(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) -- ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS You should read the following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with the financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this annual report. Our discussion and analysis of fiscal year 2019 compared to fiscal year 2018 is included herein. Unless expressly stated otherwise, for discussion and analysis of fiscal year 2017 items and fiscal year 2018 compared to fiscal year 2017, please refer to Item 7 of Part II, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, which was filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on February 13, 2019 and is incorporated herein by reference.
2019 Year in Review
Fare revenues. Tickets sold are initially deferred within air traffic liability on the Company's balance sheet. Passenger fare revenues are recognized at time of departure when transportation is provided. All tickets sold by the Company are nonrefundable. An unused ticket expires at the date of scheduled travel and is recognized as revenue at the date of scheduled travel. Passenger revenues reported prior to the adoption of ASU 2014-09 are now reported as fare revenues within passenger
revenues in our disaggregated revenue table within "Notes to the Financial Statements- 3. Revenue Disaggregation."
Other revenues primarily consist of the marketing component of the sale of frequent flyer miles to our credit card partner and commissions revenue from the sale of various items such as hotels and rental cars.
Substantially all of our revenues are denominated in U.S. dollars. We recognize revenues net of certain taxes and airport passenger fees, which are collected by us on behalf of airports and governmental agencies and remitted to the applicable governmental entity or airport on a periodic basis. These taxes and fees include U.S. federal transportation taxes, federal security charges, airport passenger facility charges and foreign arrival and departure taxes. These items are collected from customers at the time they purchase their tickets, but are not included in our revenues. Upon collection from the customer, we record a liability within other current liabilities on our balance sheets and relieve the liability when payments are remitted to the applicable governmental agency or airport.
Distribution. Distribution expense includes all of our direct costs, including the cost of web support, our third-party call center, travel agent commissions and related GDS fees and credit card transaction fees, associated with the sale of our tickets and other products and services.
Ability to Execute our Growth Strategy. Over recent years, we have pursued a high-growth strategy, which we expect to continue. Execution of such a strategy requires us to effectively deploy new flying into our network, as new routes or increased frequency of existing routes develop. New flying may not perform as well as expected or may result in a competitive reaction. Moreover, our growth strategy depends on the timely delivery of aircraft and engines in accordance with the intended delivery schedule in accordance with the applicable agreement. Delivery delays, as we have experienced from time to time in recent years, may cause us to scale back our growth, unless we are able to replace delayed aircraft in the secondary market or otherwise. Finally, our growth strategy relies in part on our ability to obtain additional facilities in airports, some of which are constrained, as well as additional flight crew, maintenance, and other personnel. We expect to experience an increase in our compensation expense to attract and retain qualified personnel.
had no outstanding jet fuel derivatives and we have not engaged in fuel derivative activity since 2015. As of December 31, 2019, we purchased a majority of our aircraft fuel under a single fuel service contract. The cost and future availability of jet fuel cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty. Labor. The airline industry is heavily unionized. The wages, benefits and work rules of unionized airline industry employees are determined by collective bargaining agreements, or CBAs. Relations between air carriers and labor unions in the United States are governed by the RLA. Under the RLA, CBAs generally contain "amendable dates" rather than expiration dates, and the RLA requires that a carrier maintain the existing terms and conditions of employment following the amendable date through a multi-stage and usually lengthy series of bargaining processes overseen by the NMB. This process continues until either the parties have reached agreement on a new CBA, or the parties have been released to "self-help" by the NMB. In most circumstances, the RLA prohibits strikes; however, after release by the NMB, carriers and unions are free to engage in self-help measures such as strikes and lockouts.
interval between heavy maintenance events, the size and makeup of the fleet in future periods and the level of unscheduled maintenance events and their actual costs. Accordingly, we cannot reliably quantify future maintenance expenses for any significant period of time. However, we believe, based on our scheduled maintenance events, maintenance expense and maintenance-related amortization expense in 2020 will be approximately $266 million. In addition, we expect to capitalize approximately $100 million of costs for heavy maintenance during 2020.
As a result of a majority of our fleet being acquired over a relatively short period of time, heavy maintenance scheduled on certain aircraft will overlap, meaning we will incur our most expensive scheduled maintenance obligations on certain aircraft at roughly the same time. These more significant maintenance activities will result in out-of-service periods during which our aircraft will be dedicated to maintenance activities and unavailable to fly revenue service. When accounting for maintenance expense under the deferral method, heavy maintenance is amortized over the shorter of either the remaining lease term or the next estimated heavy maintenance event. As a result, deferred maintenance events occurring closer to the end of the lease term will generally have shorter amortization periods than those occurring earlier in the lease term. This will create higher depreciation and amortization expense specific to any aircraft related to heavy maintenance during the final years of the lease as compared to earlier periods.
Feb 05, 2020
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