MIAMI – Alaska Air Group (AS) is reporting its financial results today. Reported net loss for the fourth quarter and full-year 2020 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is US$430m (US$3.47 per diluted share) and US$1.3bn ($10.59 per diluted share).

These results compare to the fourth quarter 2019 net income of US$181m (US$1.46 per diluted share) and full-year 2019 net income of US$769m (US$6.19 per diluted share).

Excluding payroll support program wage offsets, special items, and market-to-market fuel hedging adjustments, the adjusted net loss for the group was US$316m in the quarter and US$1.3bn for the year.

Looking at year-to-year results, in 2019, the group had (after adjustments) a net profit of US$181m for Q4 and an adjusted net income of US$798m for the year.

Alaska reported a net debt of US$1.7. This was the same as in 2019, despite a 59% decline in operating revenues in 2020.

“We are not out of the woods, but we are seeing signs of brighter days ahead,” said Air Group CEO Brad Tilden. “The people of Alaska and Horizon have really shown their grit over the past year. The rest of the leadership team and I could not be more proud of them. We’re positioned to come out of this crisis with our balance sheet unimpaired and our competitive advantages intact. Both of these set us up for a strong future and a long runway for growth.”

Alaska Air Group operates two airlines, mainline carrier Alaska Airlines and regional carrier Horizon Air (QX).

Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Liquidity


The group held US$3.3bn in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of December 31, 2020. It accessed approximately US$5bn in new liquidity in 2020. Alaska raised about US$1.2bn of this in the capital markets (i.e., stock markets) and approximately US$600m in bank financing.

Like other airlines have done, Alaska reached an agreement with the US Treasury to receive an extension of payroll support totaling US$533m, US$266m of which was received on January 15, 2021.

Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways

Fleet


Regarding its fleet, Alaska:

  • Announced plans to expand the mainline fleet and restructure the existing aircraft purchase agreement with Boeing.
  • In total, Air Group will take delivery of 68 737-9 MAX aircraft between 2021 and 2024, inclusive of 32 previous purchase commitments and 13 aircraft to be leased from Air Lease Corporation.
  • Took delivery of Alaska’s first 737-9 MAX aircraft on January 24, 2021, should enter revenue service on March 1, 2021.
  • Permanently removed an additional 20 Airbus A320 aircraft from the fleet in the fourth quarter, resulting in 40 Airbus aircraft removed in 2020.
  • A total of 31 Airbus aircraft remain in the operating fleet as of the end of the year.
Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Operational


Some highlights of its operations include:

  • The group announced seven new routes in the fourth quarter, including connecting Anchorage to Las Vegas, Denver, and San Francisco
  • Expanded service from Southern California to Austin and New York
  • Eliminated change fees and extended the flexible travel policy for tickets purchased through March 31, 2021
  • Implemented Next-Level Care initiative, which includes more than 100 measures designed to create a safe experience for guests and employees
  • Was named the safest U.S. airline by AirlineRatings.com in their annual Top 20 Safest Airline report
  • Partnered with healthcare providers to offer rapid and standardized COVID-19 testing for those guests traveling to destinations that require a negative result
  • Received diamond level certification from the Airline Passenger Experience Association for the health and safety standards Alaska and Horizon Air implemented to keep guests safe throughout their journey
  • Launched pre-clearance program for guests traveling to the Hawaiian Islands from the West Coast with an approved negative COVID-19 test

Find a deep dive of the group’s report on the web page.


Featured image: Brandon Farris/Airways