our alliance partners’ frequent flyer programs an opportunity to travel on Alaska and Horizon while earning mileage credit in our partners’ programs. Our marketing agreements have various termination dates and at any time, one or more may be in the process of renegotiation. If a significant agreement were terminated, it could adversely impact revenues and increase the costs of our other marketing agreements. In September 2005, both Northwest and Delta filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, followed by Era Aviation in December 2005. Any of these carriers could propose plans of reorganization that would seek to modify or terminate some or all of these agreements.

 

Most of our code share relationships are free-sell code shares, where the marketing carrier sells seats on the operating carrier’s flights from the operating carrier’s inventory, but takes no inventory risk. The table below identifies our marketing alliances with other airlines as of December 31, 2005.

 

     Frequent
Flyer
Agreement


    Code sharing—
Alaska Flight #
on Flights Operated
by Other Airline


   Code sharing—
Other Airline Flight #
On Flights Operated
by Alaska/Horizon


Major U.S. or International Airlines

               

American Airlines/American Eagle

   Yes     Yes    Yes

British Airways

   Yes     No    No

Cathay Pacific Airways

   Yes     No    No

Continental Airlines

   Yes     Yes    Yes

Delta

   Yes     Yes    Yes

Frontier Airlines**

   No     No    Yes

Hawaiian Airlines

   Yes     Yes    Yes

KLM

   No     No    Yes

Lan Chile

   Yes     No    Yes

Northwest Airlines

   Yes     Yes    Yes

Qantas

   Yes     No    Yes

Commuter Airlines

               

Era Aviation

   Yes *   Yes    No

PenAir

   Yes *   Yes    No

Big Sky Airlines

   Yes *   Yes    No

* This airline does not have its own frequent flyer program. However, Alaska’s Mileage Plan members can earn and redeem miles on this airline’s route system.
** Capacity purchase arrangement as described under “Business—General Information—Horizon.”

 

Competition

 

Competition in the airline industry is intense. We believe the principal competitive factors in the industry that are important to customers are:

 

    safety record and reputation;

 

    flight schedules;

 

    fares;

 

5


Table of Contents
    customer service;

 

    routes served;

 

    frequent flyer programs;

 

    on-time arrivals;

 

    on-board amenities;

 

    type of aircraft and

 

    code-sharing relationships.

 

Any domestic air carrier issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and an operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is allowed to operate scheduled passenger service in the United States. Together, Alaska and Horizon carry approximately 3.3% of all U.S. domestic passenger traffic. Alaska and Horizon compete with one or more domestic or foreign airlines on most of their routes, including Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines and regional affiliates associated with some of these carriers. Many of these airlines are larger and have significantly greater financial resources and name recognition or lower operating costs than our company. Others are operating under bankruptcy court protection and may institute substantial fare discounts in order to maintain cash flows and enhance customer loyalty. In addition, competitors who successfully reorganize out of bankruptcy could have lower operating costs derived from renegotiated labor, supply and financing agreements. Some of these competitors have chosen to add service, reduce their fares, or both, in our markets. Continuing growth of low-cost carriers, including Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways, Frontier Airlines, jetBlue Airways, and the emergence of Virgin America, in the United States, places significant competitive pressures on us and other network carriers since they have the ability to charge a lower fare for travel between similar cities and thus exert downward pressure on yields. As such, we may be unable to compete effectively against other airlines that introduce service or discounted fares in the markets that we serve. Due to its short haul markets, Horizon also competes with ground transportation, including train, bus and automobile transportation.

 

Ticket Distribution

 

Airline tickets are distributed through three primary channels:

 

    Airline websites such as alaskaair.com or horizonair.com. It is less expensive for us to sell through these direct channels and, as a result, we continue to invest in online capabilities.

 

    Traditional and online travel agents. Consumer reliance on traditional travel agencies is shrinking, while usage of online travel agencies is increasing. Both traditional and online travel agencies typically use Global Distribution Systems (GDS), such as Sabre, to obtain their fare and inventory data from airlines. Bookings made through these agencies result in a fee, the “GDS fee”, that is charged to the airline.

 

    Telephone reservation call centers.

 

We currently participate in all of these distribution channels, but we cannot predict the terms on which we may be able to continue to participate in these or other channels, or their effect on our ability to compete with other airlines.

 

EMPLOYEES

 

The airline business is labor intensive. Air Group had 13,768 (Alaska and Horizon had 9,866 and 3,902, respectively) active full-time and part-time employees at December 31, 2005, compared to 14,584 (10,850 at Alaska and 3,734 at Horizon) as of December 31, 2004. Wages, salaries and benefits represented approximately 31% and 35% of our total operating expenses in 2005 and 2004, respectively.

 

6


Table of Contents

At December 31, 2005, labor unions represented 84% of Alaska’s and 46% of Horizon’s employees. Our relations with our labor organizations are governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA). Under this act, the collective bargaining agreements between the respective airlines and these organizations do not expire but instead become amendable as of a stated date. If either party wishes to modify the terms of any such agreement, it must notify the other party in the manner prescribed by the RLA and/or described in the agreement. After receipt of such notice, the parties must meet for direct negotiations, and if no agreement is reached, either party may request the National Mediation Board to appoint a federal mediator. If no agreement is reached in mediation, the National Mediation Board may declare that an impasse exists, at which point the National Mediation Board proffers binding arbitration to the parties. Either party may decline to submit to arbitration. If arbitration is rejected by either party, a 30-day “cooling off” period commences. During that period, a Presidential Emergency Board may be established, which examines the parties’ positions and recommends a solution. The Presidential Emergency Board process lasts for 30 days and is followed by a “cooling off” period of 30 days. At the end of a “cooling off” period, unless an agreement is reached or action is taken by Congress, the labor organization may strike and the airline may resort to “self-help”, including the imposition of any or all of its proposed amendments and the hiring of workers to replace strikers.

 

Alaska’s union contracts at December 31, 2005 were as follows:

 

Union


  

Employee Group


   Number of
Employees


   Contract Status

Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA)    Pilots    1,450    Amendable 5/01/07
Association of Flight Attendants (AFA)    Flight attendants    2,486    In Negotiations
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM/RSSA)    Ramp service and stock clerks Clerical, office and passenger service    630
2,868
   In Negotiations
In Negotiations
Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA)    Mechanics, inspectors and cleaners    707    Amendable 10/01/09
Mexico Workers Association of Air Transport    Mexico airport personnel    79    Amendable 9/29/06
Transport Workers Union of America (TWU)    Dispatchers    34    Amendable 7/01/10*

* Collective bargaining agreement contains interest arbitration provision.

 

Horizon’s union contracts at December 31, 2005 were as follows:

 

Union


  

Employee Group


   Number of
Employees


   Contract Status

International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)    Pilots    696    Amendable 9/12/06
AFA    Flight attendants    544    Amendable 11/21/07
AMFA    Mechanics and related classifications    450    Amendable 11/30/08
TWU    Dispatchers    21    Amendable 9/9/07
National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers    Station personnel in Vancouver and Victoria, BC, Canada    88    Amendable 2/14/07

 

7


Table of Contents

REGULATION

 

General

 

The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, as amended, eliminated most domestic economic regulation of passenger and freight transportation. However, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still exercise significant regulatory authority over air carriers. In order to provide passenger and cargo air transportation in the U.S., a domestic airline is required to hold a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the DOT. Subject to certain individual airport capacity, noise and other restrictions, this certificate permits an air carrier to operate between any two points in the U.S. A certificate is of unlimited duration, but may be revoked for failure to comply with federal aviation statutes, regulations, orders or the terms of the certificate itself. In addition, the DOT maintains jurisdiction over the approval of international code share agreements, alliance agreements between domestic major airlines, international route authorities and certain consumer protection matters, such as advertising, denied boarding compensation and baggage liability.

 

The FAA, through the promulgation of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), generally regulates all aspects of airline operations, including establishing personnel, maintenance and flight operation standards. Domestic airlines are required to hold a valid air carrier-operating certificate issued by the FAA. Pursuant to these regulations, we have established, and the FAA has approved, both our operations specifications and a maintenance program for each type of aircraft we operate. The maintenance program provides for the ongoing maintenance of such aircraft, ranging from frequent routine inspections to major overhauls. From time to time the FAA issues airworthiness directives (ADs) that must be incorporated into our aircraft maintenance program and operations. We are and expect to be in compliance with all applicable requirements of these ADs within the required time periods. All airlines, including Alaska and Horizon, are subject to routine enforcement actions, from time to time, brought by the FAA for alleged violations of the requirements of the FARs or ADs. At this time, we are not aware of any enforcement proceedings that could either materially affect our financial position or impact our authority to operate.

 

The Department of Justice has jurisdiction over airline antitrust matters. The U.S. Postal Service has jurisdiction over certain aspects of the transportation of mail and related services. Labor relations in the air transportation industry are regulated under the Railway Labor Act, which vests in the National Mediation Board (NMB) certain functions with respect to disputes between airlines and labor unions relating to union representation and collective bargaining agreements. To the extent we continue to fly to foreign countries and pursue alliances with international carriers, we may be subject to certain regulations of foreign agencies.

 

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (the Security Act) generally provides for enhanced aviation security measures. Pursuant to the Security Act, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for aviation security. The Security Act mandates that the TSA shall provide for the screening of all passengers and property, including U.S. mail, cargo, carry-on and checked baggage, and other articles that will be carried aboard a passenger aircraft. The TSA performs these functions with its own federal employees. The TSA also provides for increased security on flight decks of aircraft and requires federal air marshals to be present on certain flights.

 

The Security Act imposes a $2.50 per enplanement security service fee (maximum $5.00 one-way fee), which is collected by the air carriers and submitted to the government to pay for these enhanced security measures. In addition, carriers are required to pay an additional amount to the TSA to cover the total cost of providing security measures equal to the amount the air carriers paid for screening passengers and property in 2000. We paid $12.6 million to TSA for this security charge in both 2005 and 2004, and $8.4 million in 2003. In January 2006, the TSA notified air carriers of an increased assessment for the cost of security. The industry has opposed and disagrees with the higher assessment and is working with the TSA on a resolution. The additional assessment for us was not material. Separate from the TSA assessment, the U.S. Congress is currently considering a new law that could significantly increase this security fee.

 

8


Table of Contents

Airline Fares

 

Airlines are permitted to establish their own domestic fares without governmental regulation, and the industry is characterized by vigorous price competition. The DOT maintains authority over international (generally outside of North America) fares, rates and charges. International fares and rates are also subject to the jurisdiction of the governments of the foreign countries we serve. While air carriers are required to file and adhere to international fare and rate tariffs, substantial commissions, overrides and discounts to travel agents, brokers and wholesalers characterize many international markets.

 

Although we do not currently anticipate such, to the extent legislation is enacted that would inhibit our flexibility with respect to fares, our revenue management system, our operations or other aspects of our customer service operations, our financial results could be adversely affected.

 

Environmental Matters

 

We are subject to various laws and government regulations concerning environmental matters and employee safety and health in the U.S. and other countries. U.S. federal laws that have a particular impact on us include the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or Superfund Act. We are also subject to the oversight of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA, concerning employee safety and health matters. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, OSHA, and other federal agencies have been authorized to promulgate regulations that have an impact on our operations. In addition to these federal activities, various states have been delegated certain authorities under the aforementioned federal statutes. Many state and local governments have adopted environmental and employee safety and health laws and regulations, some of which are similar to federal requirements. We maintain our own continuing safety, health and environmental programs in order to meet or exceed these requirements.

 

The Airport Noise and Capacity Act recognizes the rights of airport operators with noise problems to implement local noise abatement programs so long as they do not interfere unreasonably with interstate or foreign commerce or the national air transportation system. Authorities in several cities have promulgated aircraft noise reduction programs, including the imposition of nighttime curfews. The Airport Noise and Capacity Act generally requires FAA approval of local noise restrictions on aircraft. We have had and believe we will continue to have sufficient scheduling flexibility to accommodate local noise restrictions.

 

At December 31, 2005, all of our aircraft met the Stage 3 noise requirements under the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990. However, special noise ordinances restrict the timing of flights operated by Alaska, Horizon and other airlines at Burbank, Long Beach, Orange County, San Diego, San Jose, Sun Valley, Chicago O’Hare, and Palm Springs. In addition, Orange County, Reagan National, and Long Beach airports restrict the type of aircraft and number of flights.

 

Although we do not currently anticipate that these regulatory matters, individually or collectively, will have a material impact on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows, we cannot be assured that new regulations or compliance issues that we do not currently anticipate will not harm our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows in future periods.

 

Customer Service

 

Along with other domestic airlines, we have implemented a Customer Service Plan to address a number of service goals, including, but not limited to, goals relating to lowest fare availability, delays, cancellations and diversions, baggage delivery and liability, guaranteed fares and ticket refunds.

 

9


Table of Contents

FUEL

 

Our operations are significantly affected by the price and, potentially, the availability of jet fuel. Fuel costs were approximately 24% of our total operating expenses in 2005, 19% in 2004, and 15% in 2003, before the benefit of fuel hedges that settled during the period. Raw, or unhedged, fuel prices, which are volatile and outside of our control, can have a significant impact on our operating results. Currently, a one-cent change in the economic fuel price per gallon affects annual fuel costs by approximately $4.0 million. We believe that operating fuel-efficient aircraft helps to mitigate the effect of high fuel prices.

 

In order to reduce our exposure to fluctuations in the price of jet fuel, we purchase fuel hedge contracts that include call options and collar agreements and, in addition, we have entered into a fuel purchase agreement that fixes the spread between crude oil prices and jet fuel prices. Due to the competitive nature of the airline industry, airlines often have been unable to pass on increased fuel prices to customers by increasing fares; although, some fuel-related industry fare increases have occurred recently. Conversely, any potential benefit of lower fuel prices may be offset by increased fare competition and lower revenues. Because of rising fuel prices over the last few years, our fuel-hedging program has resulted in significant savings. See Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” for a discussion of our fuel hedging activities.

 

While we do not currently anticipate a significant reduction in fuel availability, dependency on foreign imports of crude oil and the possibility of changes in government policy on jet fuel production, transportation and marketing make it impossible to predict the future availability of jet fuel. In the event of significant hostilities or other conflicts in oil producing areas, there could be reductions in the production and/or importation of crude oil and resulting price increases, which could adversely affect our business. If there were major reductions in the availability of jet fuel, our business would be adversely affected.

 

MILEAGE PLAN PROGRAM

 

All major airlines have developed frequent flyer programs as a way of increasing passenger loyalty. Alaska’s Mileage Plan allows members to earn mileage by flying on Alaska, Horizon and other participating airlines, and by using the services of non-airline partners, which include a credit card partner, a grocery store chain, a telephone company, hotels, and car rental agencies. Alaska is paid by non-airline partners for the miles it credits to member accounts. With advance notice, Alaska has the ability to change the Mileage Plan terms, conditions, partners, mileage credits, and award levels or terminate the program.

 

Mileage can be redeemed for free or discounted travel and for other travel industry awards. Upon accumulating the necessary mileage, members notify Alaska of their award selection. Over 75% of the free flight awards on Alaska and Horizon are subject to capacity-controlled seating. Mileage Plan accounts are generally deleted after three years of inactivity in that member’s account. As of December 31, 2005 and 2004, Alaska estimated that approximately 3.0 million and 2.5 million, respectively, round-trip flight awards were eligible for redemption by Mileage Plan members who have mileage credits exceeding the 20,000-mile free round-trip domestic ticket award threshold. Of those eligible awards, Alaska estimated that approximately 88% of those awards would ultimately be redeemed. For the years 2005, 2004, and 2003, approximately 750,000 631,000, and 606,000, round-trip flight awards were redeemed and flown on Alaska and Horizon. Those awards represent approximately 7.9%, 7.3%, and 8.7% for 2005, 2004, and 2003, respectively, of the total passenger miles flown on Alaska and Horizon. For the years 2005, 2004, and 2003, approximately 239,900, 212,000, and 174,000, respectively, round-trip flight awards were redeemed and flown on airline partners.

 

For miles earned by flying on Alaska and travel partners, the estimated incremental cost of providing free travel awards is recognized as a selling expense and accrued as a liability as miles are accumulated. The incremental cost does not include a contribution to overhead, aircraft cost, or profit. Alaska also sells mileage credits to its non-airline partners. Alaska defers a majority of the sales proceeds, and recognizes these proceeds as revenue when the award transportation is provided on Alaska or another partner airline. The deferred proceeds

 

10


Table of Contents

are recognized as passenger revenue for awards issued and flown on Alaska or Horizon and as other revenue-net for awards issued and flown on other airlines. At December 31, 2005 and 2004, the deferred revenue and the total liability for providing free travel on Alaska and Horizon and for estimated payments to partner airlines was $466.8 million and $409.3 million, respectively, the majority of which is deferred revenue from the sale of mileage credits. Revenue attributable to the Mileage Plan was $180.2 million, $143.1 million, and $139.0 million in 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

Seasonality and Other Factors

 

Our results of operations for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of those for the entire year, because our business is subject to seasonal fluctuations. Our operating income is generally lowest (or loss the greatest) during the first and fourth quarters due principally to lower traffic and sometimes due to adverse weather conditions, generally increases in the second quarter and generally reaches its highest level during the third quarter as a result of spring and summer vacation travel, including increased activity in the state of Alaska.

 

In addition to passenger loads, factors that could cause our quarterly operating results to vary include:

 

    changes in fuel, security and insurance costs,

 

    increases in personnel, marketing, aircraft ownership and other operating expenses to support our existing operation and anticipated growth,

 

    the timing and amount of maintenance expenditures,

 

    the timing and success of our growth plan as we increase flights in existing markets and enter new markets and

 

    pricing initiatives.

 

In addition, seasonal variations in traffic, the timing of various expenditures and weather affect our operating results from quarter to quarter. Many of our areas of operations experience inclement weather conditions in the winter, causing increased costs associated with deicing aircraft, canceled flights and accommodating displaced passengers. Due to our geographic area of operations, we can be more susceptible to adverse weather conditions (particularly in the State of Alaska and in the Pacific Northwest) than some of our competitors, who may be better able to spread weather-related risks over larger route systems.

 

The results of operations in the air transportation business have also significantly fluctuated in the past in response to general economic conditions. Fare initiatives, fluctuations in fuel prices, labor actions and other factors could impact this seasonal pattern.

 

No material part of our business or that of our subsidiaries is dependent upon a single customer or very few customers. Consequently, the loss of our largest few customers would not have a material adverse effect upon our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

 

Insurance

 

We carry insurance for passenger liability and property and aircraft damage in amounts and of the type generally consistent with industry practice.

 

As a result of the events of September 11, 2001, aviation insurers have significantly reduced the maximum amount of insurance coverage available to commercial air carriers for third-party liability for claims resulting from acts of terrorism, war or similar events. At the same time, they significantly increased the premiums for such coverage as well as for aviation insurance in general. Although insurance rates have declined since that time, they are still somewhat above pre-September 11 levels and will likely remain there for the foreseeable future.

 

11


Table of Contents

Pursuant to authority granted in the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, the Government has offered, and we have accepted, war risk insurance to replace commercial war risk insurance through August 31, 2006.

 

Other Government Matters

 

We have elected to participate in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program, whereby we have agreed to make available to the federal government a certain number of aircraft in the event of a military call-up. The government would reimburse us for the use of such aircraft.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

 

Our operations and financial results are subject to various uncertainties, such as global and industry instability, intense competition, volatile fuel prices, a largely unionized labor force, the need to finance large capital expenditures, government regulation, potential aircraft incidents and general economic conditions. Please see “Risk Factors” on page 42 for a full discussion of these items.

 

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

 

Aircraft

 

The following tables describe the aircraft we operate and their average age at December 31, 2005:

 

Aircraft Type


   Passenger
Capacity


   Owned

   Leased

   Total

   Average Age
in Years


Alaska Airlines

                        

Boeing 737-200C

   111    7    —      7    24.5

Boeing 737-400

   144    9    31    40    10.7

Boeing 737-700

   124    17    5    22    4.8

Boeing 737-800

   160    2    1    3    0.7

Boeing 737-900

   172    12    —      12    3.4

Boeing MD-80

   140    15    11    26    13.8
         
  
  
  
          62    48    110    10.1
         
  
  
  

Horizon Air

                        

Bombardier Q200

   37    —      28    28    7.8

Bombardier Q400

   74    3    15    18    4.0

Bombardier CRJ 700*

   70    1    18    19    3.6
         
  
  
  
          4    61    65    5.5
         
  
  
  

* Horizon also operates one CRJ 700 under a short-term operating lease set to expire in February 2006.

 

Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” discusses future orders and options for additional aircraft.

 

As of December 31, 2005, 32 of the 62 aircraft owned by Alaska are subject to liens securing long-term debt and the majority of the other owned aircraft serve as collateral on our $160 million line of credit. Alaska’s leased 737-400, 737-700, 737-800 and MD-80 aircraft have lease expiration dates between 2006 and 2016, between 2006 and 2010, in 2015, and between 2007 and 2013, respectively. Horizon’s leased Q400 and CRJ 700 aircraft have expiration dates between 2006 and 2018 and between 2018 and 2020, respectively. Alaska and Horizon have the option to extend most of the leases for additional periods, or the right to purchase the aircraft at the end of the lease term, usually at the then-fair-market value of the aircraft.

 

12


Table of Contents

Ground Facilities and Services

 

Alaska and Horizon lease ticket counters, gates, cargo and baggage space, office space, and other support areas at the majority of the airports they serve. Alaska also owns terminal buildings in various cities in the state of Alaska.

 

Alaska has centralized operations in several buildings located at or near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) in Seattle, Washington. The owned buildings, including land unless located on leased airport property, include a three-bay hangar facility with maintenance shops, a flight operations and training center, an air cargo facility, an information-processing center, several office buildings and our corporate headquarters. Alaska also leases a two-bay hangar/office facility at Sea-Tac, a warehouse and reservation/office facility in Kent, WA, and a reservation center in Boise, ID. Alaska’s other major facilities include a regional headquarters building and hangar in Anchorage, an air cargo facility, leased land in Anchorage, and a reservations center in Phoenix.

 

Horizon owns its Seattle corporate headquarters building. It leases an operations, training, and aircraft maintenance facility in Portland and maintenance facilities in Boise, Pasco, Seattle and Spokane.

 

During 2005, Alaska subcontracted its ground handling services at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to a vendor that provides similar services to Alaska at airports, including Portland, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Alaska continues to use its own employees for ground handling services at airports in the state of Alaska. Other airports throughout our system are contracted to various third-party vendors.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

In May 2005, the Air Line Pilots Association filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Seattle to overturn the current labor contract covering Alaska’s pilots as established by an arbitrator, which was effective May 1, 2005. On July 21, 2005, Alaska filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. On October 28, 2005, the district court granted Alaska’s motion to dismiss. This matter is closed.

 

In March 2005, Alaska filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Seattle against the International Association of Machinists (IAM) seeking to compel arbitration of a dispute regarding the permissibility, under the collective bargaining agreement, of subcontracting of Alaska’s ramp service operation in Seattle. On May 10, 2005, the IAM filed a counter claim against Alaska alleging that Alaska violated the Railway Labor Act status quo and engaged in bad faith bargaining by, among other things, stating that it would subcontract the Seattle ramp work if it could not reach agreement with the IAM on an acceptable new labor contract. On May 13, 2005, Alaska subcontracted the ramp service operation in Seattle, resulting in the immediate reduction of approximately 475 employees represented by the IAM. Shortly after this event, the IAM filed a motion for preliminary injunction seeking to reverse the subcontracting by Alaska. That motion was heard and denied by a federal court judge on June 2, 2005. Alaska filed a motion to dismiss the IAM counterclaim. The court dismissed the IAM’s status quo claim, and the bad faith bargaining claim to the extent it was based on the Seattle ramp subcontracting (as opposed to other conduct during the parties’ negotiations). The court stated that the IAM shall file an amended counterclaim by January 18, 2006, but the IAM did not do so. On February 6, 2006, the court entered an order directing the IAM to show cause why its counterclaim should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. The IAM submitted its response to the court’s order to show cause on February 16, 2006, but the court has not yet issued a ruling on the matter. A trial date has been set for September 2006.

 

In addition to the cases noted above, we are a party to routine litigation incidental to our business and with respect to which no material liability is expected. Management believes the ultimate disposition of these matters is not likely to materially affect our financial position or results of operations. This forward-looking statement is based on management’s current understanding of the relevant law and facts; it is subject to various contingencies, including the potential costs and risks associated with litigation and the actions of judges and juries.

 

13


Table of Contents
ITEM 4. SUBMISSION OF MATTERS TO A VOTE OF SECURITY HOLDERS

 

None

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

 

The executive officers of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (including its subsidiaries Alaska and Horizon), their positions and their respective ages (as of February 1, 2006) are as follows:

 

Name


  

Position


   Age

   Air Group
or Subsidiary
Officer Since


William S. Ayer

   Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alaska Air Group, Inc. and Alaska Airlines, Inc.    51    1985

Bradley D. Tilden

   Executive Vice President/Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Alaska Air Group, Inc. and Alaska Airlines, Inc.    45    1994

Kevin Finan

   Executive Vice President/Operations of Alaska Airlines, Inc.    58    2000

Keith Loveless

   Vice President/Legal and Corporate Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Alaska Air Group, Inc. and Alaska Airlines, Inc.    49    1996

Gregg Saretsky

   Executive Vice President/Marketing and Planning of Alaska Airlines, Inc.    46    1998

Jeffrey D. Pinneo

   President and Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Air Industries, Inc.    49    1990

 

Mr. Ayer has been our President since February 2003 and became our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in May 2003. Mr. Ayer is also Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alaska Airlines. He has served as Alaska Airlines’ Chairman since February 2003, as Chief Executive Officer since January 2002 and as President since November 1997. Prior thereto, he was Sr. Vice President/Customer Service, Marketing and Planning of Alaska Airlines from January 1997, and Vice President/Marketing and Planning from August 1995. Prior thereto, he served as Sr. Vice President/Operations of Horizon Air from January 1995. Mr. Ayer serves on the boards of Alaska Airlines, Puget Sound Energy, the Alaska Airlines Foundation, Angel Flight America, Inc., and the Museum of Flight. He also serves on the University of Washington Business School Advisory Board.

 

Mr. Tilden joined Alaska Airlines in 1991, became controller of Alaska Airlines and Alaska Air Group in 1994, CFO in February 2000 and Executive Vice President/Finance in January 2002.

 

Mr. Finan became Executive Vice President/Operations in January 2006 to fill the position held by George Bagley upon his retirement. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Finan was Vice President/Flight Operations and had held that position since 2000.

 

Mr. Loveless became Corporate Secretary and Assistant General Counsel of Alaska Air Group and Alaska Airlines in 1996. In 1999, he was named Vice President/Legal and Corporate Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Alaska Air Group and Alaska Airlines.

 

Mr. Saretsky joined Alaska Airlines in March 1998 as Vice President/Marketing and Planning. In 2000 he became Senior Vice President/Marketing and Planning, and in January 2002 was elected Executive Vice President/Marketing and Planning of Alaska Airlines.

 

Mr. Pinneo became Vice President/Passenger Service of Horizon Air Industries in 1990. In January 2002 he was named President and CEO of Horizon Air.

 

14


Table of Contents

PART II

 

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

 

As of December 31, 2005, there were 33,454,146 shares of common stock of Alaska Air Group, Inc. issued and outstanding and 3,875 shareholders of record. We also held 2,478,779 treasury shares at a cost of $56.6 million. We have not paid dividends on the common stock since 1992. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: ALK).

 

The following table shows the trading range of Alaska Air Group, Inc. common stock on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

     2005

   2004

     High

   Low

   High

   Low

First Quarter

   $ 34.00    $ 27.45    $ 29.27    $ 22.30

Second Quarter

     31.50      25.55      27.17      19.26

Third Quarter

     35.72      28.38      25.70      18.74

Fourth Quarter

     37.86      28.22      33.67      22.93

 

Sales of Non-Registered Securities

 

None

 

Equity Compensation Plan Information

 

The Company has a shareholder-approved equity plan that enables the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors to make awards of equity-based compensation, which we believe are an important tool to attract and retain key employees.

 

The table below provides information, as of the end of the most recently completed fiscal year, concerning securities authorized for issuance under current and former equity compensation plans.

 

     (a)    (b)    (c)

Plan Category


   Number of
Securities to be
Issued Upon
Exercise of
Outstanding
Options, Warrants
and Rights


   Weighted Average
Exercise Price of
Outstanding
Options, Warrants
and Rights


   Number of Securities
Remaining Available
for Future Issuance
under Equity
Compensation Plans
(excluding Securities
Reflected in Column
(a))


Equity compensation plans approved by security holders

   1,696,809    32.2876    1,229,955

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders

   807,570    32.7568    —  

Total

   2,504,379    32.4389    1,229,955

 

The shares to be issued under plans not approved by stockholders relate to the Company’s 1997 Long-Term Incentive Equity Plan. This plan was adopted by the Board of Directors in 1997 and did not require stockholder approval because no grants to executive officers were allowed under the plan.

 

1997 Long-Term Incentive Equity Plan (the “1997 Plan”)

 

The 1997 Plan terminated on November 3, 2002 and no further awards may be made. Awards granted before that date remain outstanding in accordance with their terms.

 

15


Table of Contents

2004 Long-Term Incentive Equity Plan (the “2004 Plan”)

 

The 2004 Plan became effective on May 18, 2004 and shall terminate on May 18, 2014 unless otherwise terminated earlier by the Board. Under the 2004 Plan, awards can be made to any board director, executive officer or employee of the Company. Awards can be made in the form of stock options, SARs or stock awards. The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors administers the 2004 Plan.

 

In addition, the 2004 Plan authorizes the granting of shares to board members according to the terms described below.

 

Each member of the Board of Directors of the Company who is not employed by the Company or any of its subsidiaries is an eligible director. Each year on the first business day following that year’s annual meeting of stockholders, a portion of an eligible director’s annual retainer for services as a director for the coming year is paid in shares of common stock having a total value of $15,000.

 

In addition, each eligible director may elect to reduce his or her annual cash retainer and to receive instead a number of shares of common stock equal in value to the amount of the reduction on the same date the stock payment described above is made.

 

Directors have the right to vote and receive dividends on shares that have been issued under the 2004 Plan. The shares are not forfeited when participants leave the Board or otherwise become ineligible to continue in the 2004 Plan.

 

16


Table of Contents
ITEM 6. SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OPERATING DATA

 

     2005

    2004

    2003

    2002

    2001

 

Consolidated Financial Data:

                                        

Year Ended December 31 (in millions, except per share amounts):

                                        

Operating Revenues

   $ 2,975.3     $ 2,723.8     $ 2,444.8     $ 2,224.1     $ 2,152.8  

Operating Expenses

     2,982.7       2,803.6       2,462.3       2,317.3       2,279.1  

Operating Loss

     (7.4 )     (79.8 )     (17.5 )     (93.2 )     (126.3 )

Nonoperating income (expense), net (a)

     144.6       59.2       46.5       (8.6 )     62.8  

Income (loss) before income tax and accounting change

     137.2       (20.6 )     29.0       (101.8 )     (63.5 )

Income (loss) before accounting change

     84.5       (15.3 )     13.5       (67.2 )     (43.4 )

Net Income (Loss)

   $ (5.9 )   $ (15.3 )   $ 13.5     $ (118.6 )   $ (43.4 )

Average basic shares outstanding

     27.609       26.859       26.648       26.546       26.499  

Average diluted shares outstanding

     33.917       26.859       26.730       26.546       26.499  

Basic earnings (loss) per share before accounting change

   $ 3.06     $ (0.57 )   $ 0.51     $ (2.53 )   $ (1.64 )

Basic earnings (loss) per share (b)(c)

     (0.21 )     (0.57 )     0.51       (4.47 )     (1.64 )

Diluted earnings (loss) per share before accounting change

     2.65       (0.57 )     0.51       (2.53 )     (1.64 )

Diluted earnings (loss) per share (b)(c)

     (0.01 )     (0.57 )     0.51       (4.47 )     (1.64 )
    


 


 


 


 


At End of Period (in millions, except ratio):

                                        

Total assets

   $ 3,792.0     $ 3,335.0     $ 3,259.2     $ 2,880.7     $ 2,950.5  

Long-term debt and capital lease obligations, net of current

     969.1       989.6       906.9       856.7       852.2  

Shareholders’ equity

     827.6       664.8       674.2       655.7       851.3  

Ratio of earnings to fixed charges (d)

     1.77       0.89       1.22       0.28       0.48  
    


 


 


 


 


Alaska Airlines Operating Data:

                                        

Revenue passengers (000)

     16,759       16,295       15,047       14,154       13,668  

Revenue passenger miles (RPM) (000,000)

     16,915       16,231       14,554       13,186       12,249  

Available seat miles (ASM) (000,000)

     22,292       22,276       20,804       19,360       17,919  

Revenue passenger load factor

     75.9 %     72.9 %     70.0 %     68.1 %     68.4 %

Yield per passenger mile

     12.91 ¢     12.47 ¢     12.65 ¢     12.65 ¢     13.12 ¢

Operating revenues per ASM

     10.84 ¢     10.02 ¢     9.74 ¢     9.47 ¢     9.84 ¢

Operating expenses per ASM

     10.89 ¢     10.41 ¢     9.84 ¢     9.87 ¢     10.24 ¢

Average number of full-time equivalent employees

     9,065       9,968       10,040       10,142       10,115  
    


 


 


 


 


Horizon Air Operating Data (e):

                                        

Revenue passengers (000)

     6,481       5,930       4,934       4,815       4,668  

Revenue passenger miles (RPM) (000,000)

     2,475       2,155       1,640       1,514       1,350  

Available seat miles (ASM) (000,000)

     3,400       3,107       2,569       2,428       2,148  

Revenue passenger load factor

     72.8 %     69.3 %     63.9 %     62.4 %     62.8 %

Yield per passenger mile

     21.98 ¢     22.61 ¢     26.96 ¢     26.02 ¢     28.15 ¢

Operating revenues per ASM

     16.36 ¢     16.20 ¢     18.06 ¢     17.29 ¢     19.02 ¢

Operating expenses per ASM

     16.18 ¢     15.90 ¢     17.76 ¢     17.87 ¢     21.02 ¢

Average number of full-time equivalent employees

     3,456       3,423       3,359       3,476       3,764  

(a) Includes capitalized interest of $8.9 million, $1.7 million, $2.3 million, $2.7 million and $10.6 million for 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001, respectively.
(b) For 2002, basic and diluted earnings per share include $(1.94) per share for the $51.4 million cumulative effect of the accounting change in connection with the impairment of goodwill.
(c) For 2005, basic and diluted earnings per share include $(3.27) per share and $(2.66) per share, respectively, for the $90.4 million, net of tax, cumulative effect of the change in accounting policy for major airframe and engine overhauls.
(d) For 2004, 2002 and 2001 earnings are inadequate to cover fixed charges by $17.4 million, $99.5 million, and $69.1 million, respectively. See Exhibit 12 to this Form 10-K.
(e) Includes Horizon services operated as Frontier JetExpress in 2005 and 2004.

 

17


Table of Contents

Alaska Airlines Financial and Statistical Data

 

     Quarter Ended December 31

    Year Ended December 31

 
     2005

    2004

    %
Change


    2005

    2004

    %
Change


 

Financial Data (in millions):

                                            

Operating Revenues:

                                            

Passenger

   $ 526.4     $ 477.8     10.2     $ 2,183.0     $ 2,023.6     7.9  

Freight and mail

     21.9       21.1     3.8       90.3       86.4     4.5  

Other—net

     38.9       32.4     20.1       142.8       123.0     16.1  
    


 


       


 


     

Total Operating Revenues

     587.2       531.3     10.5       2,416.1       2,233.0     8.2  
    


 


       


 


     

Operating Expenses:

                                            

Wages and benefits

     181.2       187.9     (3.6 )     737.4       799.7     (7.8 )

Contracted services

     32.9       26.2     25.6       119.9       96.5     24.2  

Aircraft fuel

     170.9       135.6     26.0       626.6       472.0     32.8  

Aircraft maintenance

     41.7       34.5     20.9       185.2       145.8     27.0  

Aircraft rent

     29.6       28.0     5.7       116.8       113.5     2.9  

Food and beverage service

     12.5       11.9     5.0       47.7       49.8     (4.2 )

Selling expenses

     29.0       31.1     (6.8 )     126.9       132.2     (4.0 )

Depreciation and amortization

     32.5       32.9     (1.2 )     125.4       128.1     (2.1 )

Landing fees and other rentals

     40.4       35.9     12.5       161.9       142.0     14.0  

Other

     39.0       38.2     2.1       158.7       148.6     6.8  

Restructuring charges

     (0.3 )     25.9     NM       20.4       53.4     NM  

Impairment of aircraft and related spare parts

     —         —       —         —         36.8     NM  
    


 


       


 


     

Total Operating Expenses

     609.4       588.1     3.6       2,426.9       2,318.4     4.7  
    


 


       


 


     

Operating Loss

     (22.2 )     (56.8 )   NM       (10.8 )     (85.4 )   NM  
    


 


       


 


     

Interest income

     9.4       6.2             32.5       26.2        

Interest expense

     (14.3 )     (11.0 )           (51.2 )     (44.1 )      

Interest capitalized

     3.6       0.4             8.1       1.1        

Fuel hedging gains (losses)

     (21.5 )     (6.8 )           150.6       75.3        

Other—net

     (1.3 )     (0.9 )           (5.0 )     (0.1 )      
    


 


       


 


     
       (24.1 )     (12.1 )           135.0       58.4        
    


 


       


 


     

Income (Loss) Before Income Tax and Accounting Change

   $ (46.3 )   $ (68.9 )   NM     $ 124.2     $ (27.0 )   NM  
    


 


       


 


     

Operating Statistics:

                                            

Revenue passengers (000)

     4,043       3,998     1.1       16,759       16,295     2.8  

RPMs (000,000)

     4,104       3,976     3.2       16,915       16,231     4.2  

ASMs (000,000)

     5,556       5,452     1.9       22,292       22,276     0.1  

Passenger load factor

     73.9 %     72.9 %   1.0 pts     75.9 %     72.9 %   3.0 pts

Yield per passenger mile

     12.83 ¢     12.02 ¢   6.7       12.91 ¢     12.47 ¢   3.5  

Operating revenue per ASM

     10.57 ¢     9.75 ¢   8.5       10.84 ¢     10.02 ¢   8.1  

Operating expenses per ASM (a)

     10.97 ¢     10.79 ¢   1.7       10.89 ¢     10.41 ¢   4.6  

Operating expenses per ASM excluding fuel, navigation fee refund, restructuring and impairment charges (a)

     7.90 ¢     7.83 ¢   1.0       8.01 ¢     7.92 ¢   1.1  

Raw fuel cost per gallon (a)

   $ 2.02     $ 1.60     26.3     $ 1.84     $ 1.37     34.3  

GAAP fuel cost per gallon (a)

   $ 1.99     $ 1.56     27.6     $ 1.81     $ 1.33     36.2  

Economic fuel cost per gallon (a)

   $ 1.69     $ 1.40     20.7     $ 1.53     $ 1.26     21.5  

Fuel gallons (000,000)

     85.7       87.1     (1.6 )     346.4       354.7     (2.3 )

Average number of full-time equivalent employees

     8,937       9,433     (5.3 )     9,065       9,968     (9.1 )

Aircraft utilization (blk hrs/day)

     10.8       10.8     0.0       10.8       11.0     (1.8 )

Operating fleet at period-end

     110       108     1.9       110       108     1.9  

NM = Not Meaningful

(a) See Note A on page 20.

 

18


Table of Contents

Horizon Air Financial and Statistical Data

 

    Quarter Ended December 31

    Year Ended December 31

 
    2005

    2004

    %
Change


    2005

    2004

    %
Change


 

Financial Data (in millions):

                                           

Operating Revenues:

                                           

Passenger

  $ 138.2     $ 125.1     10.5     $ 544.0     $ 487.3     11.6  

Freight and mail

    0.9       0.9     0.0       3.8       3.9     (2.6 )

Other—net

    1.8       2.9     (37.9 )     8.6       12.0     (28.3 )
   


 


       


 


     

Total Operating Revenues

    140.9       128.9     9.3       556.4       503.2     10.6  
   


 


       


 


     

Operating Expenses:

                                           

Wages and benefits

    46.8       41.4     13.0       178.4       163.5     9.1  

Contracted services

    6.1       5.3     15.1       23.8       20.7     15.0  

Aircraft fuel

    25.9       20.3     27.6       96.2       68.7     40.0  

Aircraft maintenance

    12.2       11.7     4.3       43.3       38.3     13.1  

Aircraft rent

    17.4       17.9     (2.8 )     70.2       73.9     (5.0 )

Food and beverage service

    0.6       0.5     20.0       2.5       2.1     19.0  

Selling expenses

    7.0       6.6     6.1       29.1       26.5     9.8  

Depreciation and amortization

    4.8       3.7     29.7       16.8       13.4     25.4  

Landing fees and other rentals

    12.0       10.2     17.6       47.7       41.4     15.2  

Other

    11.2       10.8     3.7       42.2       42.0     0.5  

Impairment of aircraft and related spare parts

    —         0.6     NM       —         3.4     NM  
   


 


       


 


     

Total Operating Expenses

    144.0       129.0     11.6       550.2       493.9     11.4  
   


 


       


 


     

Operating Income (Loss)

    (3.1 )     (0.1 )   NM       6.2       9.3     NM  
   


 


       


 


     

Interest income

    0.6       0.2             1.6       1.1        

Interest expense

    (1.2 )     (0.7 )           (5.5 )     (3.9 )      

Interest capitalized

    0.4       0.2             0.8       0.6        

Fuel hedging gains (losses)

    (3.2 )     (1.0 )           23.3       10.2        

Other—net

    (0.1 )     (0.2 )           —         (0.2 )      
   


 


       


 


     
      (3.5 )     (1.5 )           20.2       7.8        
   


 


       


 


     

Income (Loss) Before Income Tax and Accounting Change

  $ (6.6 )   $ (1.6 )   NM     $ 26.4     $ 17.1     NM  
   


 


       


 


     

Operating Statistics:

                                           

Revenue passengers (000)

    1,613       1,568     2.9       6,481       5,930     9.3  

RPMs (000,000)

    632       569     11.1       2,475       2,155     14.8  

ASMs (000,000)

    858       793     8.2       3,400       3,107     9.4  

Passenger load factor

    73.7 %     71.7 %   2.0 pts     72.8 %     69.3 %   3.5 pts

Yield per passenger mile

    21.87 ¢     21.99 ¢   (0.5 )     21.98 ¢     22.61 ¢   (2.8 )

Operating revenue per ASM

    16.42 ¢     16.25 ¢   1.0       16.36 ¢     16.20 ¢   1.0  

Operating expenses per ASM (a)

    16.78 ¢     16.26 ¢   3.2       16.18 ¢     15.90 ¢   1.8  

Operating expenses per ASM excluding fuel and impairment charges (a)

    13.76 ¢     13.62 ¢   1.1       13.35 ¢     13.58 ¢   (1.7 )

Raw fuel cost per gallon (a)

  $ 2.06     $ 1.66     24.1     $ 1.90     $ 1.42     33.8  

GAAP fuel cost per gallon (a)

  $ 2.04     $ 1.62     25.9     $ 1.87     $ 1.38     35.5  

Economic fuel cost per gallon (a)

  $ 1.74     $ 1.48     17.6     $ 1.58     $ 1.31     20.6  

Fuel gallons (000,000)

    12.7       12.5     1.6       51.3       49.7     3.2  

Average number of full-time equivalent employees

    3,537       3,493     1.3       3,456       3,423     1.0  

Aircraft utilization (blk hrs/day)

    8.7       8.5     2.4       8.7       8.3     4.8  

Operating fleet at period-end

    65       65     0.0       65       65     0.0  

NM = Not Meaningful

(a) See Note A on page 20.

 

19


Table of Contents

Note A:

 

Pursuant to Item 10 of Regulation S-K, we are providing disclosure of the reconciliation of reported non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable financial measures reported on a GAAP basis. The non-GAAP financial measures provide management the ability to measure and monitor performance both with and without the cost of aircraft fuel (including the gains and losses associated with our fuel hedging program where appropriate), the navigation fee refund, restructuring charges or adjustments thereto, and aircraft impairment charges. Because the cost and availability of aircraft fuel are subject to many economic and political factors beyond our control and we record changes in the fair value of our hedge portfolio in our income statement, it is our view that the measurement and monitoring of performance without fuel is important. In addition, we believe the disclosure of financial performance without impairment and restructuring charges is useful to investors. Finally, these non-GAAP financial measures are also more comparable to financial measures reported to the Department of Transportation by other major network airlines.

 

The following tables reconcile our non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures for both Alaska Airlines, Inc. and Horizon Air Industries, Inc.:

 

Alaska Airlines, Inc.:

 

($ in millions)

 

     Three Months
Ended December 31,


    Twelve Months Ended
December 31,


 
     2005

    2004

    2005

    2004

 

Unit cost reconciliations:

                                

Operating expenses

   $ 609.4     $ 588.1     $ 2,426.9     $ 2,318.4  

ASMs (000,000)

     5,556       5,452       22,292       22,276  
    


 


 


 


Operating expenses per ASM

     10.97 ¢     10.79 ¢     10.89 ¢     10.41 ¢
    


 


 


 


Operating expenses

   $ 609.4     $ 588.1     $ 2,426.9     $ 2,318.4  

Less: aircraft fuel

     (170.9 )     (135.6 )     (626.6 )     (472.0 )

Less: restructuring charges

     0.3       (25.9 )     (20.4 )     (53.4 )

Add: navigation fee refund

     —         —         4.7       7.7  

Less: impairment of aircraft and related spare parts

     —         —         —         (36.8 )
    


 


 


 


Operating expenses excluding fuel, navigation fee refund, restructuring and impairment charges

   $ 438.8     $ 426.6     $ 1,784.6     $ 1,763.9  

ASMs (000,000)

     5,556       5,452       22,292       22,276  
    


 


 


 


Operating expenses per ASM excluding fuel, navigation fee refund, restructuring and impairment charges

     7.90 ¢     7.83 ¢     8.01 ¢     7.92 ¢
    


 


 


 


Reconciliation to GAAP income (loss) before taxes and accounting change:

                                

Income (loss) before taxes and accounting change, excluding mark-to-market hedging gains (losses), navigation fee refund, restructuring and impairment charges

   $ 0.5     $ (22.7 )   $ 85.8     $ 2.1  

Add: mark-to-market hedging gains (losses) included in nonoperating income (expense)

     (47.1 )     (20.3 )     53.1       50.1  

Less: restructuring charges

     0.3       (25.9 )     (20.4 )     (53.4 )

Add: navigation fee refund and related interest received

     —         —         5.7       11.0  

Less: impairment of aircraft and related spare parts

     —         —         —         (36.8 )
    


 


 


 


GAAP income (loss) before taxes and accounting change as reported

   $ (46.3 )   $ (68.9 )   $ 124.2     $ (27.0 )
    


 


 


 


 

20


Table of Contents
     Three Months Ended December 31,

 
     2005

    2004

 
     (in millions)

    Cost/Gal

    (in millions)

    Cost/Gal

 

Aircraft fuel reconciliations:

                                

Fuel expense before hedge activities (“raw” or “into-plane” fuel cost)

   $ 172.7     $ 2.02     $ 139.3     $ 1.60  

Less: gains on settled hedges included in fuel expense

     (1.8 )     (0.03 )     (3.7 )     (0.04 )
    


 


 


 


GAAP fuel expense

   $ 170.9     $ 1.99     $ 135.6     $ 1.56  

Less: gains on settled hedges included in nonoperating income (expense)

     (25.6 )     (0.30 )     (13.5 )     (0.16 )
    


 


 


 


Economic fuel expense

   $ 145.3     $ 1.69     $ 122.1     $ 1.40  
    


 


 


 


Fuel gallons (000,000)

     85.7               87.1          
    


         


       
Mark-to-market gains (losses) included in non-operating income (expense) related to hedges that settle in future periods, net of the reclassification of previously recorded mark-to-market gains to gains on settled hedges included in nonoperating income (expense)    $ (47.1 )           $ (20.3 )        
    


         


       
     Twelve Months Ended December 31,

 
     2005

    2004

 
     (in millions)

    Cost/Gal

    (in millions)

    Cost/Gal

 

Fuel expense before hedge activities (“raw” or “into-plane” fuel cost)

   $ 637.9     $ 1.84     $ 486.6     $ 1.37  

Less: gains on settled hedges included in fuel expense

     (11.3 )     (0.03 )     (14.6 )     (0.04 )
    


 


 


 


GAAP fuel expense

   $ 626.6     $ 1.81     $ 472.0     $ 1.33  

Less: gains on settled hedges included in nonoperating income (expense)

     (97.5 )     (0.28 )     (25.2 )     (0.07 )
    


 


 


 


Economic fuel expense

   $ 529.1     $ 1.53     $ 446.8     $ 1.26  
    


 


 


 


Fuel gallons (000,000)

     346.4               354.7          
    


         


       
Mark-to-market gains included in non-operating income (expense) related to hedges that settle in future periods, net of the reclassification of previously recorded mark-to-market gains to gains on settled hedges included in nonoperating income (expense)    $ 53.1             $ 50.1          
    


         


       

 

21


Table of Contents

Horizon Air Industries, Inc.

($ in millions)

 

     Three Months Ended
December 31,


    Twelve Months Ended
December 31,


 
         2005    

        2004    

        2005    

        2004    

 

Unit cost reconciliations:

                                

Operating expenses

   $ 144.0     $ 129.0     $ 550.2     $ 493.9  

ASMs (000,000)

     858       793       3,400       3,107  
    


 


 


 


Operating expenses per ASM

     16.78 ¢     16.26 ¢     16.18 ¢     15.90 ¢
    


 


 


 


Operating expenses

   $ 144.0     $ 129.0     $ 550.2     $ 493.9  

Less: aircraft fuel

     (25.9 )     (20.3 )     (96.2 )     (68.7 )

Less: impairment of aircraft and related spare parts

     —         (0.6 )     —         (3.4 )
    


 


 


 


Operating expenses excluding fuel and impairment charges

   $ 118.1     $ 108.1     $ 454.0     $ 421.8  

ASMs (000,000)

     858       793       3,400       3,107  
    


 


 


 


Operating expenses per ASM excluding fuel and impairment charges

     13.76 ¢     13.62 ¢     13.35 ¢     13.58 ¢
    


 


 


 


Reconciliation to GAAP income (loss) before taxes and accounting change:

                                

Income before taxes and accounting change, excluding impairment charges and mark-to-market hedging gains (losses)

   $ 0.4     $ 1.8     $ 17.8     $ 13.7  

Add: mark-to-market hedging gains (losses) included in nonoperating income (expense)

     (7.0 )     (2.8 )     8.6       6.8  

Less: impairment of aircraft and related spare parts

     —         (0.6 )     —         (3.4 )
    


 


 


 


GAAP income (loss) before taxes and accounting change as reported

   $ (6.6 )   $ (1.6 )   $ 26.4     $ 17.1  
    


 


 


 


     Three Months Ended December 31,

 
     2005

    2004

 
     (in millions)

    Cost/Gal

    (in millions)

    Cost/Gal

 

Aircraft fuel reconciliations:

                                

Fuel expense before hedge activities (“raw” or “into-plane” fuel cost)

   $ 26.1     $ 2.06     $ 20.8     $ 1.66  

Less: gains on settled hedges included in fuel expense

     (0.2 )     (0.02 )     (0.5 )     (0.04 )
    


 


 


 


GAAP fuel expense

   $ 25.9     $ 2.04     $ 20.3     $ 1.62  

Less: gains on settled hedges included in nonoperating income (expense)

     (3.8 )     (0.30 )     (1.8 )     (0.14 )
    


 


 


 


Economic fuel expense

   $ 22.1     $ 1.74     $ 18.5     $ 1.48  
    


 


 


 


Fuel gallons (000,000)

     12.7               12.5          
    


         


       

Mark-to-market gains (losses) included in non-operating income (expense) related to hedges that settle in future periods, net of the reclassification of previously recorded mark-to-market gains to gains on settled hedges included in nonoperating income (expense)

   $ (7.0 )           $ (2.8 )        
    


         


       
     Twelve Months Ended December 31,

 
     2005

    2004

 
     (in millions)

    Cost/Gal

    (in millions)

    Cost/Gal

 

Fuel expense before hedge activities (“raw” or “into-plane” fuel cost)

   $ 97.7     $ 1.90     $ 70.7     $ 1.42  

Less: gains on settled hedges included in fuel expense

     (1.5 )     (0.03 )     (2.0 )     (0.04 )
    


 


 


 


GAAP fuel expense

   $ 96.2     $ 1.87     $ 68.7     $ 1.38  

Less: gains on settled hedges included in nonoperating income (expense)

     (14.7 )     (0.29 )     (3.4 )     (0.07 )
    


 


 


 


Economic fuel expense

   $ 81.5     $ 1.58     $ 65.3     $ 1.31  
    


 


 


 


Fuel gallons (000,000)

     51.3               49.7          
    


         


       

Mark-to-market gains included in non-operating income (expense) related to hedges that settle in future periods, net of the reclassification of previously recorded mark-to-market gains to gains on settled hedges included in nonoperating income (expense)

   $ 8.6             $ 6.8          
    


         


       

 

22


Table of Contents
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and the related notes contained elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. All statements in the following discussion that are not reports of historical information or descriptions of current accounting policies are forward-looking statements. Please consider our forward-looking statements in light of the risks referred to in this report’s introductory cautionary note. There can be no assurance that actual developments will be those anticipated by us. Actual results could differ materially from those projected as a result of a number of factors, some of which we cannot predict or control. For a discussion of our risk factors, see “Item 1A: Risk Factors,” beginning on page 12 and “Risk Factors” beginning on page 42.

 

General

 

Alaska and Horizon operate as airlines. However, their business plans, competition, and economic risks differ substantially. Alaska is a major airline and principally serves destinations in the state of Alaska and North/South service between cities in the Western U.S., Canada and Mexico. Alaska also provides East/West service to 8 cities, primarily from Seattle. It operates an all-jet fleet, and its average passenger trip in 2005 was 1,009 miles. Horizon is a regional airline serving primarily the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, and Western Canada. It operates both jet and turboprop aircraft, and its average passenger trip in 2005 was 382 miles.

 

Year in Review and Current Events

 

Improved revenue from industry-wide fare increases, record load factors, and a 4.2% increase in passenger traffic helped to define a positive story for 2005, despite relatively flat capacity at Alaska. Alaska’s capacity was flat compared to the prior year due to actions taken in response to the operational difficulties described below. Horizon reported significant increases in passenger traffic, resulting in increased revenues, offset by slightly lower yield. Operating expenses per available seat mile increased 4.6% at Alaska to 10.89 cents and 1.8% at Horizon to 16.18 cents compared to 2004. Although fuel prices dipped in the fourth quarter, fuel again hit record highs during 2005 and played a major part in the increase in unit costs. At Alaska, our unit costs excluding fuel, a navigation fee refund, restructuring and impairment charges increased 1.1% to 8.01 cents compared to 2004. This is primarily due to the capacity reduction during the summer and slightly higher non-fuel operating costs. Compared to 2004, Horizon had a 1.7% decrease in unit costs excluding fuel and impairment charges, coming in at 13.35 cents. Overall, our operating results are positive considering the continued significant losses for the industry as a whole and several large carriers seeking bankruptcy protection in 2005.

 

Although revenues and pre-tax income at Alaska improved over the prior year, we faced operational difficulties during much of the year due to the combined effects of the labor and operational changes across our Company during 2005. The result was operational performance that was well below our goal during much of the summer months. However, we began to see improvement in on-time arrivals and departures during much of September and October; although we again experienced seasonal declines in these metrics in the latter months of the year. In order to improve our operational performance, we reduced our 2005 summer capacity from our original expectations through schedule reductions and the elimination of certain flights.

 

Common Stock Offering

 

In December 2005, we completed an offering of 5.7 million shares of our common stock, resulting in net proceeds of approximately $200 million. See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Accounting Change

 

Effective January 1, 2005, we changed our method of accounting for major airframe and engine overhauls from the capitalize and amortize method to the direct expense method. Accordingly, effective January 1, 2005, we wrote off the net book value of our previously capitalized airframe and engine overhauls for all aircraft in a charge totaling $144.7 million pre-tax ($90.4 million after tax). See Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements for further details.

 

23


Table of Contents

Restructuring Charges

 

In the first quarter of 2005, we recorded asset impairment and rental charges of $8.0 million related to our decision to terminate the lease at our Oakland heavy maintenance base. These charges are included in “restructuring charges” in the statements of operations. As of December 31, 2005, there was no accrual remaining related to these charges.

 

During the second quarter of 2005, we contracted out our Seattle ramp operations to a third party. This resulted in an immediate reduction of approximately 475 employees. We offered a severance package, substantially the same as the severance packages offered to other employees in late 2004, to those affected by the subcontracting that included cash payments based on years of service, one year of medical coverage after the severance date and continued travel benefits for a period of time. The labor group accepted the severance package in June 2005 and, as a result, we recorded a charge of $16.1 million in the second quarter of 2005.

 

Offsetting these charges is a $3.7 million adjustment related to changes in our estimated costs of medical coverage extended to impacted employees from current and prior restructuring efforts and a change in the number of employees affected since the original accruals were recorded, resulting in a net restructuring charge for the year of $20.4 million ($12.7 million after tax).

 

The following table displays the activity and balance of the severance and related cost components of the Company’s restructuring accrual as of and for the year ended December 31, 2005 ($ in millions):

 

Accrual for Severance and Related Costs

        

Balance at December 31, 2004

   $ 38.7  

Restructuring charges

     16.1  

Restructuring charge adjustments

     (3.7 )

Cash payments

     (48.0 )
    


Balance at December 31, 2005

   $ 3.1  
    


 

Labor Costs and Negotiations

 

We executed new labor contracts with the Alaska pilots, dispatchers and mechanics and with the Horizon mechanics and dispatchers in 2005 through either the negotiation or arbitration process, as further described below:

 

    Despite ongoing negotiations, we were unable to reach a new agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and, therefore, pursuant to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, submitted to binding arbitration during the first quarter of 2005, the decision of which became effective on May 1, 2005 and becomes amendable on May 1, 2007. This agreement resulted in an average pilot wage reduction of 26%.

 

    During the second quarter of 2005, we presented a contract offer to the International Association of Machinists (IAM, representing our ramp workers) that was rejected by this work group. We subcontracted our Seattle ramp operations to a third party effective May 13, 2005. This resulted in an immediate reduction of approximately 475 employees.

 

    During the fourth quarter, Alaska reached an agreement with the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) resulting in a new four-year contract covering Alaska’s approximately 700 aircraft technicians. This contract includes, among other items, a market-based wage increase of approximately 10% and a one-time $1,000 bonus to each of the employees covered under the contract, which was paid in the fourth quarter of 2005.

 

    Alaska also reached an agreement with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) in 2005 that resulted in a new five-year contract covering Alaska’s 34 dispatchers.

 

24


Table of Contents
    In October 2005, Horizon reached an agreement with the TWU resulting in a new three-year contract covering 21 dispatchers at Horizon.

 

    During the fourth quarter of 2005, Horizon reached an agreement with AMFA on a three-year contract covering Horizon’s 450 mechanics and fleet service agents.

 

We are pleased with the contracts that have been reached recently and we are continuing to negotiate with our other workgroups to reach agreement on contracts that would benefit both our employees and our shareholders. None of the contract negotiations is at an impasse or has reached the 30-day cooling off period required under the Railway Labor Act that would trigger self help. Therefore, we currently believe the risk of a work stoppage is low.

 

Mark-to-Market Fuel Hedging Gains

 

Beginning in the second quarter of 2004, we lost the ability to defer, as a component of comprehensive income, recognition of any unrealized gain or loss on our fuel hedge contracts until the hedged fuel is consumed. We lost this ability because the price correlation between crude oil, the commodity we use to hedge, and West Coast jet fuel fell below required thresholds. For more discussion, see Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements.

 

The implications of this change are twofold: First, our earnings are more volatile as we mark our entire hedge portfolio to market each quarter-end and report the gain or loss in other non-operating income or expense, even though the actual consumption will take place in a future period. In times of rising fuel prices such as in 2005, this will have the effect of increasing our reported net income or decreasing our reported net loss. Our mark-to-market gains recorded in 2005 for contracts that settle in future periods, net of the reclassification of previously recorded mark-to-market gains for settled hedges, were $61.7 million ($38.6 million after tax). Second, to a large extent, the impact of our fuel hedge program will not be reflected in fuel expense. In 2005, we recorded gains from settled fuel hedges totaling $125.0 million, but only $12.8 million of that gain is reflected as an offset to fuel expense with the balance reported in other non-operating income (expense).

 

We have provided information on mark-to-market gains or losses, as well as calculations of our economic fuel cost per gallon on pages 21 and 22.

 

We continue to believe that our fuel hedge program is an important part of our strategy to reduce our exposure to volatile fuel prices.

 

Navigation Fee Refund

 

In August 2005, Alaska recorded a net refund totaling $5.7 million ($3.6 million after tax) from the Mexican government related to navigation fees paid in 2004. Approximately $4.7 million of the refund was recorded as a reduction to contracted services expenses and $1.0 million was recorded as interest income. This is compared to an $11.0 million refund ($6.3 million after tax) recorded during the third quarter of 2004.

 

Aircraft Commitments

 

On June 15, 2005, Alaska Airlines, Inc. entered into an aircraft purchase agreement with The Boeing Company to purchase 35 B737-800 aircraft with deliveries beginning in January 2006 and continuing through April 2011. The purchase agreement includes options to purchase an additional 15 aircraft with deliveries between July 2007 and April 2009. The order also includes rights to purchase an additional 50 737-800s under the same terms, except that purchase rights are not assigned specific delivery dates. In December, 20 of the purchase rights were converted to options with deliveries in 2010 and 2011. Subsequent to year-end, Alaska converted one option and two purchase rights into firm orders for three additional B737-800s to be delivered in 2007 and 2008. Separate from the purchase agreement, Alaska has negotiated operating lease agreements for two additional B737-800 aircraft to be delivered in late 2006.

 

25


Table of Contents

In October 2005, Horizon finalized an agreement to purchase 12 Bombardier Q400 aircraft with delivery dates beginning in December 2006 and continuing through July 2007. This agreement, in part, replaced firm orders for seven CRJ-700 aircraft that were to be delivered over the next several years. This agreement also provides for an option to purchase up to an additional 20 Q400 aircraft. In connection with the agreement, Bombardier agreed to provide certain remarketing assistance for up to 12 Q200 aircraft currently leased by Horizon for a fee as set forth in the agreement. Should Horizon decide to sublease any or all of the 12 Q200 aircraft, it is reasonably likely that the sublease income, including any support from Bombardier, would not be sufficient to cover our existing lease obligation and we would have an immediate recognition of the related loss on the sublease.

 

Other Events

 

In October 2005, Alaska finalized a $172 million variable-rate, pre-delivery payment facility to provide a portion of the pre-delivery funding requirements of Alaska’s purchase of up to 38 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft (23 of which are firm orders) under the current aircraft purchase agreement. This facility will expire on August 31, 2009 and the interest rate is based on one-month LIBOR plus a specified margin. Any borrowings will be secured by the Company’s rights under the Boeing purchase agreement.

 

We began daily non-stop service from Los Angeles to Mexico City in August 2005 and from Seattle to Dallas/Fort Worth in September 2005.

 

Capacity Outlook

 

For 2006, Alaska and Horizon expect capacity increases of approximately 5% to 6% and 6%, respectively. The expected capacity increase at Alaska is due largely to the return of the full schedule and the introduction of 12 new B737-800 aircraft in 2006, with most of those coming later in the year. Horizon’s expected capacity increase is due largely to the annualization of increasing capacity of the Q400 fleet from 70 to 74 seats and to the four Q400 aircraft that will be delivered in 2006 (including two used Q400s to be delivered in February or March). The addition of the aircraft deliveries in 2006 at both Alaska and Horizon will be used to increase frequency in our existing markets and, to a lesser degree, serve new markets.

 

Alaska will continue to work toward operational excellence in 2006 to improve our on-time performance, completion rates, baggage handling, and other important customer-facing operational measures. As part of this initiative, Alaska will remain focused on improving the performance of the ramp services at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

 

26


Table of Contents

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

2005 Compared with 2004

 

Our consolidated net loss for 2005 was $5.9 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, versus a consolidated net loss of $15.3 million, or $0.57 per diluted share, in 2004.

 

Our consolidated income (loss) before the accounting change for 2005 was $84.5 million compared ($15.3) million in 2004. The 2005 results include certain items that impact the comparability of the years. These items are discussed in the “Year in Review and Current Events” section beginning on page 23. Our 2004 results also include certain items that impact comparability, including severance charges of $53.4 million ($31.8 million after tax), an impairment charge of $40.2 million ($26.7 million after tax) related primarily to our Boeing 737-200C fleet, mark-to-market hedging gains, net of the reclassification of previously recorded mark-to-market gains for settled hedges, of $56.9 million ($31.7 million after tax), and a navigation fee refund of $11.0 million ($6.3 million after tax). Excluding those items, consolidated income before the accounting change would have been $55.0 million in 2005 compared to $5.2 million in 2004. The year-over-year improvement can be characterized by higher revenues, offset by slightly higher non-fuel operating costs and significantly higher fuel costs.

 

Financial and statistical data comparisons for Alaska and Horizon are shown on pages 18 and 19, respectively. On pages 20 through 22, we have included a reconciliation of reported non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.

 

Alaska Airlines Revenues

 

Operating revenues increased $183.1 million, or 8.2%, during 2005 as compared to 2004 due to an 8.1% increase in operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) on relatively flat capacity. The increase in RASM was driven by a 3.5% increase in ticket yields that resulted from an increase in ticket prices designed to offset higher fuel prices, higher load factors, and higher freight, mail and other revenues. The flat capacity is primarily a direct result of the reduction in our summer flight schedule that was announced in June 2005, offset by the addition of three B737-800 aircraft during the year.

 

Load factor increased 3.0 percentage points to a record 75.9% for 2005, due primarily to an increase in passenger traffic. The yield environment is currently strong. In 2006, yield improvement is expected to come from year over year increases in fares (particularly in the first half of 2006) and, to a lesser extent, a new $10 fee that will be charged to customers that book travel through our reservation call centers.

 

Freight and mail revenues increased by $3.9 million, or 4.5%, compared to 2004 as a result of a mail contract we have in the state of Alaska that began in the third quarter of 2004 and fuel surcharges added to our freight services during the third quarter of 2005, offset by lower freight volumes.

 

Other-net revenues increased $19.8 million, or 16.1%, due largely to an increase in Mileage Plan revenues, resulting from higher award redemption on our partner airlines and an increase in cash receipts from miles sold, of which a portion is recognized immediately as other revenue and an increase in our revenues from service to Dutch Harbor, which is operated by a third party.

 

Alaska Airlines Expenses

 

In 2005, total operating expenses increased $108.5 million, or 4.7%, compared to 2004. Operating expenses per ASM increased 4.6% from 10.41 cents in 2004 to 10.89 cents in 2005. The increase in operating expenses is due largely to the significant increase in raw or “into-plane” fuel costs and increases in aircraft maintenance, contracted services, landing fees and other rentals, and other, offset by declines in wages and benefits, food and beverage service, selling expenses, depreciation and amortization, restructuring charges, and the impairment charge in 2004 related to our Boeing 737-200C fleet. Operating expenses per ASM excluding fuel, the navigation fee refund, restructuring and impairment charges increased 1.1% compared to 2004. Our current estimates of costs per ASM, excluding fuel for the first quarter and full year of 2006, are 8.35 cents and 7.65 cents, respectively.

 

27


Table of Contents

Explanations of significant year-over-year changes in the components of operating expenses are as follows:

 

    Wages and benefits decreased $62.3 million, or 7.8%, during 2005 compared to 2004. Wages have been reduced by the following:

 

    restructuring initiatives announced in late 2004

 

    the reduction in pilot wages resulting from the new pilot contract that took effect in May 2005

 

    during the second quarter of 2005, we subcontracted our ramp services operation in Seattle

 

    during 2005, there were an average of 9,065 full-time equivalents (FTEs), which is down by 903 FTEs from the average in 2004

 

    a reduction in benefits costs due to the reduction in FTEs and pension expense

 

The year-over-year decline in wages and benefits was partially offset by the following:

 

    a $14 million increase in employee variable pay awards including profit sharing, operational performance rewards and performance based pay compared to 2004

 

    a favorable $6.6 million adjustment in 2004 related to the ultimate loss estimates for workers compensation

 

Overall, the reduction in wages and benefits costs are partially offset by increases in contracted services and maintenance expense due to the subcontracting of certain operations. We expect to continue to see year-over-year declines in wages throughout 2006, although to a lesser extent than in 2005.

 

    Contracted services increased $23.4 million, or 24.2%, due largely to contracting out of the Company’s fleet service and ground support equipment and facility maintenance functions in the fourth quarter of 2004, and the Seattle ramp operations in May 2005. Additionally, the navigation fee refund recorded in contracted services was $5.1 million in 2005 compared to $7.7 million in 2004. We expect that contracted services will increase in 2006 as we annualize the costs associated with the 2005 changes.

 

    Aircraft fuel increased $154.6 million, or 32.8%, due to a 36.2% increase in the GAAP fuel cost per gallon, offset by a 2.3% decline in fuel gallons consumed. During 2005, Alaska also realized $108.8 million of gains from settled hedges, the majority of which are recorded in other non-operating income (expense). The total gains from settled hedges represents 87.6% of Alaska’s income before income taxes and the accounting change. After including all gains from settled hedges recorded during the period, our “economic,” or net, fuel expense increased $82.3 million, or 18.4%, compared to 2004. Our economic fuel cost per gallon increased 21.5% over 2004 from $1.26 to $1.53.

 

In the second quarter of 2005, we entered into a fuel contract whereby the spread between crude oil prices and jet fuel prices is fixed for approximately one-third of our fuel consumption through April 2006. This contract resulted in approximately $10 million in savings for Alaska during 2005.

 

See page 21 for a table summarizing fuel cost per gallon realized by Alaska (the economic cost per gallon), the cost per gallon on a GAAP basis (including hedging gains recorded in aircraft fuel) and fuel cost per gallon excluding all hedging activities.

 

    Aircraft maintenance increased $39.4 million, or 27.0%, due largely to the performance of more airframe work and engine overhauls in 2005 compared to 2004. Other factors causing the increase were our power-by-the-hour maintenance agreement whereby we expense B737-400 engine maintenance on a flight-hour basis, regardless of whether the work was actually performed during the period; the contracting out of related heavy maintenance to third parties, which resulted in a shift of costs from wages and benefits into aircraft maintenance; the change in our accounting policy regarding engine and airframe overhauls (see Note 2 to our Consolidated Financial Statements); as well as certain enhancements to aircraft interiors, systems and flight decks to assist with reliability improvement. We expect maintenance costs to decline marginally in 2006 due to the timing of maintenance events and expected savings from process improvement initiatives.

 

28


Table of Contents
    Aircraft rent increased $3.3 million, or 2.9%, due to the additional operating lease on a B737-800 that was delivered in March 2005, offset by lower rates negotiated in 2004 on extended leases. We expect 2006 aircraft rent to be slightly higher due to the addition of two new B737-800 aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2006.

 

    Food and beverage service expense decreased $2.1 million, or 4.2%, due primarily to a reduction in the average cost per passenger meal, offset by higher transportation costs and an increase in the number of meals served resulting from our new Mexico City and Dallas flights.

 

    Selling expenses decreased $5.3 million, or 4.0% primarily due to a decline in the incentive payments to Horizon for certain flying. Incentive payments to Horizon are eliminated in consolidation. Excluding the intercompany payments, selling expenses increased by $10.2 million as a result of higher codeshare fees and commissions resulting from the increase in revenues. In 2005, 36.5% of Air Group ticket sales were made through traditional travel agents, compared to 38.0% in 2004. In 2005, 34.8% of the ticket sales were made through Alaska’s Internet web site compared to 30.4% in 2004.

 

    Depreciation and amortization decreased $2.7 million, or 2.1%. In 2004, we recorded an impairment charge of $36.8 million to reduce the carrying value of the Boeing 737-200C fleet, resulting in lower depreciation expense in future periods. This is offset by the increased depreciation on two new owned aircraft delivered during 2005. We expect depreciation and amortization to increase in 2006 as we take delivery of several new B737-800 aircraft, the majority of which will be owned.

 

    Landing fees and other rentals increased $19.9 million, or 14.0%. The increase reflects higher landing fee rates and increased rental costs, primarily in Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles, offset by fewer departures. We expect landing fees and other rentals to be higher in 2006 as a result of higher departures and increased airport costs.

 

    Other expenses increased $10.1 million, or 6.8%, primarily reflecting increases in passenger remuneration, crew costs, supplies, and legal settlement costs, partly offset by lower insurance premiums. Additionally, in 2004 there were $2.0 million in losses on disposal of assets compared to $3.0 million in the current year. We expect other expenses to decline slightly in 2006 due to lower insurance rates and passenger remuneration costs.

 

Horizon Air Revenues

 

In 2005, operating revenues increased $53.2 million, or 10.6% compared to 2004. This increase is due largely to the increased capacity in both the Horizon-brand flying and contract flying for Frontier Airlines, which began in January 2004, combined with the slight increase in operating revenues per available seat mile (RASM). The increase in RASM was primarily due to an increase in load factors, partially offset by a 2.8% decline in ticket yields.

 

Load factor increased 3.5 percentage points to 72.8% for 2005, due primarily to the 14.8% increase in passenger traffic outpacing the 9.4% increase in capacity. The increases in passenger traffic and capacity are primarily due to increased contract flying with Frontier, the harmonization flying with Alaska, the addition of one CRJ-700 in 2005 and four additional seats on each of our Q400s. Contract flying with Frontier represented approximately 9.3% of passenger revenues and 22.9% of capacity, during 2005 compared to 9.1% and 21.4%, respectively, in 2004.

 

Horizon Air Expenses

 

Operating expenses for 2005 increased $56.3 million, or 11.4%, compared to 2004. Operating expenses per ASM increased 1.8% compared to 2004. Operating expenses per ASM excluding fuel and impairment charges decreased 1.7% compared to 2004. Our estimates of costs per ASM excluding fuel for the first quarter and full year of 2006 are 14.4 cents and 14.0 cents, respectively.

 

29


Table of Contents

Explanations of significant year-over-year changes in the components of operating expenses are as follows:

 

    Wages and benefits increased $14.9 million, or 9.1%, reflecting a slight increase in the average number of employees and wages per employee, a new performance-based incentive program for all employees, and the move to a new paid time off program resulting in a one-time charge related to the transition.

 

    Contracted services increased $3.1 million, or 15.0%, due primarily to the increase in contract flying with Alaska that results in higher payments to non-Horizon employees for ground handling services.

 

    Aircraft fuel increased $27.5 million, or 40.0%, due to a 35.5% increase in the GAAP fuel cost per gallon. During 2005, Horizon also realized $16.2 million of gains from settled hedges, the majority of which are recorded in other non-operating income (expense). The total gains from settled hedges represents 61.4% of Horizon’s pre-tax income. After including all gains from settled hedges recorded during the period, the “economic,” or net, fuel expense increased $16.2 million, or 24.8%, over 2004. Our economic fuel cost per gallon increased 20.6% from $1.31 in 2004 to $1.58 in 2005.

 

See page 22 for a table summarizing fuel cost per gallon realized by Horizon (the economic cost per gallon), the cost per gallon on a GAAP basis (including hedging gains recorded in aircraft fuel) and fuel cost per gallon excluding all hedging activities.

 

    Aircraft maintenance expense increased $5.0 million, or 13.1%, primarily due to a higher number of engine overhauls and propeller work for the Q400 fleet and fewer aircraft covered by warranty. We expect maintenance expense to increase substantially in 2006 due to the timing of maintenance events and the increased number of aircraft that are exiting their warranty periods.

 

    Aircraft rent decreased $3.7 million, or 5.0%, primarily due to lower rents on extended leases, return of one aircraft on a short-term lease and fewer leased engines.

 

    Selling expenses are up $2.6 million, or 9.8%, from 2004 due primarily to an increase in credit card and other commissions resulting from higher revenues.

 

    Depreciation and amortization increased $3.4 million, or 25.4%, primarily due to the addition of one CRJ-700 at the end of the first quarter of 2005 and a Q400 in the third quarter of 2004.

 

    Landing fees and other rentals increased $6.3 million, or 15.2%. Higher landing fees are a result of significant rate increases in several of our key airports, increased departures and new markets being served.

 

Consolidated Nonoperating Income (Expense)

 

Net nonoperating income was $144.6 million in 2005 compared to $59.2 million in 2004. Interest income increased $6.4 million due primarily to improved returns and a slightly larger average marketable securities portfolio in 2005, offset by a larger interest payment in 2004 related to the navigation fee refund. Interest expense increased $11.1 million due to interest rate increases on our variable-rate debt and the changes to some of our variable-rate debt agreements to slightly higher fixed-rate agreements. Capitalized interest increased $7.2 million from $1.7 million in 2004 to $8.9 million in 2005. This increase is due to the significant increase in deposits for future flight equipment resulting from our new aircraft purchase agreements for Boeing 737-800 and Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

 

Fuel hedging gains include $112.2 million in gains from fuel hedging contracts settled in 2005 compared to $28.6 million in 2004. In addition, fuel-hedging gains include net mark-to-market gains on unsettled hedge contracts, net of the reclassification of previously recorded mark-to-market gains for settled hedges, of $61.7 million in 2005 and $56.9 million in 2004.

 

Consolidated Income Tax Expense (Benefit)

 

Our consolidated effective income tax rate on pre-tax income before the cumulative effect of the accounting change for 2005 was 38.4% compared to an effective income tax rate of 25.7% on a pre-tax loss in 2004. Due to

 

30


Table of Contents

the magnitude of nondeductible expense, such as employee per diem costs, relative to a marginal pre-tax profit or loss, a relatively small change in pre-tax results may cause a significant change in the effective tax rate. We applied our 2005 marginal rate of 37.5% to the cumulative effect of the accounting change.

 

2004 Compared with 2003

 

Our consolidated net loss for 2004 was $15.3 million, or $0.57 per share, versus net income of $13.5 million, or $0.51 per share, in 2003. The 2004 results include four significant items that impact the comparability to 2003. These items are discussed in the “Results of Operations: 2005 Compared with 2004” section beginning on page 27. Our 2003 results also include $71.4 million ($52.8 million for Alaska and $18.6 million for Horizon, or a combined $44.3 million, net of tax) received related to assistance from the government under the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act.

 

Our consolidated operating loss for 2004 was $79.8 million compared to a loss of $17.5 million for 2003. Our consolidated pre-tax loss for 2004 was $20.6 million compared to pre-tax income of $29.0 million for 2003.

 

Alaska Airlines Revenues

 

Operating revenues increased $205.6 million, or 10.1%, during 2004 as compared to the same period in 2003. The increase in revenues resulted from an 11.5% increase in passenger traffic, offset by a 1.4% decline in ticket yields. For the year ended December 31, 2004, capacity increased 7.1% as compared to 2003. The capacity increases are primarily due to the annualization and expansion of our transcontinental flying, including service from Seattle to Chicago and Los Angeles to Reagan National in Washington D.C. The traffic increase of 11.5% outpaced the capacity increase of 7.1%, resulting in an increase in load factor from 70.0% to 72.9%. The decline in yield per passenger mile was a result of continued industry-wide pricing pressure, particularly in the fourth quarter where yield declines were more substantial, dropping 5.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2003.

 

Freight and mail revenues increased $9.1 million, or 11.8%, because of a new mail contract we have in the State of Alaska offset by lower freight revenues.

 

Other-net revenues increased $13.3 million, or 12.1%, due largely to revenues from service to Dutch Harbor, which is operated by a third party, that began in January of 2004 and higher Mileage Plan revenues.

 

Alaska Airlines Expenses

 

For the year ended December 31, 2004, total operating expenses increased $271.6 million, or 13.3%, as compared to the same period in 2003. Operating expenses per ASM increased 5.8% from 9.84 cents in 2003 to 10.41 cents in 2004. The increase in operating expenses per ASM is due largely to significant increase in fuel costs, our restructuring charges, the impairment charge related to our Boeing 737-200 fleet, higher wages and benefits, contracted services costs and landing fees and other rental costs offset by declines in selling expenses and the navigation fee recovery. Operating expense per ASM excluding fuel, the navigation fee recovery, restructuring and impairment charges decreased 5.0% to 7.92 cents per ASM compared to 8.34 cents per ASM in 2003. Explanations of significant period-over-period changes in the components of operating expenses are as follows:

 

    Wages and benefits increased $18.2 million, or 2.3%, during 2004. Approximately two-thirds of the increase reflects higher pilot wages, substantially all of which were due to the 4% wage rate increase in May 2004. Wages were favorably impacted by the restructuring initiatives announced in August and September. During 2004, there were 9,968 FTEs, which was down by approximately 70 FTEs from 2003 on a 7.1% increase in capacity.

 

Benefits costs were favorably impacted by a $7.3 million reduction in workers compensation expense resulting from positive workers compensation claims experience at Alaska and a related reduction to ultimate loss estimates recorded in December totaling $6.6 million. In total, benefits costs were flat year over year.

 

31


Table of Contents
    Contracted services increased $14.9 million, or 18.3%, due largely to expenses associated with an agreement with PenAir to provide flight services to Dutch Harbor that began in January of 2004, costs associated with a temporary charter contract and higher security costs, partially offset by $8.6 million from the recovery in 2004 of disputed Mexico navigation fees paid in 2002 and 2003.

 

    Aircraft fuel increased $159.9 million, or 51.2%, due to a 43.9% increase in the GAAP fuel cost per gallon and a 5.2% increase in fuel gallons consumed. The increase in aircraft fuel expense is inclusive of $14.6 million of gains from settled hedges. During 2004, Alaska also realized $25.2 million of hedge gains, which are recorded in other non-operating income. After including all hedge gains recorded during the year, our “economic” fuel expense increased $140.1 million, or 45.7%, over 2003. Our economic fuel cost per gallon increased 38.6% from $0.91 cents to $1.26.

 

    Aircraft maintenance decreased $7.6 million, or 5.0%, due largely to fewer engine overhauls during 2004 and a change in the mix of heavy maintenance versus routine maintenance.

 

    Aircraft rent decreased $10.4 million, or 8.4%, due to lower rates on extended leases and fewer leased aircraft in 2004 compared to 2003.

 

    Selling expenses decreased $15.8 million, or 10.7%, due to a decline in the incentive payments made to Horizon offset by increases in booking fees, credit card fees, and commissions. Incentive payments to Horizon are eliminated in consolidation. In 2004, 38.0% of Air Group ticket sales were made through traditional travel agents, compared to 43.0% in 2003. In 2004, 30.4% of the ticket sales were made through Alaska’s Internet web site compared to 27.4% in 2003.

 

    Depreciation and amortization increased $8.6 million, or 7.2%, reflecting accelerated depreciation on the planned retirement of the Boeing 737-200C fleet, an increase in depreciation resulting from one aircraft purchased in 2004, and the full year depreciation on aircraft acquired in 2003, and additional provisions for inventory obsolescence.

 

    Landing fees and other rentals increased $14.2 million, or 11.1%. The higher rates primarily reflect higher joint-use and exclusive rental fees at Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and Oakland, combined with modest volume growth.

 

    Other expense increased $8.3 million, or 5.9%, primarily reflecting a $6.3 million increase in professional services costs, higher moving expenses associated with our restructuring initiatives, higher passenger remuneration costs, and supplies costs.

 

    Restructuring charges totaled $53.4 million during 2004. This charge includes wages and other benefits that will be paid as a result of our restructuring initiatives announced in August and September of 2004.

 

Horizon Air Revenues

 

For the year ended December 31, 2004, operating revenues increased $39.4 million, or 8.5% as compared to 2003. This increase is due largely to the increased traffic in our native network and our new contract flying for Frontier Airlines, which began January 1, 2004, partially offset by a decline in the incentive payments made by Alaska to Horizon. Incentive payments are eliminated in consolidation.

 

The arrangement with Frontier provides for reimbursement of expected costs plus a base mark-up and certain incentives. However, since Horizon is not responsible for many of the typical costs of operations such as fuel, landing fees, marketing costs and station labor and rents, revenue per ASM, cost per ASM and cost per ASM excluding fuel for this flying is significantly lower than Horizon’s native network flying.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2004, capacity increased 20.9% and traffic was up 31.4%, compared to the same period in 2003. Contract flying with Frontier represented approximately 9.1% of passenger revenues and 21.4% of capacity, during 2004. Passenger load factor increased 5.4 percentage points to 69.3%. Passenger yield decreased 16.1% to 22.61 cents, reflecting the inclusion of the Frontier contract flying, the yield for which is

 

32


Table of Contents

significantly lower than native network flying, and a decline in incentive payments from Alaska for feed traffic. Contract revenue and higher yields in Horizon’s native network combined with the increases in traffic, resulted in an increase in passenger revenue of $45.0 million, or 10.2%.

 

Horizon Air Expenses

 

Operating expenses increased $36.8 million, or 8.1%, as compared to the same period in 2003. Operating expenses per ASM including fuel and the impairment charge decreased 10.5% as compared to 2003. Operating expenses per ASM excluding fuel and the impairment charge decreased 14.1% as compared to the same period in 2003. Operating expenses in 2004 include $3.4 million related to an impairment charge on our held-for-sale F-28 aircraft and spare engines to lower the carrying value of these assets to their estimated fair value. Explanations of other significant period-over-period changes in the components of operating expenses are as follows:

 

    Wages and benefits increased $3.4 million, or 2.1%, reflecting an increase in the average number of employees, wages and payroll taxes, partially offset by favorable reductions of medical and workers compensation accruals.

 

    Aircraft fuel increased $17.5 million, or 34.2%, due to a 45.0% increase in the GAAP fuel cost per gallon, partially offset by a 7.4% decrease in gallons consumed. The increase in aircraft fuel expense is inclusive of $2.0 million of gains from settled hedges. During the year, Horizon also realized $3.4 million of hedge gains, which are recorded in other non-operating income. After including all hedge gains recorded during the year, our “economic” fuel expense increased $15.1 million, or 30.1%, over 2003. Our economic fuel cost per gallon increased 40.5% from 93.5 cents to 131.4 cents.

 

    Aircraft maintenance expense increased $7.9 million, or 26.0%, primarily due to an increase in block hours, a higher number of routine maintenance activities and engine overhauls for the Q200 fleet and fewer aircraft covered by warranty.

 

    Aircraft rent increased $2.9 million, or 4.1%, reflecting the annualization of aircraft added during 2003 and the addition of spare engines during 2004.

 

    Landing fees and other rentals increased $2.9 million, or 7.5%. Higher landing fees are a result of higher rates associated with modest volume growth, an increase in airport fees and increased costs for security.

 

Consolidated Nonoperating Income (Expense)

 

Net nonoperating income was $59.2 million in 2004 compared to $46.5 million in 2003. Interest income increased $11.7 million due to a larger marketable securities portfolio in 2004 combined with a correction of premium and discount amortization on our marketable securities portfolio in 2003. 2004 interest income also includes $3.3 million from the recovery in 2004 of disputed Mexico navigation fees paid in 2002 and 2003. Interest expense (net of capitalized interest) increased $4.7 million due to increases in debt balances as compared to 2003.

 

Fuel hedging gains include $28.6 million and $6.4 million in gains from settled fuel hedging contracts in 2004 and 2003, respectively. In addition, fuel-hedging gains include mark-to-market gains on unsettled hedge contracts, net of the reclassification of previously recorded mark-to-market gains for settled hedges, of $56.9 million in 2004.

 

The 2003 results include $71.4 million ($52.8 million for Alaska and $18.6 million for Horizon) received in connection with the government reimbursement of security fees remitted and carrier fees paid under the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act.

 

Consolidated Income Tax Benefit

 

Our consolidated effective income tax benefit rate for 2004 was 25.7% compared to an effective income tax expense rate of 53.4% in 2003. Due to the magnitude of nondeductible expenses, such as employee per diem costs, relative to pre-tax profit or loss, a relatively small change in pre-tax results can cause a significant change in the effective tax rate.

 

33


Table of Contents

Change in Accounting Policy

 

Effective January 1, 2005, we changed our method of accounting for major airframe and engine overhauls from the capitalize and amortize method to the direct expense method. Under the former method, these costs were capitalized and amortized to maintenance expense over the shorter of the life of the overhaul or the remaining lease term. Under the direct expense method, overhaul costs are expensed as incurred. We believe that the direct expense method is preferable because it eliminates the judgment and estimation needed to determine overhaul versus repair allocations in maintenance activities. Additionally, our approved maintenance program for the majority of our airframes now focuses more on shorter, but more frequent, maintenance visits. We also believe that the direct expense method is the predominant method used in the airline industry. Accordingly, effective January 1, 2005, we wrote off the net book value of our previously capitalized airframe and engine overhauls for all aircraft resulting in a charge of $144.7 million pre-tax ($90.4 million after tax). We do not believe disclosing the effect of adopting the direct expense method on net income for 2005 provides meaningful information because of changes in our maintenance program, including the execution of a “power-by-the-hour” engine maintenance agreement with a third party in late 2004.

 

Critical Accounting Estimates

 

The discussion and analysis of our financial position and results of operations is based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect our financial position and results of operations. See Note 1 to Consolidated Financial Statements for a description of our significant accounting policies. Critical accounting estimates are defined as those that are reflective of significant judgment and uncertainties, and potentially result in materially different results under different assumptions and conditions. We have identified the following critical accounting estimates. We have discussed the development, selection and disclosure of these policies with our audit committee.

 

Mileage Plan

 

Our Mileage Plan loyalty program awards miles to member passengers who fly on Alaska or Horizon and our travel partners. Additionally, we sell miles to third parties, such as our credit card partner, for cash. In either case, the outstanding miles may be redeemed for travel on Alaska, Horizon, or any of our alliance partners. As long as the Mileage Plan is in existence, we have an obligation to provide this future travel; therefore, for awards earned by passengers who fly on Alaska, Horizon or our travel partners, we recognize a liability and the corresponding selling expense for this future obligation. For miles sold to third parties, a majority of the sales proceeds are recorded as deferred revenue and recognized when the award transportation is provided. The deferred proceeds are recognized as passenger revenue when awards are issued and flown on Alaska or Horizon, and as other-net revenue for awards issued and flown on other airlines.

 

At December 31, 2005, we had approximately 95 billion miles outstanding, resulting in an aggregate liability of $466.8 million. The liability is computed based on several assumptions that require significant management judgment to estimate and formulate. There are uncertainties inherent in estimates; therefore, an incorrect assumption impacts the amount and/or timing of revenue recognition or Mileage Plan expenses. The most significant assumptions in accounting for the Mileage Plan are described below.

 

1. The number of miles that will not be redeemed for travel:

 

Members may not reach the mileage threshold necessary for a free ticket and outstanding miles may not always be redeemed for travel. Therefore, based on the number of Mileage Plan accounts and the miles in the accounts, we estimate how many miles will never be used (“breakage”), and do not record a liability for those miles. Our estimates of breakage consider activity in our members’ accounts, account balances, and other factors. We believe our breakage assumptions are reasonable. A hypothetical 1.0% change in our

 

34


Table of Contents

estimate of breakage (currently 12% in the aggregate) has approximately a $5.2 million affect on the liability. However, actual breakage could differ significantly from our estimates given the dynamic nature of the program and our inability to predict our members’ future behavior.

 

2. The number of miles used per award (i.e., free ticket):

 

We estimate how many miles will be used per award. If actual miles used are more or less than estimated, we may need to adjust the liability and corresponding expense. Our estimates are based on the current requirements in our Mileage Plan program and historical redemptions on Alaska, Horizon or other airlines.

 

3. The costs that will be incurred to provide travel:

 

When the frequent flyer travels on his or her award ticket, incremental costs such as food, fuel and insurance are incurred to carry that passenger. We estimate what these costs will be (excluding any contribution to overhead and profit) and accrue a liability. If the passenger travels on another airline on an award ticket, we often must pay the other airline for carrying the passenger. The other airline costs are based on negotiated agreements and are often substantially higher than the costs we would incur to carry that passenger. We estimate how much we will pay to other airlines for future travel awards based on historical redemptions and settlements with other carriers and accrue a liability accordingly. The costs actually incurred by us or paid to other airlines may be higher or lower than the costs that were estimated and accrued, and therefore we may need to adjust our liability and recognize a corresponding expense.

 

4. The number of awards redeemed for travel on Alaska or Horizon versus other airlines:

 

The cost for Alaska or Horizon to carry an award passenger is typically lower than the cost we will pay to other airlines. We estimate the number of awards which will be redeemed on Alaska or Horizon versus other airlines and accrue the costs on this based on our estimate of historical redemption patterns. If the number of awards redeemed on other airlines is higher or lower than estimated, we may need to adjust our liability and corresponding expense.

 

5. The rate at which we defer sales proceeds from sold miles:

 

We defer an amount that represents our estimate of the fair value of a free travel award by looking to the sales prices of comparable paid travel. As fare levels change, our deferral rate changes, which may result in more or less recognition of cash proceeds in any given quarter.

 

We review Mileage Plan estimates each quarter, and change our assumptions if facts and circumstances indicate that a change is necessary. Any such change in assumptions could have a significant effect on our financial position and results of operations.

 

Pension Plans

 

We account for the defined benefit pension plans using SFAS No. 87, “Employer’s Accounting for Pensions.” Under SFAS No. 87, pension expense is recognized on an accrual basis over employees’ approximate service periods. Pension expense calculated under SFAS No. 87 is generally independent of funding decisions or requirements. We recognized expense for our qualified defined-benefit pension plans of $71.7 million, $78.3 million, and $73.5 million in 2005, 2004, and 2003, respectively.

 

The calculation of pension expense and the corresponding liability requires the use of a number of important assumptions, including the expected long-term rate of return on plan assets and the assumed discount rate. Changes in these assumptions can result in different expense and liability amounts, and future actual experience can differ from these assumptions. At December 31, 2005, the fair value of our qualified defined-benefit pension plan assets totaled $680.9 million. We anticipate making a cash contribution of approximately $50 million during 2006.

 

35


Table of Contents

Pension expense increases as the expected rate of return on pension plan assets decreases. As of January 1, 2006, we estimate that the pension plan assets will generate a long-term rate of return of 7.75%. This rate is slightly lower than the assumed rate of 8.0% used for the 2005 pension expense, and was developed by evaluating input from consultants and economists as well as long-term inflation assumptions. We regularly review the actual asset allocation and periodically rebalance investments as considered appropriate. This expected long-term rate of return on plan assets at December 31, 2005 is based on an allocation of U.S. and non-U.S. equities and U.S. fixed income securities. Decreasing the expected long-term rate of return by 0.5% (from 7.75% to 7.25%) would increase our estimated 2006 pension expense by approximately $3.6 million.

 

Pension liability and future pension expense increase as the discount rate is reduced. We discounted future pension obligations using a rate of 5.50% and 5.75% at December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively. The discount rate is determined based on the current rates earned on high quality long-term bonds. Decreasing the discount rate by 0.5% (from 5.50% to 5.00%) would increase our accumulated benefit obligation at December 31, 2005 by approximately $56.7 million and increase estimated 2006 pension expense by approximately $8.0 million.

 

The defined benefit plan for management personnel was closed to new entrants in 2003. We are working to restructure the defined benefit plans for other labor groups. Any such change could impact future pension expense and pension liabilities.

 

Future changes in plan asset returns, assumed discount rates and various other factors related to the participants in our pension plans will impact our future pension expense and liabilities. We cannot predict what these factors will be in the future.

 

Subsequent to December 31, 2005, the Financial Accounting Standards Board began to work on an exposure draft that would require balance sheet recognition of the full unfunded status of pension and other postretirement benefit plans for years ending after December 15, 2006. For us, this would be effective at December 31, 2006. This change in the accounting for pension and postretirement benefits will likely result in a significant charge to our accumulated other comprehensive income as we will be required to recognize the unfunded status based on the Projected Benefit Obligation rather than the Accumulated Benefit Obligation. The exposure draft is expected in March 2006.

 

Long-lived Assets

 

As of December 31, 2005, we had approximately $2.0 billion of property and equipment and related assets. In accounting for these long-lived assets, we make estimates about the expected useful lives of the assets, changes in fleet plans, the expected residual values of the assets, and the potential for impairment based on the fair value of the assets and the cash flows they generate. Factors indicating potential impairment include, but are not limited to, significant decreases in the market value of the long-lived assets, management decisions regarding the future use of the assets, a significant change in the long-lived assets condition, and operating cash flow losses associated with the use of the long-lived asset.

 

As part of our simplification and unit cost reduction initiatives, we may seek to accelerate the retirement of our MD-80 fleet in the future. Although no decision has been made, we expect to look closely at this option during the first quarter of 2006 and discuss it with our Board of Directors. If we make a decision to exit this fleet type, we would likely have to make substantial lease termination payments to lessors for our 11 leased MD-80 aircraft and we believe that we would incur a loss upon disposal of our 15 owned MD-80 aircraft as the carrying value of those aircraft exceeds the current market value. This loss would be recognized as an impairment charge if and when any such decision is made. The market value of MD-80 aircraft fluctuates and is highly dependent on factors out of our control, including the number of aircraft available in the market and fleet changes by other airlines and demand for those aircraft by other carriers. As of December 31, 2005, our 15 owned MD-80s have a combined net book value of approximately $205 million and we believe the current market value is in the range of $50 million to $80 million.

 

36


Table of Contents

In 2003 and 2004, due to volatile economic conditions and indications of declining aircraft market values, we evaluated whether the book value of our aircraft was impaired in accordance with SFAS No. 144, “Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets.” No impairment was necessary based on the results of the evaluations except as related to the B737-200C fleet and Horizon’s idle Fokker F-28 aircraft and spare engines in 2004. See Note 14 in the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion.

 

There is inherent risk in estimating the future cash flows used in the impairment test. If cash flows do not materialize as estimated, there is a risk the impairment charges recognized to date may be inaccurate, or further impairment charges may be necessary in the future.

 

Workers Compensation and Employee Health Care Accruals

 

The Company uses a combination of insurance and self-insurance mechanisms to provide for workers compensation claims and employee health care benefits. Liabilities associated with the risks that are retained by the Company are not discounted and are estimated, in part, by considering historical claims experience and outside expertise, severity factors and other actuarial assumptions. The estimated accruals for these liabilities could be significantly affected if future occurrences and claims differ from these assumptions and historical trends. Our workers compensation and employee health care accruals totaled $34.4 million at December 31, 2005, compared to $29.7 million at December 31, 2004.

 

Realizability of Deferred Tax Assets

 

The Company has a net deferred tax liability of $64.6 million at December 31, 2005, which includes gross deferred tax assets of $423.7 million offset by a gross deferred tax liability of $488.3 million. In accordance with SFAS No. 109, “Accounting for Income Taxes,” we have evaluated whether it is more likely than not that the deferred tax assets will be realized. Based on the available evidence, we have concluded that it is more likely than not that those assets would be realizable and thus no valuation allowance has been recorded as of December 31, 2005. Our conclusion is based on the expected future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences and does not rely on future taxable income. Should we incur additional losses in the future, our ability to realize the net operating loss carryforwards may be subject to greater uncertainty. We will continue to reassess the need for a valuation allowance during each future reporting period.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

The table below presents the major indicators of financial condition and liquidity.

 

     December 31,
2005


    December 31,
2004


    Change

 
    

(In millions, except per share and

debt-to-capital amounts)

 

Cash and marketable securities

   $ 982.6     $ 873.9     $ 108.7  

Working capital

     374.7       285.0       89.7  

Long-term debt and capital lease obligations, net of current portion

     969.1       989.6       (20.5 )

Shareholders’ equity

     827.6       664.8       162.8  

Book value per common share

   $ 24.74     $ 24.51     $ 0.23  

Long-term debt-to-capital

     54%:46 %     60%:40 %     NA  

Long-term debt-to-capital assuming aircraft operating leases are capitalized at seven times annualized rent

     73%:27 %     78%:22 %     NA  

 

During the year ended December 31, 2005, our cash and marketable securities increased $108.7 million to $982.6 million. This increase reflects cash provided by operating activities of $271.9 million and cash provided by financing activities of $254.8 million resulting primarily from $200.0 million in net proceeds from the sale of 5.7 million shares of our common stock and a large volume of option exercises, offset by cash used for property and equipment additions, net of aircraft deposit returns and proceeds from asset dispositions, of $410.4 million and net purchases of marketable securities of $63.1 million.

 

37


Table of Contents

Cash Provided by Operating Activities

 

During 2005, net cash provided by operating activities was $271.9 million, compared to $334.0 million during 2004. The decrease is due largely to the cash payments made for severance, a $42.7 million tax refund in 2004, and significantly higher fuel costs, offset by improved revenues in the current year.

 

Cash Used in Investing Activities

 

Cash used in investing activities was $481.1 million during 2005, compared to $392.0 million in 2004. We had net purchases of $63.1 million of marketable securities and $410.4 million for property and equipment additions, net of aircraft deposit returns and proceeds from asset dispositions. During 2005, our aircraft related capital expenditures, net of aircraft deposit returns and proceeds from asset dispositions, increased $255.3 million compared to 2004, primarily reflecting the net payment of $101.2 million related to the aircraft purchase commitment entered into during the second quarter of 2005 to acquire 35 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, as well as additional scheduled pre-delivery payments. As of January 1, 2005, we no longer have capital expenditures related to overhauls as those maintenance activities are expensed as incurred under our maintenance accounting policy adopted on that date. We expect capital expenditures to be approximately $510 million (of which $400 million is expected to be new-aircraft related) in 2006 as we take delivery of several new aircraft.

 

Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities

 

Net cash provided by financing activities was $254.8 million during 2005 compared to net cash used in financing activities of $106.9 million during 2004. In the fourth quarter of 2005, we issued 5.7 million shares of our common stock for proceeds of $200.0 million, net of underwriting discounts and professional fees. Horizon had one debt issuance during 2005 of $20.0 million, which is secured by flight equipment and has a term of 15 years. Alaska borrowed $73.8 million against its pre-delivery payment facility discussed below. Debt issuances and proceeds from common stock during the period were offset by normal long-term debt payments of $54.2 million.

 

We plan to meet our capital and operating commitments through internally generated funds from operations and cash and marketable securities on hand at December 31, 2005 totaling $982.6 million, along with proceeds from our new pre-delivery payment facility used to provide assistance with our pre-delivery funding requirements on the purchase of new B737-800 aircraft, and additional debt financing. We have debt financing arranged for all of our firm 2006 B737-800 deliveries and are currently negotiating the financing on the Q400s. We also have restricted cash of $4.1 million, which is intended to collateralize interest payments due through March 2006 on our $150 million floating rate senior convertible notes due 2023 issued in 2003.

 

Bank Line of Credit Facility

 

Alaska has a $160 million variable-rate credit facility that expires in March 2008. As of December 31, 2005, there are no outstanding borrowings on this credit facility and the Company has no immediate plans to borrow using this credit facility. See Note 5 in the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion.

 

Pre-delivery Payment Facility

 

On October 19, 2005, Alaska finalized a $172 million variable-rate revolving loan facility with a syndicate of lenders to provide a portion of the pre-delivery funding requirements of Alaska’s purchase of up to 38 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft (23 of which are firm orders) under the current aircraft purchase agreement. The facility will expire on August 31, 2009. The interest rate is based on one-month LIBOR plus a specified margin. Any borrowings will be secured by Alaska’s rights under the Boeing purchase agreement. The principal amounts outstanding on the facility relate to specified aircraft and will be repaid at the time that Alaska takes delivery of the aircraft, likely using proceeds from long-term debt financing on those aircraft. We expect to fund additional pre-delivery payments throughout 2006 and beyond using this facility. As of December 31, 2005, $73.8 million was outstanding.

 

38


Table of Contents

Convertible Notes

 

In 2003, Alaska Air Group completed the private placement of $150.0 million of floating rate senior convertible notes due in 2023 (the Notes).

 

As noted in Note 5 of the Consolidated Financial Statements, where these Notes are discussed further, we have the option of calling the Notes in March 2006. Based on the recent market price of our common stock, it is possible that we would call the Notes at that time. However, no decision has been made. If we do not call the Notes, we have not yet determined how each payment of principal or interest due will be funded in the future. We anticipate that these payments will be funded either by dividends, distributions, loans, advances or other payments from our subsidiaries or through new borrowings or financings by Alaska Air Group. Any such payments by our subsidiaries to Air Group could be subject to statutory or contractual restrictions.

 

Supplemental Disclosure of Noncash Investing and Financing Activities

 

We received a $9.7 million credit toward our purchase deposits related to the aircraft purchase agreement entered into during the second quarter of 2005. This credit was recorded as additional purchase deposits and is included in other liabilities on our consolidated balance sheet and will be applied to future aircraft upon delivery.

 

Contractual Obligations, Commitments and Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

Aircraft Purchase Commitments

 

At December 31, 2005, we had firm orders for 48 firm aircraft purchase orders requiring aggregate payments of approximately $1,173.5 million, as set forth below. In addition, Alaska has entered into an operating lease agreement with a third party to take delivery of two B737-800 aircraft in late 2006. Alaska had options to acquire 35 additional B737s and purchase rights for 30 more, and Horizon had options to acquire 20 Q400s and 17 CRJ700s. Subsequent to year-end, Alaska converted one option and two purchase rights into firm orders for three additional B737-800s to be delivered in 2007 and 2008. Additionally, Horizon executed purchase agreements for two used Q400 aircraft to be delivered in February or March of 2006. Total purchase price for these two aircraft was approximately $21.0 million. Alaska and Horizon expect to finance the firm orders and to the extent exercised, the option aircraft with leases, long-term debt or internally generated cash.

 

The following table summarizes aircraft purchase commitments and payments by year, as of December 31, 2005:

 

     Delivery Period—Firm Orders

Aircraft


   2006

   2007

   2008

   2009

   2010

   Beyond
2010


   Total

Boeing 737-800

     10      8      5      3      6      3      35

Bombardier Q-400

     2      10      —        —        —        —        12

Bombardier CRJ700

     1      —        —        —        —        —        1
    

  

  

  

  

  

  

Total

     13      18      5      3      6      3      48
    

  

  

  

  

  

  

Payments (Millions)

   $ 380.6    $ 328.1    $ 160.2    $ 126.6    $ 133.6    $ 44.4    $ 1,173.5
    

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

The CRJ700 was delivered in January 2006 and was paid for with cash on hand. The two Q-400 aircraft will be delivered in December 2006 and financing has not yet been determined. The 10 B737-800 aircraft are to be delivered throughout 2006 beginning in February. Financing for all of the 2006 B737-800 aircraft deliveries has been arranged. In addition to the 10 firm orders noted above, Alaska has lease agreements in place for two B737-800 aircraft that will be delivered in November and December of 2006. Our first B737-800 aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2006 was delivered in February and was financed with $31.5 million of fixed-rate debt.

 

39


Table of Contents

Contractual Obligations

 

The following table provides a summary of our principal payments under current and long-term debt obligations, capital lease obligations, operating lease commitments, aircraft purchase commitments and other obligations as of December 31, 2005. This table excludes contributions to our various pension plans, which we expect to be approximately $50 million to $70 million per year through 2009.

 

(in millions)


  2006

  2007

  2008

  2009

  2010

  Beyond
2010*


  Total

Current and long-term debt and capital lease obligations (excluding the pre-delivery payment facility)

  $ 58.7   $ 61.9   $ 64.9   $ 68.3   $ 72.4   $ 682.6   $ 1,008.8

Current and long-term portions of the pre-delivery payment facility

    54.8     19.0     —       —       —       —       73.8

Operating lease commitments (1)

    267.3     233.8     224.2     208.8     209.2     826.5     1,969.8

Aircraft purchase commitments

    380.6     328.1     160.2     126.6     133.6     44.4     1,173.5

Interest obligations (2)

    70.3     65.9     53.0     44.4     39.7     105.8     379.1

Other purchase obligations (3)

    29.1     29.4     29.7     30.0     30.3     124.2     272.7
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

  $ 860.8   $ 738.1   $ 532.0   $ 478.1   $ 485.2   $ 1,783.5   $ 4,877.7
   

 

 

 

 

 

 


  * Includes $150 million related to the Company’s senior convertible notes due in 2023. Holders of these Notes may require the Company to purchase all or a portion of their Notes, for a purchase price equal to principal plus accrued interest, on the 5th, 10th, and 15th anniversaries of the issuance of the Notes, or upon the occurrence of a change in control or tax event, as defined in the agreement. See Note 5 in the Consolidated Financial Statements.
(1) Includes two aircraft lease agreements for B737-800 aircraft that will be delivered in November and December of 2006.
(2) For variable-rate debt, future obligations are shown above using interest rates in effect as of December 31, 2005.
(3) Includes obligations under our long-term power-by-the-hour maintenance agreement.

 

New Accounting Standards

 

During the fourth quarter of 2004, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued SFAS 123R, “Share Based Payment: An Amendment of SFAS Nos. 123 and 95.” The new standard requires companies to recognize as expense the fair value of stock options and other equity based compensation issued to employees as of the grant date. This new standard will apply both to stock options that we grant to employees and to our Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which features a look-back provision and allows employees to purchase stock at a 15% discount. Our options are typically granted with ratable vesting provisions, and we intend to amortize compensation cost over the service period using the straight-line method. SFAS 123R was effective January 1, 2006. We will use the “modified prospective method” upon adoption whereby previously awarded but unvested equity awards are accounted for in accordance with SFAS 123R and prospective amounts are recognized in the income statement instead of simply being disclosed. Once adopted, we expect our stock-based compensation expense, as measured under SFAS 123R, will be approximately $7 million to $9 million per year on a pre-tax basis, of which $3 million to $5 million will be for stock-based compensation that has not historically been recorded in our statements of operations.

 

In March 2005, the FASB issued Interpretation No. 47 (FIN 47), “Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations—an interpretation of FASB Statement No. 143.” FIN 47 clarifies that an entity is required to recognize a liability for the fair value of a conditional asset retirement obligation when incurred if the liability’s fair value can be reasonably estimated. FIN 47 also clarifies when an entity would have sufficient information to reasonably estimate the fair value of an asset retirement obligation. FIN 47 was adopted in the fourth quarter of 2005 and has had no significant impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

 

40


Table of Contents

In May 2005, the FASB issued SFAS No. 154, “Accounting Changes and Error Corrections—a replacement of APB Opinion No. 20 and FASB Statement No. 3” (“SFAS No. 154”). SFAS No. 154 requires retrospective application as the required method for reporting a change in accounting principle, unless impracticable or a pronouncement includes specific transition provisions. SFAS No. 154 also requires that a change in depreciation, amortization or depletion method for long-lived, nonfinancial assets be accounted for as a change in accounting estimate effected by a change in accounting principle. This statement carries forward the guidance in APB Opinion No. 20, “Accounting Changes,” for the reporting of the correction of an error and a change in accounting estimate. SFAS No. 154 is effective beginning January 1, 2006. SFAS No. 154 is not expected to have a significant impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

 

In June 2005, the Emerging Issues Task Force (“EITF”) reached a consensus on EITF Issue No. 05-6, “Determining the Amortization Period for Leasehold Improvements Purchased after Lease Inception or Acquired in a Business Combination” (“EITF 05-6”). EITF 05-6 requires that leasehold improvements that are placed in service significantly after and not contemplated at or near the beginning of the lease term be amortized over the shorter of the useful life of the assets or a term that includes required lease periods and renewals that are deemed to be reasonably assured at the date the leasehold improvements are purchased. EITF 05-6 was adopted in the fourth quarter of 2005. EITF 05-6 did not have a significant impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

 

In March 2004, the EITF reached a consensus on EITF Issue No. 03-1, “The Meaning of Other-Than-Temporary Impairment and Its Application to Certain Investments,” (EITF 03-1). The guidance prescribes a three-step model for determining whether an investment is other-than-temporarily impaired and requires disclosures about unrealized losses on investments. The accounting guidance became effective for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2004, while the disclosure requirements became effective for annual reporting periods ending after June 15, 2004. In September 2004, the FASB issued FASB Staff Position EITF 03-1-1, “Effective Date of Paragraphs 10-20 of EITF Issue No. 03-1, “The Meaning of Other-Than-Temporary Impairment and Its Application to Certain Investments, “(FSP EITF 03-01-1). FSP EITF 03-01-1 delayed the effective date for the measurement and recognition guidance contained in paragraphs 10-20 of EITF 03-01. In November 2005, the FASB issued FSP FAS 115-1 and FAS 124-1, “The Meaning of Other-Than-Temporary Impairment and Its Application to Certain Investments.” This FSP addresses the determination as to when an investment is considered impaired, whether the impairment is other than temporary and the measurement of an impairment loss. This statement specifically nullifies the requirements of paragraphs 10-18 of EITF 03-1 and references existing other-than-temporary impairment guidance. The guidance under this FSP is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2005. At December 31, 2005, available-for-sale investments in the Company’s marketable securities portfolio had unrealized losses totaling $3.9 million which are recorded in Other Accumulated Comprehensive Income. Management does not believe that the securities with unrealized losses as of December 31, 2005 meet the criteria for recognizing the loss under existing other-than-temporary guidance.

 

Effect of Inflation and Price Changes

 

Inflation and price changes other than for aircraft fuel do not have a significant effect on our operating revenues, operating expenses and operating income.

 

41


Table of Contents

RISK FACTORS

 

If any of the following occurs, our business, financial condition and results of operations could suffer. In such case, the trading price of our common stock could also decline.

 

The airline industry is highly competitive and subject to rapid change. We may be unable to compete effectively against other airlines with greater financial resources or lower operating costs, or to adjust rapidly enough in the event the nature of competition in our markets changes.

 

The airline industry is highly competitive as to fares, flight frequency, frequent flyer benefits, routes and service. The industry is particularly susceptible to price discounting because airlines incur only nominal costs to provide service to passengers occupying otherwise unsold seats. Recently, airlines have reduced routes and the number of planes available, which has resulted in reduced industry capacity and a trend towards increased fares. If airlines decide to increase their capacity in the future, this could cause fares to decline, which may adversely affect our business and results of operations. We currently compete with one or more other airlines on substantially all of our routes. Many of these airlines are larger and have significantly greater financial resources and name recognition or lower operating costs than our company. Others are operating under bankruptcy court protection and may institute substantial fare discounts in order to maintain cash flows and enhance customer loyalty. In addition, competitors who successfully reorganize out of bankruptcy could have lower operating costs derived from renegotiated labor, supply and financing agreements. Some of these competitors have chosen from time to time to add service, reduce their fares, or both, in our markets. We may be unable to compete effectively against other airlines that introduce service or discounted fares in the markets that we serve.

 

The airline industry, particularly regional airlines, also faces competition from ground transportation alternatives, such as buses, trains or automobiles. In addition, technology advancements may limit the desire for air travel. For example, video teleconferencing and other methods of electronic communication may reduce the need for in-person communication and add a new dimension of competition to the industry as business travelers seek lower-cost substitutes for air travel.

 

In addition, the United States and Mexico recently amended their bilateral agreement relating to commercial air service. The amendments expand authorized service levels to cities we serve in Mexico. Other airlines will likely seek to add service on some of the city pairs we currently serve, which will increase competition and potentially negatively affect our results of operations.

 

Our business, financial condition, and results of operations are substantially exposed to the current high prices and variability of jet fuel. Further increases in jet fuel costs would harm our business.

 

Fuel costs constitute a significant portion of our total operating expenses, comprising 24% and 19% of total operating expenses for the years ended December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively. Significant increases in fuel costs during 2004 and 2005 have negatively impacted our results of operations. Further increases would harm our financial condition and results of operations. Based on historical trends, we estimate that a one-cent increase in our economic price per gallon of fuel increases our fuel expenses by approximately $4.0 million annually.

 

Historically, fuel costs have been unpredictable and subject to wide price fluctuations based on geopolitical issues and supply and demand. Fuel availability is also subject to periods of market surplus and shortage and is affected by demand for both home heating oil and gasoline. In addition, various events including natural disasters, such as hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and hostilities or other conflicts in oil producing areas or elsewhere, could result in reductions in the production or availability of crude oil or jet fuel and could result in increases in the cost of fuel. Because of the effect of any of these events on the price and availability of fuel, the cost and future availability of fuel cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty. In the event of a fuel supply shortage, higher fuel prices or the curtailment of scheduled service could result. We may be unable to offset increases in the price of fuel through higher fares.

 

42


Table of Contents

We utilize fuel hedges as a form of insurance against the volatility of fuel prices. To manage the risk of fuel price increases, we have entered into swap agreements and purchased call options that cap our fuel costs at designated per-barrel oil prices. Even with hedges, we are substantially and increasingly exposed to increases in jet fuel costs since the amount of hedged consumption declines and the price at which we are hedged increases. This means that even if fuel prices stay at current levels, our economic fuel cost will increase in future years, harming our business and results of operations, unless we are able to offset these higher fuel prices through higher fares.

 

If we are unable to meet our cost reduction goals, our financial condition may suffer.

 

We, along with other airlines, have announced aggressive cost reduction goals that are an important part of our business strategy of offering the best value to passengers through competitive fares while at the same time achieving acceptable profit margins and return on capital. We believe having a lower cost structure better positions us to be able to grow our business and take advantage of market opportunities. For 2005, our non-fuel operating costs were slightly higher year over year, and we expect those costs to decline somewhat in 2006. If we are unable to further reduce our non-fuel unit costs, we would likely not be able to achieve our growth plan and our financial results may suffer.

 

We have incurred operating losses in each year since 2000 and may incur operating losses in the future. In addition, our quarterly results can fluctuate substantially.

 

In each year since 2000, we have incurred operating losses. For the year ended December 31, 2005, we incurred an operating loss of $7.4 million, and prior to that we incurred operating losses of $79.8 million and $17.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2004 and 2003, respectively. However, in 2005, when considering the benefit from fuel hedges that settled during the period that are included in nonoperating income (expense), we would have had an operating profit of $104.8 million. The inability to sustain profitability may hinder our ability to honor our existing obligations as they become due, to obtain future equity or debt financing or to do so on commercial terms, and to sustain and expand our business.

 

In addition, our quarterly operating results can fluctuate substantially due to a variety of factors including seasonal variations in traffic, the timing of various expenditures, and weather. Because expenses of an aircraft flight do not vary significantly with the number of passengers carried, a relatively small change in the number of passengers or in pricing has a disproportionate effect on an airline’s operating and financial results. Accordingly, a minor shortfall in expected revenue levels could cause a disproportionately negative impact on our results of operations. Due to these factors, as well as other risk factors described in this prospectus, quarter-to-quarter comparisons of our results may not be good indicators of our future performance. In addition, it is possible that in any future quarter our operating results could be below expectations of investors and any published reports or analyses regarding our company. In that event, the price of Air Group’s common stock could decline, perhaps substantially.

 

Our indebtedness and other fixed obligations could increase the volatility of earnings and otherwise restrict our activities.

 

We have and will continue to have for the foreseeable future a significant amount of indebtedness. Due to our high fixed costs, including aircraft lease commitments and debt service, a decrease in revenues results in a disproportionately greater decrease in earnings. As of both December 31, 2005 and 2004, we had approximately $1 billion of indebtedness outstanding, approximately $859 million and $892 million of which was secured by flight equipment and real property. In addition to long-term debt, we have significant other fixed obligations under operating leases related to our aircraft, airport terminal space, other airport facilities and office space. As of December 31, 2005, future minimum lease payments under noncancelable operating leases with initial or remaining terms in excess of one year were approximately $934 million for 2006 through 2009 and an aggregate of $1 billion for the years thereafter.

 

43


Table of Contents

As of December 31, 2005, we had commitments totaling $1.2 billion to purchase 48 additional aircraft through 2011. We also had operating lease commitments for two aircraft to be delivered in 2006. We will incur additional debt and other fixed obligations as we take delivery of new aircraft and other equipment and if we are able to expand into new markets.

 

Our outstanding indebtedness and other fixed obligations could have important consequences. For example, they could:

 

    limit our ability to obtain additional financing for funding our growth strategy, capital expenditures, acquisitions, working capital or other purposes,

 

    require us to dedicate a material portion of our operating cash flow to fund lease payments and interest payments on indebtedness, thereby reducing funds available for other purposes, and

 

    limit our ability to withstand competitive pressures and reduce our flexibility in responding to changing business and economic conditions, including reacting to any economic slowdown in the airline industry.

 

Our ability to make scheduled payments on our debt and other fixed obligations will depend on our future operating performance and cash flow, which in turn will depend on prevailing economic and political conditions and financial, competitive, regulatory, business and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. We cannot assure you that we will be able to generate sufficient cash flow from our operations to pay our debt and other fixed obligations as they become due, and if we fail to do so our business could be harmed. If we are unable to make payments on our debt and other fixed obligations, we could be forced to renegotiate those obligations or obtain additional equity or debt financing. To the extent we finance our activities with additional debt, we may become subject to financial and other covenants that may restrict our ability to pursue our growth strategy. We cannot assure you that our renegotiation efforts would be successful or timely or that we could refinance our obligations on acceptable terms, if at all.

 

We may not be able to obtain or secure financing for our new aircraft.

 

As of December 31, 2005, we had commitments to purchase 48 new aircraft through 2011. We have secured financing for a portion of those aircraft. To complete the purchase of the remaining aircraft, which we intend to do, to replace retiring aircraft and to grow our fleet, we must secure financing, which we may not be able to do on acceptable terms, or at all. There can be no guarantee that additional financing will be available when required. Our inability to secure the financing could have a material adverse effect on our cash balances or result in delays in or our inability to take delivery of aircraft, which would impair our growth plans.

 

Our failure to successfully implement Alaska’s growth strategy could harm our business.

 

Alaska’s growth strategy involves adding additional Boeing 737-800 aircraft, increasing the frequency of flights to markets we currently serve, expanding into new markets and increasing flight connection opportunities. It is critical that we achieve our growth strategy in order for our business to attain economies of scale and to sustain or improve our results of operations. We may need to obtain additional gates and other operational facilities at our key airports in order to increase the frequency of our flights to these airports. Increasing the number of markets we serve depends on our ability to access suitable airports located in our targeted geographic markets in a manner that is consistent with our cost strategy. Any condition that would deny, limit or delay our access to airports we serve or seek to serve in the future will constrain our ability to grow. Expansion will also require additional skilled personnel, equipment and facilities. Our inability to hire and retain skilled personnel or to secure the required equipment and facilities efficiently and cost-effectively may negatively affect our ability to achieve our growth strategy. We cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully expand our existing markets, establish new markets or increase our flight connection opportunities, and our failure to do so could harm our business.

 

44


Table of Contents

Growth of our fleet and expansion of our markets and services may also strain our existing management resources and systems to the point that they may no longer be adequate to support our operations, requiring us to make significant expenditures in these areas. We cannot assure you that we will be able to sufficiently develop our systems and infrastructure on a timely basis, and the failure to do so could harm our business.

 

A significant change to our fleet could negatively affect our financial performance.

 

Alaska currently operates a fleet of 84 Boeing 737 aircraft and 26 MD-80 aircraft. The MD-80 aircraft have an average age of nearly 14 years, the longest of any of our fleet types with the exception of the B737-200C aircraft, which are scheduled to be retired by the end of 2007. Generally, older aircraft have higher maintenance costs, consume more fuel and have lower reliability and customer acceptance than newer aircraft. In addition, having a mixed fleet of MD-80 and B737 aircraft adds operational complexity, results in higher crew and training costs, and drives the need for more inventory parts.

 

Although no decision has been made, as part of our simplification and unit cost reduction initiatives, we may seek to accelerate the retirement of our MD-80 fleet in the future. We expect to look closely at this option during the first quarter of 2006 and discuss it with our Board of Directors. If we make a decision to exit this fleet type, we would likely have to make substantial lease termination payments to lessors of the 11 leased MD-80 aircraft, which could negatively impact our financial performance. In addition, we believe that we would incur a loss upon disposal of owned MD-80 aircraft as the carrying value of those aircraft exceeds the current market value. This loss would be recognized as an impairment charge if and when any such decision is made and would thus have an adverse impact on our shareholders’ equity. The market value of MD-80 aircraft fluctuates and is highly dependent on factors out of our control, including the number of aircraft available in the market and fleet changes by other airlines and demand for those aircraft by other carriers. As of December 31, 2005, our 15 owned MD-80s have a combined net book value of approximately $205 million.

 

If Alaska fails to comply with financial covenants, some of its financing agreements may be terminated.

 

Alaska is required to comply with specific financial covenants in certain agreements. For example, on March 25, 2005, Alaska entered into a $160 million revolving credit facility, which contains certain restrictive financial covenants such as a minimum level of net worth covenant, a maximum level of debt and leases to net worth covenant, and a minimum level of fixed charge coverage covenant. We cannot ensure that Alaska will be able to comply with these covenants or provisions or that these requirements will not limit our ability to finance our future operations or capital needs. Alaska’s inability to comply with the required financial covenants or provisions could result in default under these financing agreements and could result in a cross default under Alaska’s other financing agreements. In the event of any such default and our inability to obtain a waiver of the default, all amounts outstanding under the agreements could be declared to be immediately due and payable. If Alaska did not have sufficient available cash to pay all amounts that became due and payable, Air Group or Alaska would have to seek additional debt or equity financing, which may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. If such financing were not available, Alaska would have to sell assets in order to obtain the funds required to make accelerated payments or risk its aircraft becoming subject to repossession, which could harm our business.

 

A downgrade in our corporate credit rating may indicate a decline in our business and in our ability to make interest or principal payments on our outstanding debt.

 

In the past, Air Group’s credit ratings were downgraded by both S&P and Moody’s. We cannot be assured that our corporate credit ratings will not decline in the future. If any of our ratings decline, this may indicate a decline in our business and may affect the trading prices, if any, of our common stock or convertible notes and may make additional borrowing more expensive and difficult to obtain.

 

45


Table of Contents

We depend on a few key markets to be successful

 

Our strategy is to focus on serving a few key markets, including Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and Anchorage. A significant portion of our flights occurs to and from our Seattle hub. In 2005, traffic to and from Seattle accounted for 62% of our total traffic.

 

We believe that concentrating our service offerings in this way allows us to maximize our investment in personnel, aircraft, and ground facilities, as well as to gain greater advantage from sales and marketing efforts in those regions. As a result, we remain highly dependent on our key markets. Our business would be harmed by any circumstances causing a reduction in demand for air transportation in our key markets, such as adverse changes in local economic conditions, negative public perception about our product or significant price increases linked to increases in airport access costs and fees imposed on passengers. An increase in competition in our key markets could also cause us to reduce fares or take other competitive measures that harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Weakness in the general economy, and in the airline industry in particular, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We believe that airline traffic, including business traffic, is particularly sensitive to changes in economic growth and expectations. Low ticket yields and escalating fuel prices contributed to much of the airline industry suffering significant losses from 2001 through 2004. In addition, the war in Iraq or other conflicts or events in the Middle East or elsewhere may impact the economy and result in an adverse impact on the airline business. Similarly, an outbreak of a disease that affects travel behavior, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or avian flu, could have a material adverse impact on the airline industry. Any general reduction in airline passenger traffic as a result of any of these factors would harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks negatively impacted our industry and our business and further threatened or actual terrorist attacks, or other hostilities involving the U.S., may significantly harm our industry and our business in the future.

 

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath have negatively impacted the airline industry, including our company. Because a substantial portion of our costs are fixed in the short-term, we were unable to offset the reduction in customer demand through cost savings, and operating results were harmed to a proportionately greater degree. Additional terrorist attacks, the fear of such attacks or other hostilities involving the U.S. could have a further significant negative impact on the airline industry, including us, and could:

 

    significantly reduce passenger traffic and yields due to a potentially dramatic drop in demand for air travel;

 

    increase security and insurance costs;

 

    make it more difficult for us to obtain war risk or other insurance;

 

    increase fuel costs and the volatility of fuel prices;

 

    increase costs from airport shutdowns, flight cancellations and delays resulting from security breaches and perceived safety threats; and

 

    result in a grounding of commercial air traffic by the FAA.

 

The occurrence of any of these events would harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

46


Table of Contents

Our insurance costs dramatically increased immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and further increases in insurance costs would harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, aviation insurers dramatically increased airline insurance premiums and significantly reduced the maximum amount of insurance available to airlines for third-party claims resulting from acts of terrorism, war or similar events to $50 million per event and in the aggregate. In light of this development, under the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act and the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as most recently amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2006, the government continues to offer domestic airlines either (i) third-party liability war risk coverage above $50 million, or (ii) in lieu of commercial war risk insurance, full hull, comprehensive and third-party liability war risk coverage. This coverage provides for the same limits of war and allied perils coverage for hull and comprehensive insurance and twice the limits of third-party liability insurance carried by the airline on September 11, 2001.

 

Although our insurance costs have decreased since the dramatic increase following September 11, 2001, aviation insurers could increase their premiums again in the event of additional terrorist attacks, hijackings, airline accidents or other events adversely affecting the airline industry. Furthermore, the full hull, comprehensive and third-party war risk insurance provided by the government is mandated through August 31, 2006. While the government may extend the deadline for when it will stop providing such coverage, we cannot be certain that any extension will occur, or if it does, how long the extension will last. It is expected that, should the government stop providing such coverage to the airline industry, the premiums charged by aviation insurers for this coverage will be substantially higher than the premiums currently charged by the government and the coverage will be much more limited, including smaller aggregate limits and short cancellation periods (i.e. 7 days or, in the case of certain events, a lesser period, including immediate termination). Significant increases in insurance premiums would adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Many of our employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. A failure to negotiate new agreements, or to do so on terms competitive with the labor costs and practices of our competitors, could disrupt our business and increase our costs.

 

As of December 31, 2005, labor unions represented approximately 84% of Alaska’s and 46% of Horizon’s employees. Labor costs generally are a significant component of our total expenses, comprising approximately 31% and 35% of our total operating expenses in 2005 and 2004, respectively. Each of our different represented employee groups has separate collective bargaining agreements, and may make demands that would increase our operating expenses and adversely affect our profitability. Three of these agreements are currently subject to mediated negotiations through the National Labor Relations Act process. If we are unable to reach agreement on the terms of any collective bargaining agreement with any group of our employees or were to experience widespread employee dissatisfaction, we could be subject to work slowdowns or stoppages. We could also become subject to protests or picketing by organized labor groups representing our employees. Any of these events would be disruptive to our operations and could harm our business. In the event any agreement we reach with an organized labor group requires us to pay wages or to incur costs that are materially higher than those we currently pay or we are unable to fully offset such increased costs through fare increases, our expenses would increase and our operating margin would be harmed. In addition, to the extent we are unable to maintain the outsourcing or subcontracting of certain services for our business, we would incur substantial costs, including costs associated with hiring new employees, in order to perform these services in-house.

 

Our continuing obligation to fund our traditional pension plans could negatively affect our ability to compete in the marketplace because some of our competitors have either eliminated such obligations through bankruptcy or never had traditional pension plans in place. We operate in a highly competitive industry and our high labor costs or any increases to these costs could affect our ability to compete.

 

47


Table of Contents

Our business could be harmed if we are unable to attract and retain qualified personnel at reasonable costs.

 

We compete against the major U.S. airlines and other businesses for labor in many highly skilled positions. If we are unable to hire, train and retain qualified employees at a reasonable cost, or if we lose the services of key personnel we may be unable to grow or sustain our business and our operating results and business prospects could be harmed. We may also have difficulty replacing management or other key personnel who leave and, therefore, the loss of any of these individuals could harm our business.

 

Our reputation and financial results could be harmed in the event of an airline accident or incident.

 

An accident or incident involving one of our aircraft could involve a significant loss of life and result in a loss of faith in our airlines by the flying public. In addition, we could experience significant potential claims from injured passengers and surviving relatives, as well as costs for the repair or replacement of a damaged aircraft and its consequential temporary or permanent loss from service. Although we believe that we currently maintain liability insurance in amounts and of the type generally consistent with industry practice, the amount of such coverage may not be adequate and we may be forced to bear substantial losses from an accident. Substantial claims resulting from an accident in excess of our related insurance coverage would harm our business and financial results. Moreover, any aircraft accident or incident, even if fully insured and even if it does not involve one of our airlines, could cause a public perception that our airlines or the equipment they fly is less safe or reliable than other transportation alternatives, which would harm our business.

 

We rely on third-party vendors for certain critical activities.

 

We have historically relied on outside vendors for a variety of services and functions critical to our business, including airframe and engine maintenance, ground handling, fueling, computer reservation system hosting and software maintenance. As part of our cost control efforts, our reliance on outside vendors has recently increased and may continue to do so. In September 2004, Alaska began subcontracting the remainder of its heavy aircraft maintenance to outside vendors. In addition, Alaska retained outside suppliers for fleet service and facilities maintenance. In May 2005, Alaska subcontracted out its ground handling services at Seattle-Tacoma Airport to a vendor that provides similar services to Alaska and other carriers at many other locations.

 

Our increased use of outside vendors increases our exposure to several risks. In the event that one or more vendors goes into bankruptcy, ceases operation or fails to perform as promised, replacement services may not be readily available at competitive rates, or at all. Although we monitor our vendors for quality control, if one of our vendors fails to perform adequately we may experience increased costs, delays, maintenance issues, safety issues or negative public perception of our airline. In late 2005 and early 2006, Alaska experienced a number of negative press reports following several aircraft incidents in Seattle. The Company has taken steps to increase supervision and training of vendor personnel in order to reduce the risk of further incidents and negative publicity. Vendor bankruptcies, unionization, regulatory compliance issues or significant changes in the competitive marketplace among suppliers could adversely affect vendor services or force Alaska to renegotiate existing agreements on less favorable terms. These events could result in disruptions in Alaska’s operations or increases in its cost structure.

 

Our operations are often affected by factors beyond our control, including traffic congestion at airports, weather conditions and increased security measures, any of which could harm our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Like other airlines, our operations are subject to delays caused by factors beyond our control, including air traffic congestion at airports, adverse weather conditions and increased security measures, including measures imposed in response to security breaches. Delays frustrate passengers, reduce aircraft utilization and increase costs, all of which in turn affect our profitability. During periods of fog, snow, rain, freezing rain, storms or other adverse weather conditions, flights may be canceled or significantly delayed. Due to our geographic area of operations, we believe a significant portion of our operation is more susceptible to adverse weather conditions than many of our competitors. Cancellations or delays due to weather conditions, traffic control problems and breaches in security could harm our financial condition and results of operations.

 

48


Table of Contents

Increases in government taxes and fees could reduce demand for air travel and harm our business.

 

Airlines pay or are responsible for collecting a number of different taxes and fees including, but not limited to, airport facility charges, immigration fees, security fees, excise taxes on ticket sales, and fuel taxes. We believe the demand for air travel is highly sensitive to fare levels. Although law makers may impose additional fees and view them as “pass-through costs,” we believe that a higher total ticket price in the eyes of the consumer will influence their purchase and travel decisions and may result in an overall decline in passenger traffic, which would harm our business.

 

Moreover, we believe that the impact of higher fixed-rate fees is proportionally greater for low fare carriers, carriers with a high percentage of leisure travelers, and carriers that fly relatively short segments. Because Alaska carries many leisure travelers and Horizon flies many short haul segments, we believe higher security fees and other fee increases generally could negatively impact Air Group more than some of our competitors.

 

Changes in government regulation imposing additional requirements and restrictions on our operations could increase our operating costs and result in service delays and disruptions.

 

Airlines are subject to extensive regulatory and legal requirements, both domestically and internationally, that involve significant compliance costs. In the last several years, Congress has passed laws, and the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration (the “FAA”) have issued regulations, relating to the maintenance and operation of airlines that have required significant expenditures. For example, the FAA has issued regulations covering, among other things, security measures, collision avoidance systems, noise abatement, environmental restrictions, safety procedures and maintenance regulations. Similarly, many aspects of an airline’s operations are subject to increasingly stringent federal, state and local laws protecting the environment. Additionally, because of significantly higher security and other costs incurred by airports since September 11, 2001, many airports have increased their rates and charges to air carriers. Additional laws, regulations, taxes and airport rates and charges have been proposed from time to time that could significantly increase the cost of airline operations or reduce the demand for air travel. If adopted, these measures could have the effect of raising ticket prices, reducing revenue and/or increasing costs.

 

We rely heavily on automated systems to operate our business and any failure of these systems could harm our business.

 

We depend on automated systems to operate our business, including our computerized airline reservation system, our telecommunication systems and our website. We also issue a substantial number of our tickets to passengers as electronic tickets. We depend on our computerized reservation system to be able to issue, track and accept these electronic tickets. In order for our operations to work efficiently, our website and reservation system must be able to accommodate a high volume of traffic and deliver important flight information. Substantial or repeated website, reservations system or telecommunication systems failures could reduce the attractiveness of our services and cause our customers to purchase tickets from another airline. In addition, we rely on other automated systems for crew scheduling, flight dispatch, and other operational needs. Any disruption in these systems could result in the loss of important data, increase our expenses and possibly cause us to temporarily cease our operations.

 

We rely on partner airlines for code share and frequent flyer marketing arrangements

 

Alaska and Horizon are parties to marketing agreements with a number of domestic and international air carriers, or “partners”, including but not limited to American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines. These agreements provide that certain flight segments operated by us are held out as partner “codeshare” flights and that certain partner flights are held out for sale as Alaska codeshare flights. In addition, the agreements generally provide that members of Alaska’s Mileage Plan program can earn miles on or redeem

 

49


Table of Contents

miles for partner flights and vice versa. We receive a significant amount of revenue from flights sold under code share arrangements. In addition, we believe that the frequent flyer arrangements are an important part of our Mileage Plan program. The loss of a significant partner or certain partner flights could have a negative impact on our revenues or the attractiveness of our Mileage Plan, which we believe is a source of competitive advantage. In September 2005, both Northwest and Delta filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Either carrier could propose plans of reorganization that would seek to modify or terminate some or all of these agreements.

 

We are dependent on a limited number of suppliers for aircrafts and parts.

 

Alaska is dependent on Boeing as its sole supplier for aircraft and many aircraft parts. Horizon is similarly dependent on Bombardier. As a result, we are more vulnerable to any problems associated with the supply of those aircrafts and parts, including design defects, mechanical problems, contractual performance by the manufacturers, or adverse perception by the public that would result in customer avoidance or in actions by the FAA resulting in an inability to operate our aircraft. Carriers that operate a more diversified fleet are better positioned than we are to manage such events.

 

Horizon’s results are partly dependent on Frontier JetExpress, which is dependent on Frontier Airlines.

 

Horizon operates regional jet service branded as Frontier JetExpress under a 12-year agreement with Frontier Airlines that began in January 2004. Currently, this service represents approximately 23% of Horizon’s total capacity and approximately 9% of Horizon’s passenger revenue. Under the arrangement, Frontier Airlines pays Horizon the expected costs of providing the service plus a base markup. If Frontier were to have financial difficulties and find it necessary to terminate the agreement, we would have significant excess capacity that we would have to deploy elsewhere. There can be no assurance that this excess capacity could be deployed in profitable markets and our unit operating costs would likely increase.

 

ITEM 7A.  QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURE ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

We have interest rate risk in our floating rate debt obligations and our available for sale marketable investment portfolio, and commodity price risk in jet fuel required to operate our aircraft fleet. We purchase the majority of our jet fuel at prevailing market prices, and seek to manage market risk through execution of a documented hedging strategy and other means. We have market sensitive instruments in the form of fixed-rate debt instruments and financial derivative instruments used to hedge our exposure to jet fuel price increases. We do not purchase or hold any derivative financial instruments for trading purposes.

 

Fuel Prices

 

We utilize derivative financial instruments as hedges to decrease our exposure to the volatility of jet fuel prices. We believe there is risk in not hedging against the possibility of fuel price increases. See Note 11 in the Consolidated Financial Statements for a summary of our hedge positions. We estimate that a 10% increase or decrease in crude oil prices as of December 31, 2005 would increase and decrease the fair value of our hedging portfolio by approximately $33.6 million and $32.7 million, respectively.

 

Please refer to pages 21 and 22, as well as to Note 11 in the consolidated financial statements, for company specific data on the results of our fuel hedging program.

 

Financial Market Risk

 

We have exposure to market risk associated with changes in interest rates related primarily to our debt obligations and short-term investment portfolio. Our debt obligations include variable-rate instruments, which have exposure to changes in interest rates. This exposure is somewhat mitigated through our variable-rate

 

50


Table of Contents

investment portfolio. A hypothetical 10% change in the average interest rates incurred on variable-rate debt during 2005 would correspondingly change our net earnings and cash flows associated with these items by approximately $2.7 million. In order to help mitigate the risk of interest rate fluctuations, we fixed the interest rates on several of our existing variable-rate debt agreements in 2005. As a result, our variable-rate debt is approximately 44% of our total long-term debt at December 31, 2005 compared to 65% at December 31, 2004.

 

We also have investments in marketable securities, which are exposed to market risk associated with changes in interest rates. If short-term interest rates were to average 1% more than they did in 2005, interest income would increase by approximately 20 basis points.

 

ITEM 8. CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

See Item 15.

 

     1st Quarter

    2nd Quarter

    3rd Quarter

   4th Quarter

 
     2005

    2004

    2005

   2004

    2005

   2004

   2005

    2004

 
     (in millions, except per share)  

Operating revenues

   $ 642.5     $ 598.0     $ 756.5    $ 701.3     $ 845.7    $ 768.2    $ 730.6     $ 656.3  

Operating income (loss)

     (80.9 )     (58.5 )     9.1      (20.6 )     90.2      56.8      (25.8 )     (57.5 )

Income (loss) before accounting change

     9.9       (42.7 )     17.4      (1.7 )     90.2      74.0      (33.0 )     (44.9 )

Net income (loss)

     (80.5 )     (42.7 )     17.4      (1.7 )     90.2      74.0      (33.0 )     (44.9 )

Basic earnings (loss) per share:

                                                             

Income (loss) before accounting change *

     0.36       (1.59 )     0.64      (0.06 )     3.28      2.75      (1.15 )     (1.66 )

Net income (loss) *

     (2.97 )     (1.59 )     0.64      (0.06 )     3.28      2.75      (1.15 )     (1.66 )

Diluted earnings (loss) per share:

                                                             

Income (loss) before accounting change *

     0.34       (1.59 )     0.56      (0.06 )     2.71      2.29      (1.15 )     (1.66 )

Net income (loss) *

     (2.39 )     (1.59 )     0.56      (0.06 )     2.71      2.29      (1.15 )     (1.66 )

* For earnings per share, the sum of the quarters will not equal the total for the full year.

 

ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

None

 

ITEM 9A.   CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

We intend to regularly review and evaluate the design and effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting on an ongoing basis and to improve these controls and procedures over time and to correct any deficiencies that we may discover in the future. While we believe the present design of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting are effective, future events affecting our business may cause us to modify these controls and procedures in the future.

 

Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

As of December 31, 2005, an evaluation was performed under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our chief executive officer and chief financial officer (collectively, our “certifying officers”), of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures. These disclosure controls and procedures are designed to ensure that the information required to be disclosed by us in

 

51


Table of Contents

our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified by the SEC’s rules and forms, and that the information is communicated to our certifying officers on a timely basis.

 

Our certifying officers concluded, based on their evaluation, that disclosure controls and procedures were effective.

 

Internal Controls over Financial Reporting

 

We made no changes in our internal controls over financial reporting during 2005 that our certifying officers concluded materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially effect, our internal controls over financial reporting.

 

Management’s Report on Internal Controls over Financial Reporting

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as such term is defined in Exchange Act Rules 13a-15(f). Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting based on the framework in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (the COSO Framework). Based on our evaluation under the COSO Framework, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2005.

 

Our management’s assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2005 has been audited by KPMG LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report which is included herein.

 

ITEM 9B.   OTHER INFORMATION

 

None

 

52


Table of Contents

PART III

 

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

 

See “Election of Directors,” incorporated herein by reference from the definitive Proxy Statement for Air Group’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 16, 2006. See “Executive Officers of the Registrant” in Part I following Item 4 for information relating to executive officers.

 

Code of Ethics

 

We have adopted a Code of Ethics that applies to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer and persons performing similar functions. A Code of Ethics is a set of written standards that are reasonably designed to deter wrongdoing and to promote:

 

1. Honest and ethical conduct, including the ethical handling of actual or apparent conflicts of interest between personal and professional relationships;

 

2. Full, fair, accurate, timely, and understandable disclosure in reports and documents that a registrant files with, or submits to, the Commission and in other public communications made by the registrant;

 

3. Compliance with applicable governmental laws, rules and regulations;

 

4. The prompt internal reporting of violations of the code to an appropriate person or persons identified in the code; and

 

5. Accountability for adherence to the code.

 

The Code of Ethics is located on our Internet website at www.alaskaair.com under “Company Info—Investor Information—Corporate Governance.” We intend to satisfy the disclosure requirement under Item 10 of Form 8-K regarding an amendment to, or a waiver from, a provision of our Code of Ethics that applies to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or persons performing similar functions that relates to any element of the Code of Ethics definition enumerated above by posting such information on the Corporate Governance portion of our internet website.

 

ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

See “Executive Compensation,” incorporated herein by reference from the definitive Proxy Statement for Air Group’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 16, 2006.

 

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT

 

See “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” and “Equity Compensation Plan Information,” incorporated herein by reference from the definitive Proxy Statement for Air Group’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 16, 2006.

 

ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS

 

See “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions,” incorporated herein by reference from the definitive Proxy Statement for Air Group’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 16, 2006.

 

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

 

See “Principal Accountant Fees and Services,” incorporated herein by reference from the definitive Proxy Statement for Air Group’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 16, 2006.

 

53


Table of Contents

PART IV

 

ITEM 15. EXHIBITS, CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

(a) Consolidated Financial Statements:

 

     Page(s)

Selected Quarterly Consolidated Financial Information (Unaudited)

   51

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2005 and 2004

   56 – 57

Consolidated Statements of Operations for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003

   58

Consolidated Statements of Shareholders’ Equity for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003

   59-60

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003

   61

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

   62 – 90

Reports of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firms

   91 – 93

Consolidated Financial Statement Schedule II, Valuation and Qualifying Accounts, for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003

   94

 

See Exhibit Index on page 95.

 

54


Table of Contents

SIGNATURES

 

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.

 

ALASKA AIR GROUP, INC.

       

By: 

  /s/    WILLIAM S. AYER               Date: February 17, 2006
    William S. Ayer,            
    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer            

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on February 17, 2006 on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities indicated.

 

/s/    WILLIAM S. AYER        


William S. Ayer

   Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

/s/    BRADLEY D. TILDEN        


Bradley D. Tilden

   Executive Vice President/Finance and Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial Officer)

/s/    BRANDON S. PEDERSEN        


Brandon S. Pedersen

   Staff Vice President/Finance and Controller (Principal Accounting Officer)

/s/    PATRICIA M. BEDIENT        


Patricia M. Bedient

   Director

/s/    PHYLLIS J. CAMPBELL        


Phyllis J. Campbell

   Director

/s/    MARK R. HAMILTON        


Mark R. Hamilton

   Director

/s/    BRUCE R. KENNEDY        


Bruce R. Kennedy

   Director

/s/    JESSIE J. KNIGHT, JR.        


Jessie J. Knight, Jr.

   Director

/s/    R. MARC LANGLAND        


R. Marc Langland

   Director

/s/    DENNIS F. MADSEN        


Dennis F. Madsen

   Director

/s/    BYRON I. MALLOTT        


Byron I. Mallott

   Director

/s/    JOHN V. RINDLAUB        


John V. Rindlaub

   Director

/s/    J. KENNETH THOMPSON        


J. Kenneth Thompson

   Director

/s/    RICHARD A. WIEN        


Richard A. Wien

   Director

 

55


Table of Contents

Alaska Air Group, Inc.

 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

 

As of December 31 (In Millions)


   2005

   2004

ASSETS

             

Current Assets

             

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 73.6    $ 28.0

Marketable securities

     909.0      845.9

Securities lending collateral

     112.0      —  

Receivables—less allowance for doubtful accounts (2005—$2.7; 2004—$3.0)

     124.2      99.4

Inventories and supplies—net

     44.0      42.0

Deferred income taxes

     91.8      74.7

Fuel hedge contracts

     101.4      65.7

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

     84.3      86.6
    

  

Total Current Assets

     1,540.3      1,242.3
    

  

Property and Equipment

             

Aircraft and other flight equipment

     2,265.5      2,294.3

Other property and equipment

     481.0      471.8

Deposits for future flight equipment

     305.3      67.1
    

  

       3,051.8      2,833.2

Less accumulated depreciation and amortization

     1,019.6      924.9
    

  

Total Property and Equipment—Net

     2,032.2      1,908.3
    

  

Intangible Assets Related to Additional Minimum Pension Liability

     33.6      38.6
    

  

Fuel Hedge Contracts

     51.9      30.3
    

  

Other Assets

     134.0      115.5
    

  

Total Assets

   $ 3,792.0    $ 3,335.0
    

  

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

56


Table of Contents

Alaska Air Group, Inc.

 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

 

As of December 31 (In Millions Except Share Amounts)


   2005

    2004

 

LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY

                

Current Liabilities

                

Accounts payable

   $ 134.6     $ 143.8  

Accrued aircraft rent

     71.8       75.3  

Accrued wages, vacation and payroll taxes

     105.9       133.0  

Other accrued liabilities

     336.0       301.6  

Air traffic liability

     291.8       250.2  

Securities lending obligation

     112.0       —    

Current portion of long-term debt and capital lease obligations

     113.5       53.4  
    


 


Total Current Liabilities

     1,165.6       957.3  
    


 


Long-Term Debt and Capital Lease Obligations, Net of Current Portion

     969.1       989.6  
    


 


Other Liabilities and Credits

                

Deferred income taxes

     156.4       173.6  

Deferred revenue

     291.1       264.8  

Other liabilities

     382.2       284.9  
    


 


       829.7       723.3  
    


 


Commitments and Contingencies

                

Shareholders’ Equity

                

Preferred stock, $1 par value Authorized: 5,000,000 shares, none issued or outstanding

     —         —    

Common stock, $1 par value Authorized: 100,000,000 shares Issued: 2005—35,932,925 shares 2004—29,777,388 shares

     35.9       29.8  

Capital in excess of par value

     710.3       496.5  

Treasury stock (common), at cost: 2005—2,478,779 shares 2004—2,651,368 shares

     (56.6 )     (60.5 )

Deferred stock-based compensation

     (8.1 )     (3.4 )

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

     (132.0 )     (81.6 )

Retained earnings

     278.1       284.0  
    


 


       827.6       664.8  
    


 


Total Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity

   $ 3,792.0     $ 3,335.0  
    


 


 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

57


Table of Contents

Alaska Air Group, Inc.

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

 

Year Ended December 31
(In Millions Except Per Share Amounts)


   2005

    2004

    2003

 

Operating Revenues

                        

Passenger

   $ 2,728.7     $ 2,494.6     $ 2,243.0  

Freight and mail

     94.1       90.3       82.3  

Other - net

     152.5       138.9       119.5  
    


 


 


Total Operating Revenues

     2,975.3       2,723.8       2,444.8  
    


 


 


Operating Expenses

                        

Wages and benefits

     923.6       967.5       941.6  

Contracted services

     132.4       108.4       100.1  

Aircraft fuel

     722.8       540.7       363.3  

Aircraft maintenance

     228.5       184.1       183.8  

Aircraft rent

     187.0       187.4       194.9  

Food and beverage service

     50.2       51.9       61.0  

Selling expenses

     157.7       144.9       133.2  

Depreciation and amortization

     143.4       142.6       133.0  

Landing fees and other rentals

     208.4       185.1       164.9  

Other

     208.3       197.4       186.5  

Restructuring charges

     20.4       53.4       —    

Impairment of aircraft and related spare parts

     —         40.2       —    
    


 


 


Total Operating Expenses

     2,982.7       2,803.6       2,462.3  
    


 


 


Operating Loss

     (7.4 )     (79.8 )     (17.5 )
    


 


 


Nonoperating Income (Expense)

                        

Interest income

     30.9       24.5       12.8  

Interest expense

     (63.0 )     (51.9 )     (47.8 )

Interest capitalized

     8.9       1.7       2.3  

U.S. government compensation

     —         —         71.4  

Fuel hedging gains

     173.9       85.5       6.4  

Other - net

     (6.1 )     (0.6 )     1.4  
    


 


 


       144.6       59.2       46.5  
    


 


 


Income (loss) before income tax and accounting change

     137.2       (20.6 )     29.0  

Income tax expense (benefit)

     52.7       (5.3 )     15.5  
    


 


 


Income (loss) before accounting change

     84.5       (15.3 )     13.5  

Cumulative effect of accounting change, net of tax

     (90.4 )     —         —    
    


 


 


Net Income (Loss)

   $ (5.9 )   $ (15.3 )   $ 13.5  
    


 


 


Basic Earnings (Loss) Per Share:

                        

Income (loss) before accounting change

   $ 3.06     $ (0.57 )   $ 0.51  

Cumulative effect of accounting change

     (3.27 )     —         —    
    


 


 


Net Earnings (Loss) Per Share

   $ (0.21 )   $ (0.57 )   $ 0.51  
    


 


 


Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share:

                        

Income (loss) before accounting change

   $ 2.65     $ (0.57 )   $ 0.51  

Cumulative effect of accounting change

     (2.66 )     —         —    
    


 


 


Net Earnings (Loss) Per Share

   $ (0.01 )   $ (0.57 )   $ 0.51  
    


 


 


Unaudited Pro Forma Results (assuming change in method of accounting was applied retrospectively):

                        

Pro forma net income (loss)

     NA     $ (11.2 )   $ 11.1  
    


 


 


Pro Forma Basic Earnings (Loss) Per Share

     NA     $ (0.42 )   $ 0.42  
    


 


 


Pro Forma Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share

     NA     $ (0.42 )   $ 0.42  
    


 


 


Shares used for computation:

                        

Basic

     27.609       26.859       26.648  

Diluted

     33.917       26.859       26.730  

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

58


Table of Contents

Alaska Air Group, Inc.

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY

 

(In Millions)


  Common
Shares
Outstanding


  Common
Stock


  Capital in
Excess of
Par Value


  Treasury
Stock,
at Cost


    Deferred
Stock-Based
Compensation


    Accumulated
Other
Comprehensive
Loss


    Retained
Earnings


    Total

 

Balances at December 31, 2002

  26.573   $ 29.3   $ 483.3   $ (62.5 )   $ 0.0     $ (80.2 )   $ 285.8     $ 655.7  
   
 

 

 


 


 


 


 


2003 net income

                                            13.5       13.5  

Other comprehensive income (loss):

                                                       

Officers supplemental retirement plan net of $1.0 tax benefit

                                    (2.0 )             (2.0 )
                                   


               

Related to marketable securities:

                                                       

Change in fair value

                                    (1.2 )                

Reclassification to earnings

                                    (0.1 )                

Income tax effect

                                    0.5                  
                                   


               
                                      (0.8 )             (0.8 )
                                   


               

Related to fuel hedges:

                                                       

Change in fair value

                                    27.4                  

Reclassification to earnings

                                    (29.4 )                

Income tax effect

                                    0.8                  
                                   


               
                                      (1.2 )             (1.2 )
                                   


               

Minimum pension liability adjustment net of $3.3 tax expense

                                    5.2               5.2  
                                   


         


Total comprehensive income

                                                    14.7  

Treasury stock sales

  0.024     —             0.6                               0.6  

Stock issued for employee stock purchase plan

  0.135     0.1     2.3                                     2.4  

Stock issued under stock plans, including $0.1 tax benefit

  0.030     0.1     0.7                              </