Annual Report (10-k)

Date : 02/13/2020 @ 11:04AM
Source : Edgar (US Regulatory)
Stock : Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL)
Quote : 23.975  -4.555 (-15.97%) @ 7:42PM

Annual Report (10-k)

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
Or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission File Number 001-5424
DAL-20191231_G1.JPG
DELTA AIR LINES, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware 58-0218548
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
Post Office Box 20706
Atlanta, Georgia
30320-6001
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (404) 715-2600

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class Trading Symbol Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.0001 per share DAL 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 þ No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes o No þ
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 þ No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer  Non-accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No þ
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2019 was approximately $36.9 billion.
On January 31, 2020, there were outstanding 640,093,995 shares of the registrant's common stock.
This document is also available on our website at http://ir.delta.com/.
Documents Incorporated By Reference
Part III of this Form 10-K incorporates by reference certain information from the registrant's definitive Proxy Statement for its Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.





Table of Contents
Page
1
PART I
2
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12
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18
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23
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PART II
25
27
29
29
31
35
35
36
37
40
41
46
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49
96
96
98
PART III
98
98







Unless otherwise indicated, the terms "Delta," "we," "us," and "our" refer to Delta Air Lines, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Statements in this Form 10-K (or otherwise made by us or on our behalf) that are not historical facts, including statements about our estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, projections or strategies for the future, may be "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or our present expectations. Known material risk factors applicable to Delta are described in "Risk Factors Relating to Delta" and "Risk Factors Relating to the Airline Industry" in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" of this Form 10-K, other than risks that could apply to any issuer or offering. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this report.
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Part I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

General

We are the leading U.S. global airline serving 200 million customers every year. We connect customers across our expansive global network to more than 300 destinations in over 50 countries. We are the world’s largest airline by total revenues and the most profitable with five consecutive years of $5 billion or more in pre-tax income.

We are committed to industry-leading safety and reliability and are consistently among the industry’s best performers. Our employees provide world-class travel experiences for our customers and give back to the communities where they live, work and serve. Our people and service are our strongest competitive advantage creating significant customer satisfaction improvements. Other key competitive advantages include operational reliability, our global network, customer loyalty and our investment grade balance sheet.

We have diversified revenue streams beyond the basic sale of an airline ticket in order to reduce the impact of cyclicality on our results. Our growing partnership with American Express provides a co-brand revenue stream tied to broader consumer spending. Our focus in recent years on premium products and customer segmentation has enhanced our revenue growth and reduced reliance on the most price sensitive customer segment. We also maintain complementary portfolio businesses, such as our Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (“MRO”) division, where we are well positioned for significant organic growth through contractual agreements with jet engine manufacturers.

We are incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware. Our principal executive offices are located at Hartsfield- Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. Our telephone number is (404) 715-2600 and our internet address is www.delta.com. Information contained on our website is not part of, and is not incorporated by reference in, this Form 10-K.

The Delta Brand

We have the world’s most valuable airline brand, one that is mentioned not just among the best global airlines, but also alongside top consumer brands. Over the last decade, we significantly improved the quality and reliability of our operations. As a result, customer satisfaction scores have more than tripled. With operational excellence and best-in-class service, we are earning our customers' trust and preference. Our continued investment in operations, product, service, airports and technology are reshaping customer perception of our brand and driving increased customer loyalty.

Our Global Network and Fleet

We offer more than 5,000 daily departures and as many as 15,000 affiliated departures including the premier SkyTeam alliance, of which Delta is a founding member. We generate over 70% of our passenger revenue from our domestic network, centered around high-margin core hubs in Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit and Salt Lake City. These core hub positions complement strong coastal hub positions in Boston, Los Angeles, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK and Seattle. We have agreements with domestic regional carriers that operate as Delta Connection® to feed traffic to our domestic hubs.

We serve the Transatlantic, Transpacific and Latin America markets directly on Delta and through joint ventures with global airline partners. Internationally, we have significant hubs and market presence in Amsterdam, London-Heathrow, Mexico City, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Seoul-Incheon. We will become the largest U.S. carrier to Tokyo-Haneda in 2020 as we consolidate operations in Tokyo, the preferred airport for the local and corporate markets.

Through innovative alliances with Aeroméxico, Air France-KLM, China Eastern, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia and alliances pending regulatory approval with LATAM Airlines and WestJet, we are bringing more choice to customers worldwide. Our strategic relationships with these international airlines are an important part of our business as they improve our access to markets around the world and enable us to provide customers a more seamless global travel experience across our alliance network. We and our alliance partners collectively serve over 140 countries and more than 900 destinations around the world, extending our network reach to cover approximately 98% of global gross domestic product. The most significant of these arrangements are commercial joint ventures that include joint sales and marketing coordination, co-location of airport facilities and other commercial cooperation arrangements. In some cases, we have reinforced strategic alliances through equity investments where we have opportunity to create deep relationships and maximize commercial cooperation.

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Our network is supported by a fleet of over 1,000 aircraft that is varied in size and capabilities, giving us flexibility to adjust aircraft to the network. We are currently refreshing our fleet, acquiring new, more fuel efficient aircraft with increased premium seating, to replace older aircraft. We are also reducing our fleet complexity with fewer aircraft types. The evolution from a legacy fleet to a more optimal fleet suited to the scale of our network will provide substantial efficiency benefits and further efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.

Expanded Products and Services

Over the last decade we have fundamentally transformed our business. We have invested in our people, our product and our reliability to alter the commodity-like nature of air travel. We have a retail oriented, merchandised approach to distribution with well-defined and differentiated products for our customers. Through improved product segmentation, we offer distinct travel experiences with clear value propositions that enable customer choice. In 2019, approximately one-third of our passenger revenues were from premium products, which include Delta One®, Delta Premium Select, First Class and Delta Comfort+®. Main Cabin products, including Basic Economy, represented approximately half of our revenue in 2019 and provide varying levels of pre-travel flexibility as well as our exceptional service onboard the aircraft.

Our tickets are sold through various distribution channels, with 52% of tickets sold through direct channels. These include digital channels, such as delta.com and the Fly Delta app, and our reservations specialists where we deliver more direct, personalized interactions with our customers at reduced distribution costs. Indirect distribution channels include online travel agencies and traditional "brick and mortar" agencies. We make fare and product information widely available across those channels, ensuring customers always receive the best information and service options.

We are implementing merchandising initiatives across our distribution channels to allow customers to better understand our product offerings, make it easier to buy the products they desire and increase customer satisfaction. This merchandising effort is most effective in Delta's digital channels where customers can compare all product options in a single, easy to understand display.

Innovative Technology to Improve Service and Efficiency

Our objective is to make technology a strategic differentiator. We continue to invest in technological improvements that support our operations and provide tools for our employees. These investments include improvements to infrastructure and technology architecture to unify and improve access to data sources and continue innovations in customer facing applications. This digital transformation is enhancing interactions with our customers and allows our people to deliver more personalized service, further enhancing the customer experience and strengthening our brand.

Through the development of innovative new technologies, we can better serve customers and give our employees the best tools. For our customers, we are making investments in the Fly Delta app, in the airport and onboard our aircraft. We are evolving the Fly Delta app into a digital travel concierge for our customers to offer convenient services on the day of travel and deliver thoughtful notifications to make their travel journeys more seamless. In the airport, we are investing to create a smoother, less stressful travel experience. On board the aircraft, we continue to invest in in-flight entertainment with the most seat-back screens in the sky and free messaging. For our employees, we are investing in applications that allow our people to have more meaningful interactions with our customers, as well as tools to make our employees safer and better able to do their jobs.

Customer Loyalty Program

Our SkyMiles® loyalty program is designed to grow customer loyalty by offering incentives to customers to increase travel on Delta. As Delta's brand has strengthened, the SkyMiles® program has seen an acceleration in membership growth. We see opportunity to continue this momentum as we increase customer engagement and expand mileage redemption options and revamp our co-brand card offerings.

The loyalty program allows program members to earn mileage credit ("miles") for award redemptions such as flights and upgrades, by flying on Delta, our regional carriers and other participating airlines. Miles may also be earned by using certain services offered by program participants, such as credit card companies, hotels, car rental agencies and ridesharing companies. In addition, individuals may purchase miles. Miles do not expire, but are subject to the program rules. We reserve the right to terminate the program with six months advance notice, and to change the program's terms and conditions at any time without notice.

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Our most significant contract to sell miles relates to our co-brand credit card relationship with American Express. In early 2019, we amended our primary co-brand agreement and other related agreements with American Express. The new agreements increase the amount of total benefit that we receive and extend the duration of the relationship to 2029. In 2019, cash sales from American Express totaled $4 billion, which is expected to grow to nearly $7 billion by 2023.

Loyalty program miles can be redeemed for air travel (including upgrades) on Delta and participating airlines, for membership in our Delta Sky Clubs® and for other awards. We are expanding redemption opportunities and recently began enabling customers to redeem miles for bag fees. We offer last-seat availability for travel awards on our own flights (including most Delta Connection flights). Miles are subject to certain transfer restrictions and travel awards on partner airlines are subject to capacity-controlled seating. In 2019, 8.9% of revenue miles flown on Delta were from award travel, as program members redeemed miles in the loyalty program for 20 million award redemptions.

Joint Ventures, Equity Investments and Alliances

Joint Venture Agreements. We have implemented four separate joint venture arrangements with foreign carriers, each of which has been granted antitrust immunity from the U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT"). We have reinforced a number of the agreements through equity investments in those carriers.

Each of our joint venture arrangements provides for joint commercial cooperation with the relevant partner within the geographic scope of the arrangement, including the sharing of revenues and/or profits and losses generated by the parties on the joint venture routes, as well as joint marketing and sales, coordinated pricing and revenue management, network and schedule planning and other coordinated activities with respect to the parties' operations on joint venture routes. Our implemented commercial joint ventures consist of the following:

A combined joint venture with Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic with respect to transatlantic traffic flows. In addition to the joint venture, we own a non-controlling 49% equity stake in Virgin Atlantic Limited, the parent company of Virgin Atlantic Airways and a non-controlling 9% ownership stake in the parent company of Air France and KLM.

A joint venture with Aeroméxico with respect to trans-border traffic flows between the U.S. and Mexico. In addition to the joint venture, we own a non-controlling 51% equity stake in Grupo Aeroméxico, S.A.B. de C.V., the parent company of Aeroméxico. In addition, we and Aeroméxico have established a joint venture relating to an airframe MRO operation located in Queretaro, Mexico.

A joint venture with Korean Air with respect to traffic flows between the United States and certain countries in Asia. In addition to the joint venture, we own a 10% equity stake in Hanjin-KAL, the largest shareholder of Korean Air.

A joint venture with Virgin Australia and its affiliated carriers with respect to traffic flows between North America and Australia/New Zealand.

We have entered into a joint venture agreement with WestJet with respect to trans-border traffic flows between the U.S. and Canada. Canadian authorities have approved the joint venture, but it remains subject to required approvals of the U.S. DOT.

In 2019, we entered into a framework agreement with LATAM Airlines Group S.A. (“LATAM”) to form a strategic alliance. Pursuant to that agreement, we acquired a non-controlling 20% equity stake in LATAM in January 2020. The parties are in the process of finalizing definitive agreements to implement the strategic alliance and once finalized, the agreements will be submitted for approval by regulatory authorities. Pursuant to the framework agreement, we agreed to make transition payments to LATAM totaling $350 million, $200 million of which was disbursed in 2019, and also agreed to acquire four A350 aircraft from LATAM and plan to assume ten of LATAM’s A350 purchase commitments from Airbus, with deliveries through 2025. In order to facilitate the formation of our strategic alliance with LATAM, we have sold our ownership stake in GOL and are winding down our commercial agreements.

Enhanced Commercial Agreements with China Eastern. We own a 3% equity interest in China Eastern, with whom we have a strategic joint marketing and commercial cooperation arrangement covering traffic flows between China and the U.S., which includes reciprocal codesharing, loyalty program participation, airport lounge access and joint sales cooperation.

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SkyTeam. In addition to our marketing alliance agreements with individual foreign airlines, we are a member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance. The other members of SkyTeam are Aeroflot, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeroméxico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, CSA Czech Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Tarom, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Airlines. Through alliance arrangements with other SkyTeam carriers, Delta is able to link its network with the route networks of the other member airlines, providing opportunities to increase connecting traffic while offering enhanced customer service through reciprocal codesharing and loyalty program participation, airport lounge access and cargo operations.

Regional Carriers

We have air service agreements with domestic regional air carriers that feed traffic to our route system by serving passengers primarily in small and medium-sized cities in the domestic market. These arrangements enable us to better match capacity with demand in these markets. Approximately 15% of our passenger revenue in 2019 was related to flying by regional air carriers.

Through our regional carrier program, Delta Connection®, we have contractual arrangements with regional carriers to operate aircraft using our "DL" designator code. We currently have contractual arrangements with:

Compass Airlines, LLC ("Compass") and GoJet Airlines, LLC ("GoJet"), both subsidiaries of Trans States Holdings, Inc. ("Trans States");
Endeavor Air, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ours;
Republic Airline, Inc. ("Republic"), a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, Inc.; and
SkyWest Airlines, Inc., a subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc.

We have agreed with each of Compass and GoJet not to renew our existing arrangements and end our relationship with each by the end of 2020.

Our contractual agreements with regional carriers primarily are capacity purchase arrangements, under which we control the scheduling, pricing, reservations, ticketing and seat inventories for the regional carriers' flights operating under our "DL" designator code. We are entitled to all ticket, cargo, mail, in-flight and ancillary revenues associated with these flights. We pay those airlines an amount, as defined in the applicable agreement, which is based on a determination of their cost of operating those flights and other factors intended to approximate market rates for those services. These capacity purchase agreements are long-term agreements, usually with initial terms of at least ten years, which grant us the option to extend the initial term. Certain of these agreements provide us the right to terminate the entire agreement, or in some cases remove some of the aircraft from the scope of the agreement, for convenience at certain future dates.

SkyWest Airlines operates some flights for us under a revenue proration agreement. This proration agreement establishes a fixed dollar or percentage division of revenues for tickets sold to passengers traveling on connecting flight itineraries.

Global Impact

As we connect people with communities, experiences and each other, we are committed to doing our part to build a better world. Giving back to the communities where we live, work and serve is part of our culture, and we have pledged to give one percent of our annual net income back to communities across the globe. As a purpose-driven and values-led company, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact. We were among the leaders in the industry to offer comprehensive onboard recycling to our passengers and are working to reduce our use of single-use plastics. The chief focus of reducing our impact on the environment is jet fuel, which is the primary contributor to our carbon footprint. We continue to focus on increasing fuel efficiency as we replace older aircraft with more fuel-efficient jets and improve the efficiency of our existing aircraft through operational efforts.

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Other Businesses

Cargo

Through our global network, our cargo operations are able to connect the world's major freight gateways. We generate cargo revenues in domestic and international markets through the use of cargo space on regularly scheduled passenger aircraft. We are a member of SkyTeam Cargo, a global airline cargo alliance, whose other members are Aeroflot, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeroméxico Cargo, Air France-KLM Cargo, Alitalia Cargo, China Airlines Cargo, China Cargo Airlines, Czech Airlines Cargo, Korean Air Cargo and Saudia Cargo. SkyTeam Cargo offers a global network spanning six continents.

Related Businesses

We have several other businesses arising from our airline operations. In 2019, the total revenue from these businesses was approximately $1.2 billion.

In addition to providing maintenance and engineering support for our fleet of over 1,000 mainline and regional aircraft, our MRO operation, known as Delta TechOps, serves aviation and airline customers from around the world.

Our vacation wholesale subsidiary, Delta Vacations, provides vacation packages to third-party consumers.

Delta Private Jets, until January 2020 a wholly-owned subsidiary, provides aircraft charters, aircraft management and programs allowing members to purchase flight time by the hour. In January 2020, we combined Delta Private Jets with Wheels Up, establishing one of the world’s largest owned and managed fleets of private aircraft. We now own an equity stake in Wheels Up.

Fuel

Our results of operations are significantly impacted by changes in the price and availability of aircraft fuel. We purchase most of our aircraft fuel under contracts that establish the price based on various market indices and therefore do not provide material protection against price increases or assure the availability of our fuel supplies. We also purchase aircraft fuel on the spot market, from off-shore sources and under contracts that permit the refiners to set the price.

The following table shows our aircraft fuel consumption and costs.
Year
Gallons Consumed(1)
(in millions)
Cost(1)(2)
(in millions)
Average Price Per Gallon(1)(2)
Percentage of Total Operating Expense(1)(2)
2019 4,214    $ 8,519    $ 2.02    21.1  %
2018 4,113    $ 9,020    $ 2.20    23.0  %
2017 4,032    $ 6,756    $ 1.68    19.2  %

(1)Includes the operations of our regional carriers operating under capacity purchase agreements.
(2)Includes the impact of fuel hedge activity and refinery segment results.

Monroe Energy

Our wholly owned subsidiaries, Monroe Energy, LLC and MIPC, LLC (collectively, "Monroe") operate the Trainer refinery and related assets located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The facilities include pipelines and terminal assets that allow the refinery to supply jet fuel to our airline operations throughout the Northeastern U.S., including our New York hubs at LaGuardia and JFK. These companies are distinct from us, operating under their own management teams and with their own boards of managers. We own Monroe as part of our strategy to mitigate the cost of the refining margin reflected in the price of jet fuel, as well as to maintain sufficiency of supply to our New York operations.

Refinery Operations. The facility is capable of refining approximately 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day. In addition to jet fuel, the refinery's production consists of gasoline, diesel and other refined petroleum products ("non-jet fuel products"). Monroe sources domestic and foreign crude oil supply from a variety of providers.

Strategic Agreements. Monroe exchanges the non-jet fuel products the refinery produces with third parties for jet fuel consumed in our airline operations.

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Fuel Hedging Program

Our derivative contracts to hedge the financial risk from changing fuel prices are primarily related to Monroe’s inventory. We may utilize different contract and commodity types in this program and frequently test their economic effectiveness against our financial targets. We closely monitor the hedge portfolio and rebalance the portfolio based on market conditions, which may result in locking in gains or losses on hedge contracts prior to their settlement dates.

Fuel Supply Availability

We are currently able to obtain adequate supplies of aircraft fuel, including fuel produced by Monroe or procured through the exchange of non-jet fuel products the refinery produces, and crude oil for Monroe's operations. However, it is impossible to predict the future availability or price of aircraft fuel and crude oil. Weather-related events, natural disasters, political disruptions or wars involving oil-producing countries, changes in governmental policy concerning aircraft fuel production, transportation, taxes or marketing, changes in refining capacity, environmental concerns and other unpredictable events may result in future fuel supply shortages and fuel price increases.

Competition

The airline industry is highly competitive, marked by significant competition with respect to routes, fares, schedules (both timing and frequency), services, products, customer service and loyalty programs. The industry has evolved through mergers and new entry, both domestically and internationally, and evolution in international alliances. Consolidation in the airline industry, the presence of subsidized government sponsored international carriers, changes in international alliances and the creation of immunized joint ventures have altered, and will continue to alter, the competitive landscape in the industry, resulting in the formation of airlines and alliances with significant financial resources, extensive global networks and competitive cost structures.

Domestic

Our domestic operations are subject to competition from traditional network carriers, including American Airlines and United Airlines, national point-to-point carriers, including Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines, and other discount or ultra low-cost carriers, including Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air, some of which may have lower costs than we do and provide service at low fares to destinations served by us. Point-to-point, discount and ultra low-cost carriers place significant competitive pressure on network carriers in the domestic market. In particular, we face significant competition at our domestic hubs and key airports either directly at those airports or at the hubs of other airlines that are located in close proximity to our hubs and key airports. We also face competition in smaller to medium-sized markets from regional jet operations of other carriers.

International

Our international operations are subject to competition from both foreign and domestic carriers. Competition from government-owned and subsidized carriers in the Gulf region, including Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, is significant. These carriers have large numbers of international widebody aircraft on order and have increased service to the U.S. These carriers' government subsidies have allowed them to grow quickly, reinvest in their product and expand their global presence at the expense of U.S. airlines.

Through alliance and other marketing and codesharing agreements with foreign carriers, U.S. carriers have increased their ability to sell international transportation, such as services to and beyond traditional European and Asian gateway cities. Similarly, foreign carriers have obtained increased access to interior U.S. passenger traffic beyond traditional U.S. gateway cities through these relationships. In particular, alliances formed by domestic and foreign carriers, including SkyTeam, the Star Alliance (among United Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Air Canada and others) and the oneworld alliance (among American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas and others) have enhanced competition in international markets.

In addition, several joint ventures among U.S. and foreign carriers, including our joint ventures, have received grants of antitrust immunity allowing the participating carriers to coordinate schedules, pricing, sales and inventory. Other joint ventures that have received antitrust immunity include a transatlantic alliance among United Airlines, Air Canada and Lufthansa German Airlines, a transpacific joint venture between United Airlines and All Nippon Airways, a transatlantic joint venture among American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia, a transpacific joint venture between American Airlines and Japan Air Lines and a transpacific joint venture between American Airlines and Qantas.

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Regulatory Matters

The DOT and the Federal Aviation Administration (the "FAA") exercise regulatory authority over air transportation in the U.S. The DOT has authority to issue certificates of public convenience and necessity required for airlines to provide domestic air transportation. An air carrier that the DOT finds fit to operate is given authority to operate domestic and international air transportation (including the carriage of passengers and cargo). Except for constraints imposed by regulations regarding "Essential Air Services," which are applicable to certain small communities, airlines may terminate service to a city without restriction.

The DOT has jurisdiction over certain economic and consumer protection matters, such as unfair or deceptive practices and methods of competition, advertising, denied boarding compensation, baggage liability and disabled passenger transportation. The DOT also has authority to review certain joint venture agreements between domestic and international carriers. The DOT engages in regulation of economic matters such as transactions involving allocation of "slots" or similar regulatory mechanisms which limit the rights of carriers to conduct operations at airports where such mechanisms are in place. The FAA has primary responsibility for matters relating to the safety of air carrier flight operations, including airline operating certificates, control of navigable air space, flight personnel, aircraft certification and maintenance and other matters affecting air safety.

Authority to operate international routes and international codesharing arrangements is regulated by the DOT and by the governments of the foreign countries involved. International certificate authorities are also subject to the approval of the U.S. President for conformance with national defense and foreign policy objectives.

The Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, each a division of the Department of Homeland Security, are responsible for certain civil aviation security matters, including passenger and baggage screening at U.S. airports and international passenger prescreening prior to entry into or departure from the U.S.

Airlines are also subject to various other federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations. For example, the U.S. Department of Justice has jurisdiction over airline competition matters. The U.S. Postal Service has authority over certain aspects of the transportation of mail. Labor relations in the airline industry, as discussed below, are generally governed by the Railway Labor Act with oversight by the National Mediation Board. Environmental matters are regulated by various federal, state, local and foreign governmental entities. Privacy of passenger and employee data is regulated by domestic and foreign laws and regulations.

Fares and Rates

Airlines set ticket prices in all domestic and most international city pairs with minimal governmental regulation, and the industry is characterized by significant price competition. Certain international fares and rates are subject to the jurisdiction of the DOT and the governments of the foreign countries involved. Many of our tickets are sold by travel agents, and fares are subject to commissions, overrides and discounts paid to travel agents, brokers and wholesalers.

Route Authority

Our flight operations are authorized by certificates of public convenience and necessity and also by exemptions and limited-entry frequency awards issued by the DOT. The requisite approvals of other governments for international operations are controlled by bilateral agreements (and a multilateral agreement in the case of the U.S. and the European Union) with, or permits or approvals issued by, foreign countries. Because international air transportation is governed by bilateral or other agreements between the U.S. and the foreign country or countries involved, changes in U.S. or foreign government aviation policies could result in the alteration or termination of such agreements, diminish the value of our international route authorities or otherwise affect our international operations. Bilateral agreements between the U.S. and various foreign countries served by us are subject to renegotiation from time to time. The U.S. government has negotiated "Open Skies" agreements with many countries, which allow unrestricted access between the U.S. and the foreign markets.

Certain of our international route authorities are subject to periodic renewal requirements. We request extension of these authorities when and as appropriate. While the DOT usually renews temporary authorities on routes where the authorized carrier is providing a reasonable level of service, there is no assurance this practice will continue in general or with respect to a specific renewal. Dormant route authorities may not be renewed in some cases, especially where another U.S. carrier indicates a willingness to provide service.

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Airport Access

Operations at three major domestic airports and certain foreign airports served by us are regulated by governmental entities through allocations of "slots" or similar regulatory mechanisms. Each slot represents the authorization to land at or take off from the particular airport during a specified time period.

In the U.S., the FAA currently regulates the allocation of slots, slot exemptions, operating authorizations, or similar capacity allocation mechanisms at Reagan National in Washington, D.C. and LaGuardia and JFK in the New York City area. Our operations at these airports generally require the allocation of slots or analogous regulatory authorizations. Similarly, our operations at Tokyo's Haneda airport, London's Heathrow airport and other international airports are regulated by local slot coordinators pursuant to the International Air Transport Association's Worldwide Scheduling Guidelines and applicable local law. We currently have sufficient slots or analogous authorizations to operate our existing flights, and we have generally been able to obtain the rights to expand our operations and to change our schedules. There is no assurance, however, that we will be able to do so in the future because, among other reasons, such allocations are subject to changes in governmental policies.

Environmental Matters

Our operations are subject to a number of international, federal, state and local laws and regulations governing protection of the environment, including regulation of greenhouse gases and other air emissions, noise reduction, water discharges, aircraft drinking water, storage and use of petroleum and other regulated substances, and the management and disposal of hazardous waste, substances and materials.

Emissions. Carbon emissions by the aviation industry and their impact on climate change have become a particular focus in the international community and within the U.S. For several years, the European Union has required its member states to implement regulations to include aviation in its Emissions Trading Scheme ("ETS"). Under these regulations, any airline with flights originating or landing in the European Union is subject to the ETS and, beginning in 2012, was required to purchase emissions allowances if the airline exceeds the number of free allowances allocated to it under the ETS. The ETS was amended to apply only to flights within the European Economic Area from 2013 through 2016. In 2017, the EU extended the exemption for foreign flights through 2023 based on the International Civil Aviation Organization’s ("ICAO") adoption of a global market-based program.

In 2016, ICAO formally adopted a global, market-based emissions offset program known as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation ("CORSIA"). This program establishes a medium-term goal for the aviation industry of achieving carbon-neutral growth in international aviation beginning in 2021, based on a 2019-2020 baseline. A pilot phase of the offset program will begin in 2021, followed by a first phase of the program beginning in 2024 and a second phase beginning in 2027. Countries can voluntarily participate in the pilot and first phase, and the United States has agreed to participate in these voluntary phases. Participation in the second phase is mandatory for certain countries, including the United States. We submitted our CORSIA Emissions Monitoring Plan to the FAA in 2019 and are monitoring emissions for the 2019-2020 baseline period. In 2017, ICAO also adopted new aircraft certification standards to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from aircraft. The new aircraft certification standards apply to new aircraft types in 2020 and to new in-production aircraft starting in 2023 but no later than 2028. These standards will not apply to existing in-service aircraft. However, exemption from the certification requirement could affect how these aircraft are treated under other programs governing CO2 emissions.

In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") issued a final finding under the Clean Air Act that greenhouse gases threaten the public health and welfare, and further determined that aircraft cause or contribute to greenhouse gases. The endangerment finding does not establish standards, but triggers an obligation for the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft. The EPA has historically implemented air emissions control standards adopted by ICAO; however, the EPA has yet to issue regulations to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft pursuant to the 2016 endangerment finding.

We may face additional regulation of aircraft emissions in the U.S. and abroad and become subject to further taxes, charges or additional requirements to obtain permits or purchase allowances or emission credits for greenhouse gas emissions in various jurisdictions. Additional regulation could result in taxation, regulatory or permitting requirements from multiple jurisdictions for the same operations and significant costs for us and the airline industry. In addition to direct costs, such regulation could result in increased fuel costs passed through from fuel suppliers affected by any such regulations. We are monitoring and evaluating the potential impact of such legislative and regulatory developments.

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We seek to minimize the impact of carbon emissions from our operations through reductions in our fuel consumption and other efforts, and have realized reductions in our carbon emission levels since 2005. We have reduced the fuel needs of our aircraft fleet through the retirement of older aircraft and replacement with newer, more fuel efficient aircraft. In addition, we have implemented fuel saving procedures in our flight and ground support operations that further reduce carbon emissions. We are also supporting efforts to develop alternative fuels and efforts to modernize the air traffic control system in the U.S. as part of our efforts to reduce our emissions and minimize our impact on the environment.

Noise. The Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 recognizes the rights of operators of airports with noise problems to implement local noise abatement programs so long as such programs do not interfere unreasonably with interstate or foreign commerce or the national air transportation system. This statute generally provides that local noise restrictions on Stage 3 aircraft first effective after October 1, 1990, require FAA approval. While we have had sufficient scheduling flexibility to accommodate local noise restrictions in the past, our operations could be adversely impacted if locally-imposed regulations become more restrictive or widespread. In addition, foreign governments may allow airports to enact similar restrictions, which could adversely impact our international operations or require significant expenditure in order for our aircraft to comply with the restrictions.

Refinery Matters. Monroe's operation of the Trainer refinery is subject to numerous environmental laws and extensive regulations, including those relating to the discharge of materials into the environment, waste management, pollution prevention measures and greenhouse gas and other air emissions.

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2005 and 2007, the Renewable Fuel Standard ("RFS") was created, setting up specific targets of renewable fuel to be used in the U.S. economy by mandating the blending of renewable fuels into gasoline and on-road diesel ("Transportation Fuels"). Renewable Identification Numbers ("RINs") are assigned to renewable fuels produced or imported into the U.S. that are blended into Transportation Fuels to demonstrate compliance with this obligation. A refiner may meet its obligation under RFS by blending the necessary volumes of renewable fuels with Transportation Fuels or by purchasing RINs in the open market or through a combination of blending and purchasing RINs. Because Monroe blends only a small amount of renewable fuels, it must purchase the majority of its RINs requirement in the secondary market. Market prices for RINs have been volatile, marked by periods of sharp increases and decreases primarily in response to predictions about what the EPA and/or the U.S. Congress will do with respect to compliance obligations.

Other Environmental Matters. We are subject to certain environmental laws and contractual obligations governing the management and release of regulated substances, which may require the investigation and remediation of affected sites. Soil and/or ground water impacts have been identified at certain of our current or former leaseholds at several domestic airports. To address these impacts, we have a program in place to investigate and, if appropriate, remediate these sites. Although the ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be predicted with certainty, we believe that the resolution of these matters will not have a material adverse effect on our Consolidated Financial Statements.

Civil Reserve Air Fleet Program

We participate in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program (the "CRAF Program"), which permits the U.S. military to use the aircraft and crew resources of participating U.S. airlines during airlift emergencies, national emergencies or times of war. We have agreed to make available under the CRAF Program a portion of our international aircraft during the contract period ending September 30, 2020. The CRAF Program has only been activated twice since it was created in 1951.

Employee Matters

Railway Labor Act

Our relations with labor unions representing our airline employees in the U.S. are governed by the Railway Labor Act. Under the Railway Labor Act, a labor union seeking to represent an unrepresented craft or class of employees is required to file with the National Mediation Board ("NMB") an application alleging a representation dispute, along with authorization cards signed by at least 50% of the employees in that craft or class. The NMB then investigates the dispute and, if it finds the labor union has obtained a sufficient number of authorization cards, conducts an election to determine whether to certify the labor union as the collective bargaining representative of that craft or class. A labor union will be certified as the representative of the employees in a craft or class if more than 50% of votes cast are for representation. A certified labor union would commence negotiations toward a collective bargaining agreement with the employer.

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Under the Railway Labor Act, a collective bargaining agreement between an airline and a labor union does not expire, but instead becomes amendable as of a stated date. Either party may request that the NMB appoint a federal mediator to participate in the negotiations for a new or amended agreement. If no agreement is reached in mediation, the NMB may determine, at any time, that an impasse exists and offer binding arbitration. If either party rejects binding arbitration, a 30-day "cooling off" period begins. At the end of this 30-day period, the parties may engage in “self help,” unless the U.S. President appoints a Presidential Emergency Board ("PEB") to investigate and report on the dispute. The appointment of a PEB maintains the "status quo" for an additional 60 days. If the parties do not reach agreement during this period, the parties may then engage in self help. Self help includes, among other things, a strike by the union or the imposition of proposed changes to the collective bargaining agreement by the airline. Congress and the President have the authority to prevent self help by enacting legislation that, among other things, imposes a settlement on the parties.

Collective Bargaining

As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately 91,000 full-time equivalent employees, approximately 19% of whom were represented by unions. The following table shows our domestic airline employee groups that are represented by unions.
Employee Group Approximate Number of Active Employees Represented Union Date on which Collective Bargaining Agreement Becomes Amendable
Delta Pilots 13,082    ALPA December 31, 2019
Delta Flight Superintendents (Dispatchers) 443    PAFCA November 1, 2024
Endeavor Air Pilots 1,872    ALPA January 1, 2024
Endeavor Air Flight Attendants
1,492    AFA December 31, 2018

We are in discussions with representatives of our pilots and Endeavor Air flight attendants regarding terms of amendable collective bargaining agreements.

In addition to the domestic airline employee groups discussed above, 199 refinery employees of Monroe are represented by the United Steel Workers under an agreement that expires on February 28, 2022. This agreement is governed by the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), which generally allows either party to engage in self help upon the expiration of the agreement.

Labor unions periodically engage in organizing efforts to represent various groups of our employees, including at our operating subsidiaries, that are not represented for collective bargaining purposes.

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Information About Our Executive Officers

Edward H. Bastian, Age 62: Chief Executive Officer of Delta since May 2016; President of Delta (September 2007 - May 2016); President of Delta and Chief Executive Officer Northwest Airlines, Inc. (October 2008 - December 2009); President and Chief Financial Officer of Delta (September 2007 - October 2008); Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Delta (July 2005 - September 2007); Chief Financial Officer of Acuity Brands (June 2005 - July 2005); Senior Vice President - Finance and Controller of Delta (2000 - April 2005); Vice President and Controller of Delta (1998 - 2000).

Peter W. Carter, Age 56: Executive Vice President - Chief Legal Officer of Delta since July 2015; Partner of Dorsey & Whitney LLP (1999 - 2015), including co-chair of Securities Litigation and Enforcement practice group, chair of Policy Committee and chair of trial department.

Glen W. Hauenstein, Age 59: President of Delta since May 2016; Executive Vice President - Chief Revenue Officer of Delta (August 2013 - May 2016); Executive Vice President - Network Planning and Revenue Management of Delta (April 2006 - July 2013); Executive Vice President and Chief of Network and Revenue Management of Delta (August 2005 - April 2006); Vice General Director - Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Alitalia (2003 - 2005); Senior Vice President- Network of Continental Airlines (2003); Senior Vice President - Scheduling of Continental Airlines (2001 - 2003); Vice President Scheduling of Continental Airlines (1998 - 2001).

Paul A. Jacobson, Age 48: Executive Vice President - Chief Financial Officer of Delta since August 2013; Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Delta (March 2012 - July 2013); Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Delta (December 2007 - March 2012); Vice President and Treasurer of Delta (August 2005 - December 2007).

William P. Lentsch, Age 56: Executive Vice President - Flying/Air Operations of Delta since August 2018; Senior Vice President - Delta Connection and Delta Global Services, CEO - Endeavor Air (April 2017 - August 2018); Senior Vice President - Airport Customer Service and Airline Operations of Delta (September 2013 - April 2017); Senior Vice President - Minnesota Operations of Delta (June 2009 - September 2013); Senior Vice President - Flight Operations of Northwest Airlines, Inc. (October 2008 - June 2009); Vice President - Flight Operations of Northwest Airlines, Inc. (October 2007 - October 2008); Vice President - Customer Service - Minneapolis of Northwest Airlines, Inc. (May 2006 - October 2007); Vice President - Station Operations of Northwest Airlines, Inc. (July 2005 - May 2006).

Rahul Samant, Age 53: Executive Vice President - Chief Information Officer of Delta since January 2018; Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Delta (February 2016 - December 2017); Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of American International Group, Inc. (January 2015 - February 2016); Senior Vice President and Global Head, Application Development and Management of American International Group, Inc. (September 2012 - December 2014); Managing Director of Bank of America (1999 - September 2012).

Steven M. Sear, Age 54: President, International and Executive Vice President - Global Sales of Delta since February 2016; Senior Vice President - Global Sales of Delta (December 2011 - February 2016); Vice President - Global Sales of Delta (October 2008 - December 2011); Vice President - Sales & Customer Care of Northwest Airlines, Inc. (June 2005 - October 2008).

Joanne D. Smith, Age 61: Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer of Delta since October 2014; Senior Vice President - In-Flight Service of Delta (March 2007 - September 2014); Vice President - Marketing of Delta (November 2005 - February 2007); President of Song (January 2005 - October 2005); Vice President - Marketing and Customer Service of Song (November 2002 - December 2004).

W. Gil West, Age 59: Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Delta since February 2016; Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Delta (March 2014 - February 2016); Senior Vice President - Airport Customer Service and Technical Operations of Delta (February 2012 - February 2014); Senior Vice President - Airport Customer Service of Delta (March 2008 - January 2012); President and Chief Executive Officer of Laidlaw Transit Services (2006 - 2007).
Additional Information
We make available free of charge on our website at ir.delta.com our Annual Report on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after these reports are filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Information on our website is not incorporated into this Form 10-K or our other securities filings and is not a part of those filings.
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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

Risk Factors Relating to Delta
We are at risk of losses and adverse publicity stemming from a serious accident involving our aircraft or aircraft of our airline partners.
An aircraft crash or other serious accident could expose us to significant liability. Although we believe that our insurance coverage is appropriate, we may be forced to bear substantial losses from an accident in the event that the coverage was not sufficient.
In addition, any accident involving an aircraft that we operate or an aircraft that is operated by an airline that is one of our regional carriers or codeshare, alliance or joint venture partners could create a negative public perception about safety, which could harm our reputation, resulting in air travelers being reluctant to fly on our aircraft and therefore harm our business.

Breaches or lapses in the security of our technology systems and the data we store could compromise passenger or employee information and expose us to liability, possibly having a material adverse effect on our business.
As a regular part of our ordinary business operations, we collect and store sensitive data, including information necessary for our operations, personal information of our passengers and employees and information of our business partners. The secure operation of the networks and systems on which this type of information is stored, processed and maintained is critical to our business operations and strategy.
Our information systems and those of our service providers are subject to an increasing threat of continually evolving cybersecurity risks. Unauthorized parties may attempt to gain access to our systems or information, or those of our service providers, including through fraud or other means of deception. Hardware or software we develop, acquire or use in connection with our systems may contain defects that could unexpectedly compromise information security. For example, we were notified in 2018 that a third-party vendor of chat services for Delta and other companies determined it had been involved in a cyber incident for a short period in 2017. We have incurred remedial, legal and other costs in connection with this incident but the costs are not material to our financial position or results of operations.
The methods used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service or sabotage systems are constantly evolving and may be difficult to anticipate or to detect for long periods of time. As a result of these types of risks and regular attacks on our systems, we regularly review and update procedures and processes to prevent and protect against unauthorized access to our systems and information and inadvertent misuse of data. In addition to continuously risk assessing and reviewing our procedures, processes and technologies, we also continue to monitor, review and update the process and control requirements we expect our third parties and vendors to leverage and implement for the protection of Delta information that is in their care. However, the constantly changing nature of the threats means that we may not be able to prevent all information security breaches or misuse of data.
The compromise of our technology systems resulting in the loss, disclosure, misappropriation of, or access to, our information or that of our customers, employees or business partners or failure to comply with regulatory or contractual obligations with respect to such information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability or regulatory penalties under laws protecting the privacy of personal information, disruption to our operations and damage to our reputation, any or all of which could adversely affect our business. The costs to remediate breaches and similar system compromises that do occur could be material. In addition, as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, the cost of proactive defensive measures may increase.
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Disruptions of our information technology infrastructure could interfere with our operations, possibly having a material adverse effect on our business.
Disruptions in our information technology network could result from a technology error or failure impacting our internal systems, whether hosted internally at our data centers or externally at third-party locations, or large scale external interruption in technology infrastructure support on which we depend, such as power, telecommunications or the internet. The operation of our technology systems and the use of related data may also be vulnerable to a variety of other sources of interruption, including natural disasters, terrorist attacks, computer viruses, hackers and other security issues. A significant individual, sustained or repeated failure of our network, including third-party networks we utilize and on which we depend, could impact our customer service and result in increased costs. While we have in place initiatives to prevent disruptions and disaster recovery plans (including the creation of a back-up data center) and continue to invest in improvements to these initiatives and plans, these measures may not be adequate to prevent a business disruption and any material adverse financial and reputational consequences to our business.

Failure of our technology to perform effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We are dependent on technology initiatives to provide customer service and operational effectiveness in order to compete in the current business environment. For example, we have made and continue to make significant investments in customer facing technology such as delta.com, mobile device applications, check-in kiosks, customer service applications, application of biometric technology, airport information displays and related initiatives, including security for these initiatives. We are also investing in significant upgrades to technology infrastructure and other supporting systems. The performance, reliability and security of the technology are critical to our ability to serve customers. If our technology does not perform effectively, our business and operations would be negatively affected, which could be material.

Our significant investments in airlines in other parts of the world and the commercial relationships that we have with those carriers may not produce the returns or results we expect.

An important part of our strategy to expand our global network has been to make significant investments in airlines in other parts of the world and expand our commercial relationships with these carriers, including through joint ventures. We expect to continue exploring ways to expand our relationships with other carriers as part of our global business strategy. These investments and relationships involve significant challenges and risks, including that we may not realize a satisfactory return on our investment or that they may not generate the expected financial results. These events could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

In addition, we are dependent on these other carriers for significant aspects of our network in the regions in which they operate. While we work closely with these carriers, we do not have control over their operations or business methods. To the extent that the operations of any of these carriers are disrupted over an extended period or their actions have a significant adverse effect on our operations, our results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

In certain circumstances, we also may be subject to consequences of the failure of these carriers to comply with laws and regulations, including U.S. laws to which they may be subject. For example, we may be subject to consequences from improper behavior of our joint venture partners, including for failure to comply with anti-corruption laws such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Such a result could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

Agreements governing our debt, including credit agreements, include financial and other covenants. Failure to comply with these covenants could result in events of default.

Our primary credit facility has various financial and other covenants that require us to maintain a minimum fixed charge coverage ratio and a minimum asset coverage ratio. We have other smaller facilities, some of which are secured and also contain collateral coverage ratios. A decline in the value of our assets supporting these facilities from factors that are not under our control could affect one or more of the ratios. In addition, the credit facilities contain other negative covenants customary for such financings. These covenants are subject to important exceptions and qualifications. If we fail to comply with these covenants and are unable to remedy or obtain a waiver or amendment, an event of default would result.
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The credit facilities also contain other events of default customary for such financings. If an event of default were to occur, the lenders could, among other things, declare outstanding amounts due and payable and where applicable, repossess collateral, which may include aircraft or other valuable assets. In addition, an event of default or declaration of acceleration under any of the credit facilities could also result in an event of default under other of our financing agreements. The acceleration of significant amounts of debt could require us to renegotiate, repay or refinance the obligations under the credit facilities or other financing arrangements.

Employee strikes and other labor-related disruptions may have a material adverse effect on our operations.

Our business is labor intensive, utilizing large numbers of pilots, flight attendants, aircraft maintenance technicians, ground support personnel and other personnel. As of December 31, 2019, approximately 19% of our workforce, primarily pilots, was unionized. Relations between air carriers and labor unions in the United States are governed by the Railway Labor Act, which provides that a collective bargaining agreement between an airline and a labor union does not expire, but instead becomes amendable as of a stated date. The Railway Labor Act generally prohibits strikes or other types of self help actions both before and after a collective bargaining agreement becomes amendable, unless and until the collective bargaining processes required by the Railway Labor Act have been exhausted. The collective bargaining agreement with our pilots became amendable on December 31, 2019 and we are in discussions with representatives of the pilots regarding terms of the collective bargaining agreement. Monroe's relations with unions representing its employees are governed by the NLRA, which generally allows self help after a collective bargaining agreement expires.

If we or our subsidiaries are unable to reach agreement with any of our unionized work groups on future negotiations regarding the terms of their collective bargaining agreements or if additional segments of our workforce become unionized, we may be subject to work interruptions or stoppages, subject to the requirements of the Railway Labor Act or the NLRA, as the case may be. Strikes or labor disputes with our unionized employees may have a material adverse effect on our ability to conduct business. Likewise, if third-party regional carriers with whom we have contract carrier agreements are unable to reach agreement with their unionized work groups in current or future negotiations regarding the terms of their collective bargaining agreements, those carriers may be subject to work interruptions or stoppages, subject to the requirements of the Railway Labor Act, which could have a material adverse effect on our operations.

Our results can fluctuate due to the effects of weather, natural disasters and seasonality.
Our results of operations are impacted by severe weather, natural disasters and seasonality. Severe weather conditions and natural disasters (or other environmental events) can significantly disrupt service and create air traffic control problems. These events decrease revenue and can also increase costs. In addition, increases in the frequency, severity or duration of thunderstorms, hurricanes, typhoons or other severe weather events, including from changes in the global climate, could result in increases in delays and cancellations, turbulence-related injuries and fuel consumption to avoid such weather, any of which could result in loss of revenue and higher costs. In addition, demand for air travel is typically higher in the June and September quarters, particularly in our international markets, because there is more vacation travel during these periods than during the remainder of the year. The seasonal shifting of demand causes our financial results to vary on a seasonal basis. Because of fluctuations in our results from weather, natural disasters and seasonality, operating results for a historical period are not necessarily indicative of operating results for a future period and operating results for an interim period are not necessarily indicative of operating results for an entire year.

An extended disruption in services provided by third parties, including third-party regional carriers, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

We utilize the services of third parties in a number of areas in support of our operations that are integral to our business, including third-party carriers in the Delta Connection program and ground operations at some airports. While we have agreements with these providers that define expected service performance, we do not have direct control over their operations. In particular, some third-party regional carriers are facing a shortage of qualified pilots due to government mandated increases in flight experience required for pilots working for airlines. If this shortage becomes more widespread, third-party regional carriers may not be able to comply with their obligations to us. To the extent that a significant disruption in services occurs because third party providers are unable to perform their obligations over an extended period of time, our revenue may be reduced or our expenses may be increased, resulting in a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

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Our business and results of operations are dependent on the price of aircraft fuel. High fuel costs or cost increases, including in the cost of crude oil, could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

Our operating results are significantly impacted by changes in the price of aircraft fuel. Over the last decade, fuel prices have increased substantially at times and have been highly volatile. In 2019, our average fuel price per gallon, including the impact of fuel hedges, was $2.02, an 8.2% decrease from our average fuel price in 2018. In 2018, our average fuel price per gallon was $2.20, a 31.0% increase from our average fuel price in 2017 of $1.68. Fuel costs represented 21.1%, 23.0% and 19.2% of our operating expense in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
We acquire a significant amount of jet fuel from our wholly owned subsidiary, Monroe, and through strategic agreements that Monroe has with third parties. The cost of the fuel we purchase under these arrangements remains subject to volatility in the cost of crude oil and jet fuel. In addition, we continue to purchase a significant amount of aircraft fuel in addition to what we obtain from Monroe. Our aircraft fuel purchase contracts alone do not provide material protection against price increases as these contracts typically establish the price based on industry standard market price indices.
The competitive nature of the airline industry may affect our ability to pass along rapidly increasing fuel costs to our customers. In addition, because passengers often purchase tickets well in advance of their travel, a significant rapid increase in fuel price may result in the fare charged not covering that increase. At times in the past, we often were not able to increase our fares to offset fully the effect of increases in fuel costs, and we may not be able to do so in the future.
Significant extended disruptions in the supply of aircraft fuel, including from Monroe, could have a material adverse effect on our operations and operating results.
Weather-related events, natural disasters, political disruptions or wars involving oil-producing countries, changes in governmental policy concerning aircraft fuel production, transportation or taxes, changes in refining capacity, environmental concerns and other unpredictable events may impact crude oil and fuel supply and could result in shortages in the future. Shortages in fuel supplies could have negative effects on our results of operations and financial condition.
Because we acquire a large amount of our jet fuel from Monroe, the disruption or interruption of production at the refinery could have an impact on our ability to acquire jet fuel needed for our operations. Disruptions or interruptions of production at the refinery could result from various sources including a major accident or mechanical failure, interruption of supply or delivery of crude oil, work stoppages relating to organized labor issues, or damage from severe weather or other natural or man-made disasters, including acts of terrorism. If the refinery were to experience an interruption in operations, disruptions in fuel supplies could have negative effects on our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, the financial benefits from the operation of the refinery could be materially adversely affected (to the extent not recoverable through insurance) because of lost production and repair costs.
If Monroe's cost of producing non-jet fuel products exceeds the value it receives for those products, the financial benefits we expect to achieve through the ownership of the refinery and our consolidated results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
An environmental or other incident associated with the operation of the Monroe refinery could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial results if insurance is unable to cover a significant liability. In addition, such an incident could damage our reputation.
Monroe's refining operations are subject to various hazards unique to refinery operations, including explosions, fires, toxic emissions and natural catastrophes. Monroe could incur substantial losses, including cleanup costs, fines and other sanctions and third-party claims, and its operations could be interrupted, as a result of such an incident. Monroe's insurance coverage does not cover all potential losses, costs or liabilities, and Monroe could suffer losses for uninsurable or uninsured risks or in amounts greater than its insurance coverage. In addition, Monroe's ability to obtain and maintain adequate insurance may be affected by conditions in the insurance market over which it has no control. If Monroe were to incur a significant liability for which it is not fully insured or for which insurance companies do not or are unable to provide coverage, this could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial results of operations or consolidated financial position. In addition, because of our ownership of Monroe, the occurrence of an environmental or other incident could result in damage to our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.
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The operation of the refinery by Monroe is subject to significant environmental regulation. Failure to comply with environmental regulations or the enactment of additional regulation could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial results.
Monroe's operations are subject to extensive environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including those relating to the discharge of materials into the environment, waste management, pollution prevention measures and greenhouse gas emissions. Monroe could incur fines and other sanctions, cleanup costs and third-party claims as a result of violations of or liabilities under environmental, health and safety requirements, which if significant, could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial results. In addition, the enactment of new environmental laws and regulations, including any laws or regulations relating to greenhouse gas emissions, could significantly increase the level of expenditures required for Monroe or restrict its operations.
In particular, under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the EPA has adopted RFS that mandate the blending of renewable fuels into Transportation Fuels. RINs are assigned to renewable fuels produced or imported into the U.S. that are blended into Transportation Fuels to demonstrate compliance with this obligation. A refinery may meet its obligation under RFS by blending the necessary volumes of renewable fuels with Transportation Fuels or by purchasing RINs in the open market or through a combination of blending and purchasing RINs.
Because Monroe blends only a small amount of renewable fuels, it must purchase the majority of its RINs requirement in the secondary market or obtain a waiver from the EPA. As a result, Monroe is exposed to the market price of RINs. Market prices for RINs have been volatile, marked by periods of sharp increases and decreases. We cannot predict the future prices of RINs. Purchasing RINs at elevated prices could have a material impact on our consolidated results of operations and cash flows.
Existing laws or regulations could change, and the minimum volumes of renewable fuels that must be blended with refined petroleum products may increase. Increases in the volume of renewable fuels that must be blended into Monroe's products could limit the refinery's production if sufficient numbers of RINs are not available for purchase or relief from this requirement is not obtained, which could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial results.

If we lose senior management and other key employees and they are not replaced by individuals with comparable skills, our operating results could be materially adversely affected.

We are dependent on the experience and industry knowledge of our officers and other key employees to design and execute our business plans. If we experience a substantial turnover in our leadership and other key employees, and these persons are not replaced by individuals with comparable skills, our performance could be materially adversely impacted. Furthermore, we may be unable to attract and retain additional qualified executives as needed in the future.

Our reputation and brand could be damaged if we are exposed to significant adverse publicity.

We operate in a highly visible, public environment with significant exposure to traditional and social media. Adverse publicity, whether justified or not, can rapidly spread, including through social or digital media. In particular, passengers can use social media to provide feedback about their interaction with us in a manner that can be quickly and broadly disseminated. To the extent we are unable to respond timely and appropriately to adverse publicity, our brand and reputation may be damaged. Significant damage to our overall reputation and brand image could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.

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Risk Factors Relating to the Airline Industry

Terrorist attacks, geopolitical conflict or security events may adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.
Terrorist attacks, geopolitical conflict or security events, or fear of any of these events, could have a significant adverse effect on our business. Despite significant security measures at airports and airlines, the airline industry remains a high profile target for terrorist groups. We constantly monitor threats from terrorist groups and individuals, including from violent extremists both internationally and domestically, with respect to direct threats against our operations and in ways not directly related to the airline industry. In addition, the impact on our operations of avoiding areas of the world, including airspace, in which there are geopolitical conflicts and the targeting of commercial aircraft by parties to those conflicts can be significant. Security events, primarily from external sources but also from potential insider threats, also pose a significant risk to our passenger and cargo operations. These events could include random acts of violence and could occur in public areas that we cannot control.
Terrorist attacks, geopolitical conflict or security events, or fear of any of these events, even if not made directly on or involving the airline industry, could have significant negative impact on us by discouraging passengers from flying, leading to decreased ticket sales and increased refunds. In addition, potential costs from these types of events include increased security costs, impacts from avoiding flight paths over areas in which conflict is occurring, reputational harm and other costs. If any or all of these types of events occur, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The global airline industry is highly competitive and, if we cannot successfully compete in the marketplace, our business, financial condition and operating results will be materially adversely affected.

The airline industry is highly competitive, marked by significant competition with respect to routes, fares, schedules (both timing and frequency), services, products, customer service and loyalty programs. Consolidation in the airline industry, the rise of subsidized government sponsored international carriers, changes in international alliances and the creation of immunized joint ventures have altered and will continue to alter the competitive landscape in the industry, resulting in the formation of airlines and alliances with increased financial resources, more extensive global networks and competitive cost structures.

Our domestic operations are subject to competition from traditional network carriers, including American Airlines and United Airlines, national point-to-point carriers, including Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines, and other discount or ultra low-cost carriers, including Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air, some of which may have lower costs than we do and provide service at low fares to destinations served by us. Point-to-point, discount and ultra low-cost carriers place significant competitive pressure on network carriers in the domestic market. In particular, we face significant competition at our domestic hubs and key airports either directly at those airports or at the hubs of other airlines that are located in close proximity to our hubs and key airports. We also face competition in smaller to medium-sized markets from regional jet operations of other carriers. Our ability to compete in the domestic market effectively depends, in part, on our ability to maintain a competitive cost structure. If we cannot maintain our costs at a competitive level, then our business, financial condition and operating results could be materially adversely affected.

Our international operations are subject to competition from both foreign and domestic carriers. Competition from government-owned and subsidized carriers in the Gulf region, including Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, is significant. These carriers have large numbers of international widebody aircraft on order and have increased service to the U.S. These carriers are government-subsidized, which has allowed them to grow quickly, reinvest in their product and expand their global presence at the expense of U.S. airlines.

Through alliance and other marketing and codesharing agreements with foreign carriers, U.S. carriers have increased their ability to sell international transportation, such as services to and beyond traditional European and Asian gateway cities. Similarly, foreign carriers have obtained increased access to interior U.S. passenger traffic beyond traditional U.S. gateway cities through these relationships. In addition, several joint ventures among U.S. and foreign carriers have received grants of antitrust immunity allowing the participating carriers to coordinate schedules, pricing, sales and inventory.

Increased competition in both the domestic and international markets may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.

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Extended interruptions or disruptions in service at major airports in which we operate or the extended grounding of a type of aircraft or engine we operate could have a material adverse effect on our operations.

The airline industry is heavily dependent on business models that concentrate operations in major airports in the United States and throughout the world. An extended interruption or disruption at an airport where we have significant operations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Similarly, the airline industry is heavily dependent on a limited number of aircraft and engine manufacturers whose products are subject to extensive regulatory requirements. The long-term grounding of an aircraft or engine type that we operate could have a significant impact on our operations if we are not able to substitute or replace the affected aircraft or engine type and could, in any event, have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

The airline industry is subject to extensive government regulation, and new regulations may increase our operating costs.
Airlines are subject to extensive regulatory and legal compliance requirements that result in significant costs. For instance, the FAA from time to time issues directives and other regulations relating to the maintenance and operation of aircraft that necessitate significant expenditures. We expect to continue incurring significant expenses to comply with the FAA's regulations.
Other laws, regulations, taxes and airport rates and charges have also been imposed from time to time that significantly increase the cost of airline operations or reduce revenues. The industry is heavily taxed. Additional taxes and fees, if implemented, could negatively impact our results of operations.
Airport slot access is subject to government regulation and changes in slot regulations or allocations could impose a significant cost on the airlines operating in airports subject to such regulations or allocations. In addition, the failure of the federal government to upgrade the U.S. air traffic control system has resulted in delays and disruptions of air traffic during peak travel periods in certain congested markets. The failure to improve the air traffic control system could lead to increased delays and inefficiencies in flight operations as demand for U.S. air travel increases, having a material adverse effect on our operations. Failure to update the air traffic control system in a timely manner, and the substantial funding requirements of an updated system that may be imposed on air carriers, may have an adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

As an international carrier, we are subject to a wide variety of U.S. and foreign laws that affect trade, including tariff and trade policies, export requirements, taxes, monetary policies and other restrictions and charges. On October 2, 2019, an arbitration tribunal of the World Trade Organization ruled in a long-standing dispute that the United States could impose $7.5 billion in retaliatory tariffs in response to European Union subsidies to Airbus. Effective October 18, 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative imposed tariffs on certain products imported from the European Union, including an ad valorem duty of 10% on commercial aircraft originating in France and Germany. Some of the Airbus aircraft that we have on order would be subject to these tariffs if imported as new aircraft. We are pursuing strategies to minimize the impact of these tariffs on our aircraft deliveries but if we are unsuccessful or if the tariffs are increased, these tariffs could substantially increase the cost to us of the affected aircraft, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.

In addition, some of our operations are in high-risk legal compliance environments. Failure to comply with trade sanctions, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other applicable laws or regulations could result in litigation, assessment of damages, imposition of penalties or other consequences, any or all of which could harm our reputation and have an adverse effect on our financial results.

We and other U.S. carriers are subject to U.S. and foreign laws regarding privacy of passenger and employee data that are not consistent in all countries in which we operate. In addition to the heightened level of concern regarding privacy of passenger data in the U.S., certain European government agencies have recently updated privacy regulations applicable to private industry, including airlines. Ongoing compliance with these evolving regulatory regimes is expected to result in additional operating costs and could have a material adverse effect on our operations and any future expansion.

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The airline industry is subject to many forms of environmental regulation, including increased regulation to reduce emissions. Failure to comply with environmental regulations or the enactment of additional regulation could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.

Many aspects of our operations are subject to increasingly stringent federal, state, local and international laws governing the protection of the environment. Compliance with existing and future environmental laws and regulations can require significant expenditures and violations can lead to significant fines and penalties.

Future regulatory action concerning climate change, aircraft emissions and noise emissions could have a significant effect on the airline industry. In order to address aircraft emissions, ICAO, a UN specialized agency, formally adopted a global, market-based emission offset program known as CORSIA. This program establishes a medium-term goal for the aviation industry of achieving carbon-neutral growth in international aviation beginning in 2021, based on a 2019-2020 baseline. Certain CORSIA program details remain to be developed and could potentially be affected by political developments in participating countries or the results of the pilot phase of the program, and thus the impact of CORSIA cannot be fully predicted. However, CORSIA is expected to increase operating costs for airlines that operate internationally.

In addition to CORSIA, we may face additional regulation of aircraft emissions in the U.S. and abroad and become subject to further taxes, charges or additional requirements to obtain permits or purchase allowances or emission credits for greenhouse gas emissions in various jurisdictions. Additional regulation could result in taxation, regulatory or permitting requirements from multiple jurisdictions for the same operations and significant costs for us and the airline industry. In addition to direct costs, such regulation could result in increased fuel costs passed through from fuel suppliers affected by any such regulations. While the specific nature of future actions is hard to predict, new laws or regulations related to environmental matters adopted in the U.S. or other countries could impose significant additional costs on our operations.

Because of the global nature of our business, unfavorable global economic conditions or volatility in currency exchange rates could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and operating results.
As a result of the discretionary nature of air travel, the airline industry has been cyclical and particularly sensitive to changes in economic conditions. Because we operate globally, with approximately 30% of our revenues from operations outside of the U.S., our business is subject to economic conditions throughout the world. During periods of unfavorable or volatile economic conditions in the global economy, demand for air travel can be significantly impacted as business and leisure travelers choose not to travel, seek alternative forms of transportation for short trips or conduct business using technological alternatives. If unfavorable economic conditions occur, particularly for an extended period, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. In addition, significant or volatile changes in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and other currencies, and the imposition of exchange controls or other currency restrictions, may have a material adverse effect on our liquidity, financial conditions and results of operations.

Economic conditions following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Following a referendum in June 2016 in which voters in the U.K. approved an exit (often referred to as Brexit) from the European Union, the U.K.’s withdrawal became effective on January 31, 2020. A transition period will apply until the end of 2020 (or later, if extended) during which the pre-Brexit legal regime will continue to apply (including with respect to aviation) while the U.K. and European Union negotiate rules that will apply to their future relationship. It is unknown how that future relationship will be structured. Regardless of what happens between the U.K. and European Union, the U.S. - European Union Open Skies air services agreement will continue to apply to air services between the U.S. and the European Union and a new U.S.-U.K. Open Skies agreement will apply to air services between the U.S. and the U.K.
Currently, it is uncertain what will be the terms of the future relationship between the U.K. and the European Union on matters such as trade, customs, financial services and the movement of goods and people. Furthermore, post-Brexit ambiguity or changes in regulations could diminish the value of route authorities, slots or other assets owned by us or our joint venture partners and, therefore, could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations and financial condition.

20


The rapid spread of contagious illnesses can have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

The rapid spread of a contagious illness such as a novel coronavirus, or fear of such an event, can have a material adverse effect on the demand for worldwide air travel and therefore have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. As a result of the outbreak of a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, we have temporarily ceased operations in China and the continued spread of the virus could have a significant adverse impact on the demand for air travel and, as a result, our financial results. Moreover, our operations could be negatively affected if employees are quarantined as the result of exposure to a contagious illness. Similarly, travel restrictions or operational issues resulting from the rapid spread of contagious illnesses in a part of the world in which we have significant operations may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.


ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

Flight Equipment

As part of our ongoing fleet transformation, during 2019 we took delivery of 79 mainline aircraft and nine CRJ-900 aircraft, and removed 52 aircraft from our active mainline fleet. Our operating aircraft fleet, commitments and options at December 31, 2019 are summarized in the following table:
Current Fleet(1)
Commitments
Aircraft Type Owned Finance Lease Operating Lease Total Average Age Purchase Options
B-717-200 13    22    56    91    18.3    —    —   
B-737-700 10    —    —    10    11.0    —    —   
B-737-800 73      —    77    18.3    —    —   
B-737-900ER 88    —    42    130    3.3    —    —   
B-757-200 91        100    22.4    —    —   
B-757-300 16    —    —    16    16.9    —    —   
B-767-300ER 56    —    —    56    23.6    —    —   
B-767-400ER 21    —    —    21    19.0    —    —   
B-777-200ER   —    —      20.1    —    —   
B-777-200LR 10    —    —    10    10.8    —    —   
A220-100 27      —    28    0.6    17    —   
A220-300 —    —    —    —    —    50    50   
A319-100 55    —      57    17.9    —    —   
A320-200 58    —      62    24.4    —    —   
A321-200 53    12    31    96    1.7    31    —   
A321-200neo —    —    —    —    —    100    100   
A330-200 11    —    —    11    14.8    —    —   
A330-300 28    —      31    11.0    —    —   
A330-900neo     —      0.5    33    —   
A350-900 13    —    —    13    1.8    16    —   
MD-88 41      —    47    28.7    —    —   
MD-90 30    —    —    30    22.7    —    —   
Total 705    54    139    898    14.9    247    150   

(1)Excludes certain aircraft we own, lease or have committed to purchase (including six CRJ-900 aircraft) that are operated by regional carriers on our behalf shown in the table below.

We have agreed to acquire four A350 aircraft from LATAM, which are included as purchase commitments in the table above. In addition, we plan to assume ten of LATAM's A350 purchase commitments from Airbus, with deliveries through 2025. For more information regarding our planned strategic alliance with LATAM, see Note 4 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

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The following table summarizes the aircraft fleet operated by regional carriers on our behalf at December 31, 2019:
Fleet Type
Carrier CRJ-200 CRJ-700 CRJ-900 Embraer 170 Embraer 175 Total
Endeavor Air, Inc. (1)
42    11    111    —    —    164   
SkyWest Airlines, Inc. 75    11    43    —    56    185   
Republic Airline, Inc. —    —    —    22    28    50   
Compass Airlines, Inc. (2)
—    —    —    —    24    24   
GoJet Airlines, LLC (3)
—    12      —    —    19   
Total 117    34    161    22    108    442   

(1)Endeavor Air, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta.
(2)In 2019, we and Compass Airlines, Inc., agreed not to renew our contract and to end our relationship by the end of 2020.
(3)In 2019, we and GoJet Airlines, LLC, agreed not to renew our CRJ-700 contract and to end those operations by the end of 2020. In addition, in January 2020, we agreed not to renew our CRJ-900 contract and to end those operations by the end of 2020.

Aircraft Purchase Commitments

As part of a multi-year effort, we have been investing in new aircraft to provide more premium products, an improved customer experience, greater fuel efficiency and better operating economics. Our purchase commitments for additional aircraft at December 31, 2019 are detailed in the following table:
Delivery in Calendar Years Ending
Aircraft Purchase Commitments 2020 2021 2022 After 2022 Total
A220-100 17    —    —    —    17   
A220-300   12    18    14    50   
A321-200 31    —    —    —    31   
A321-200neo   41    40    18    100   
A330-900neo (1)
  11        33   
A350-900     —    10    16   
CRJ-900   —    —    —     
Total    72    66    66    49    253   

(1) Includes two A330-900neo lease commitments with one in each of 2020 and 2021.

Ground Facilities

Airline Operations

We lease most of the land and buildings that we occupy. Our largest aircraft maintenance base, various equipment maintenance, cargo, flight kitchen and training facilities and most of our principal offices are located at or near the Atlanta airport on land leased from the City of Atlanta. We lease ticket counters, gate areas, operating facilities and other terminal space in most of the airports that we serve. At most airports, we have entered into use agreements which provide for the non-exclusive use of runways, taxiways and other improvements and facilities; landing fees under these agreements normally are based on the number of landings and weight of aircraft. These leases and use agreements generally run for periods of less than one year to 30 years or more, and often contain provisions for periodic adjustments of lease rates, landing fees and other charges applicable under that type of agreement. We also lease aircraft maintenance, equipment maintenance and air cargo facilities at several airports. Our facility leases generally require us to pay the cost of providing, operating and maintaining such facilities, including, in some cases, amounts necessary to pay debt service on special facility bonds issued to finance their construction. We also lease computer facilities, marketing offices, reservations offices and other off-airport facilities in certain locations for varying terms.

We own our Atlanta reservations center, other real property in Atlanta, and reservations centers in Minot, North Dakota and Chisholm, Minnesota.

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Refinery Operations

Our wholly owned subsidiaries, Monroe and MIPC, own and operate the Trainer refinery and related assets in Pennsylvania. The facility includes pipelines and terminal assets that allow the refinery to supply jet fuel to our airline operations throughout the Northeastern U.S., including our New York hubs at LaGuardia and JFK.


ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Capacity Antitrust Litigation

In July 2015, a number of purported class action antitrust lawsuits were filed alleging that Delta, American, United and Southwest had conspired to restrain capacity. The lawsuits were filed in the wake of media reports that the U.S. Department of Justice had served civil investigative demands upon these carriers seeking documents and information relating to this subject. The lawsuits have been consolidated into a single Multi-District Litigation proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In November 2016, the District Court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the claims, and the matter is now proceeding through discovery. Delta believes the claims in these cases are without merit and is vigorously defending these lawsuits.

***

For a discussion of certain environmental matters, see "Business-Regulatory Matters-Environmental Matters" in Item 1.


ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.
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Part II

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

Market Information

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") under the trading symbol DAL.

Holders

As of January 31, 2020, there were approximately 2,300 holders of record of our common stock.

Dividends

Our Board of Directors initiated a quarterly dividend program in the September 2013 quarter and has increased the quarterly dividend payment several times, most recently to $0.4025 per share in the September 2019 quarter. The Board expects to be able to continue to pay cash dividends for the foreseeable future, subject to applicable limitations under Delaware law and compliance with covenants in certain of our credit facilities. Dividend payments are dependent upon our results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements, future prospects and other factors deemed relevant by the Board of Directors.


Stock Performance Graph

The following graph compares the cumulative total returns during the period from December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2019 of our common stock to the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index and the NYSE ARCA Airline Index. The comparison assumes $100 was invested on December 31, 2014 in each of our common stock and the indices and assumes that all dividends were reinvested.

DAL-20191231_G2.JPG

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Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The following table presents information with respect to purchases of common stock we made during the December 2019 quarter. The total number of shares purchased includes shares repurchased pursuant to our $5 billion share repurchase program, which was publicly announced on May 11, 2017 and will terminate no later than December 31, 2020. Some purchases made in the December 2019 quarter were made pursuant to a trading plan meeting the requirements of Rule 10b5-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

In addition, the table includes shares withheld from employees to satisfy certain tax obligations due in connection with grants of stock under the Delta Air Lines, Inc. Performance Compensation Plan (the "Plan"). The Plan provides for the withholding of shares to satisfy tax obligations. It does not specify a maximum number of shares that can be withheld for this purpose. The shares of common stock withheld to satisfy tax withholding obligations may be deemed to be "issuer purchases" of shares that are required to be disclosed pursuant to this Item.

Period Total Number of Shares Purchased Average Price Paid Per Share Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs Approximate Dollar Value (in millions) of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plan or Programs
October 2019 1,601,569    $ 54.35    1,601,569    $ 1,210   
November 2019 1,280,509    $ 56.64    1,280,509    $ 1,135   
December 2019 1,149,975    $ 57.35    1,149,975    $ 1,070   
Total 4,032,053    4,032,053   


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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following tables are derived from our audited Consolidated Financial Statements and present selected financial and operating data as of and for the five years ended December 31, 2019.

We adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606)” using the full retrospective transition method in 2018 and recast results from 2016 and 2017 including interim periods therein. Results from 2015 have not been recast for the adoption of this standard.

Consolidated Summary of Operations
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions, except share data) 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Operating revenue $ 47,007    $ 44,438    $ 41,138    $ 39,450    $ 40,704   
Operating expense 40,389    39,174    35,172    32,454    32,902   
Operating income 6,618    5,264    5,966    6,996    7,802   
Non-operating expense, net (420)   (113)   (466)   (643)   (645)  
Income before income taxes 6,198    5,151    5,500    6,353    7,157   
Income tax provision (1,431)   (1,216)   (2,295)   (2,158)   (2,631)  
Net income $ 4,767    $ 3,935    $ 3,205    $ 4,195    $ 4,526   
Basic earnings per share $ 7.32    $ 5.69    $ 4.45    $ 5.59    $ 5.68   
Diluted earnings per share $ 7.30    $ 5.67    $ 4.43    $ 5.55    $ 5.63   
Cash dividends declared per share $ 1.51    $ 1.31    $ 1.02    $ 0.68    $ 0.45   

Supplemental Information

The supplemental information below represents the adjustments used in our non-GAAP financial measures. See "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" where our non-GAAP financial measures are defined and reconciled. Amounts presented below are stated before consideration of income taxes, except for the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions) 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
MTM adjustments and settlements on hedges $ 14    $ (53)   $ 259    $ 450    $ 1,301   
Restructuring and other —    —    —    —    (35)  
Equity investment MTM adjustments (14)   29    (8)   115    26   
MTM adjustments on investments 13    (14)   —    —    —   
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act —    —    (394)   —    —   

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data

We adopted Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, "Leases (Topic 842)," using the modified retrospective approach in 2018. Financial statements prior to 2018 were not recast for the adoption of this standard.
December 31,
(in millions) 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Total assets $ 64,532    $ 60,266    $ 53,671    $ 51,850    $ 53,134   
Debt and finance leases (including current maturities) 11,160    9,771    8,834    7,332    8,329   
Stockholders' equity 15,358    13,687    12,530    11,277    10,850   

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Other Financial and Statistical Data (Unaudited)
Year Ended December 31,
Consolidated(1)
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Revenue passenger miles (in millions) 237,680    225,243    217,712    213,098    209,625   
Available seat miles (in millions) 275,379    263,365    254,325    251,867    246,764   
Passenger mile yield 17.79  ¢ 17.65  ¢ 16.97  ¢ 16.81  ¢ 16.59  ¢
Passenger revenue per available seat mile 15.35  ¢ 15.09  ¢ 14.53  ¢ 14.22  ¢ 14.10  ¢
Total revenue per available seat mile 17.07  ¢ 16.87  ¢ 16.18  ¢ 15.66  ¢ 16.50  ¢
Operating cost per available seat mile 14.67  ¢ 14.87  ¢ 13.83  ¢ 12.89  ¢ 13.33  ¢
Passenger load factor 86.3  % 85.5  % 85.6  % 84.6  % 84.9  %
Fuel gallons consumed (in millions) 4,214    4,113    4,032    4,016    3,988   
Average price per fuel gallon(2)
$ 2.02    $ 2.20    $ 1.68    $ 1.49    $ 1.90   
Full-time equivalent employees, end of period 91,224    88,680    86,564    83,756    82,949   
(1)Includes the operations of our regional carriers under capacity purchase agreements. Full-time equivalent employees exclude employees of regional carriers that we do not own.
(2)Includes the impact of fuel hedge activity and refinery segment results.



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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

This section of this Form 10-K does not address certain items regarding the year ended December 31, 2017. Discussion and analysis of 2017 and year-to-year comparisons between 2018 and 2017 not included in this Form 10-K can be found in "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis" of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.

Year in Review

Delta had a strong year in 2019, delivering record financial results and making significant progress on strategic priorities. We leveraged our brand momentum to drive strong revenue growth and improvement in pre-tax income, margin, earnings per share and free cash flow over 2018. Strategic accomplishments during the year include our renewed agreement with American Express and announcing plans to enter into a strategic alliance with LATAM.

Our pre-tax income for 2019 was $6.2 billion, representing a $1 billion, or 20%, increase compared to the prior year. Diluted earnings per share of $7.30 improved 29% over 2018. Our $8.4 billion of cash flows from operations helped fund $4.9 billion in capital expenditures, resulting in free cash flow of $4.2 billion, representing a $1.8 billion improvement to the prior year. We returned 72% of free cash flow, or $3 billion, to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. The improvement in earnings and cash flow primarily resulted from a $2.6 billion increase in revenue and lower fuel expense on an 8% decrease in the market price per gallon of fuel and improved fuel efficiency.

We continued to run the world’s most reliable airline and set a new record for zero cancel days with 165 cancel-free days across the system and 281 on our mainline operations. Industry-leading operational performance, our culture of service and continued product investments supported record customer satisfaction scores. In 2019, we increased net promoter scores in every geographic region, highlighted by a 5-point improvement in the Domestic region to 50%.

Strong Brand Drives Revenue Growth

Compared to 2018, our operating revenue increased $2.6 billion, or 5.8%, on balanced growth across our diverse revenue streams, with premium product ticket revenue driving nearly half of the improvement, and strong growth in both loyalty and MRO revenue. Total revenue per available seat mile ("TRASM") and TRASM, adjusted (a non-GAAP financial measure) increased 1.2% and 2.8%, respectively, compared to the prior year, led by (1) unit revenue growth in our Domestic and Latin regions, (2) demand strength in both business and leisure segments and (3) strong growth in premium products and non-ticket revenues. Total loyalty revenue grew 18% in 2019.

Solid Cost Performance

Operating Expense. Operating expense increased $1.2 billion, or 3.1%, primarily due to higher revenue- and capacity-related expenses including wages and profit sharing for employees and contracted services expense. Salaries and related costs were higher due to pay rate increases for eligible employees implemented during 2019, while profit sharing was higher due to increased profitability in 2019. The increase in contracted services expense predominantly relates to services performed by Delta Global Services ("DGS") that were recorded in salaries and related costs prior to the sale of that business in December 2018. These increases were partially offset by lower fuel expense on an 8% decrease in the market price per gallon of fuel and improved fuel efficiency driven by our ongoing fleet transformation.

Our operating cost per available seat mile ("CASM") decreased 1.3% to 14.67 cents compared to 2018, primarily due to lower fuel expense and a 4.6% increase in capacity. Non-fuel unit costs ("CASM-Ex", a non-GAAP financial measure) increased 2.0% to 10.52 cents due to the higher revenue- and capacity-related expense increases discussed above.

Non-Operating Expense. Total non-operating expense was $420 million during 2019 compared to $113 million in 2018, primarily due to an increase in pension and related expense compared to the prior year, partially offset by higher gains on investments.

29


Expanding Our Global Network

In 2019, international revenues grew 2.7% on a 3.3% increase in capacity. We continued to make significant progress in expanding our global reach by acquiring an equity stake in Hanjin-KAL, the largest shareholder of Korean Air, and announcing plans to enter into a strategic alliance with LATAM and completing a tender offer to acquire a 20% equity stake which closed in January 2020. Effective in January 2020, we combined our separate transatlantic joint venture agreements with Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic into a single three-party transatlantic joint venture. In addition, we continue to make progress on our joint venture agreement with WestJet with respect to trans-border routes between the U.S. and Canada. This agreement remains subject to required regulatory approvals.

Investing for the Future

Our $8.4 billion of cash flows from operations helped fund $4.9 billion in capital expenditures for the business. As part of our multi-year fleet transformation, we took delivery of 88 new aircraft, including A321-200s, B-737-900ERs, A350-900s, A330-900s, A220-100s and CRJ-900s. These deliveries allowed for the retirement of older, less fuel efficient aircraft, including the announced retirement of our MD-90 fleet by the end of 2022. We also made significant investments in cabin interior refurbishments, Sky Clubs and technology.

The non-GAAP financial measures free cash flow, TRASM, adjusted and CASM-Ex used above, are defined and reconciled in "Supplemental Information" below.
30


Results of Operations

Operating Revenue
Year Ended December 31, Increase
(Decrease)
% Increase
(Decrease)
(in millions) 2019 2018
Ticket - Main cabin $ 21,919    $ 21,196    $ 723    3.4  %
Ticket - Business cabin and premium products 14,989    13,754    1,235    9.0  %
Loyalty travel awards 2,900    2,651    249    9.4  %
Travel-related services 2,469    2,154    315    14.6  %
Total passenger revenue $ 42,277    $ 39,755    $ 2,522    6.3  %
Cargo 753    865    (112)   (12.9) %
Other 3,977    3,818    159    4.2  %
Total operating revenue $ 47,007    $ 44,438    $ 2,569    5.8  %
TRASM (cents) 17.07  ¢ 16.87  ¢ 0.20  ¢ 1.2  %
Third-party refinery sales(1)
(0.04)   (0.21)   0.17    NM   
DGS sale adjustment(1)
—    (0.09)   0.09    NM   
TRASM, adjusted (cents) 17.03  ¢ 16.57  ¢ 0.46  ¢ 2.8  %
(1)For additional information on adjustments to TRASM, see "Supplemental Information" below.

Passenger Revenue

Ticket revenues, including both main cabin and business cabin and premium products increased $2.0 billion compared to the year ended December 31, 2018. Business cabin and premium products ticket revenue includes revenues from fare products other than main cabin, including Delta One, Delta Premium Select, First Class and Comfort+. The growth in ticket revenue was driven by strength in the Delta brand and products, capitalizing on healthy industry business and leisure demand. We continue to take delivery of new aircraft that include more premium seats, while also generating higher paid load factor for premium products.

Loyalty travel awards revenue increased $249 million compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 due to growth in mileage redemptions. Travel-related services increased $315 million compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to increases in checked baggage and ticket change revenues.

Passenger Revenue by Geographic Region

Increase (Decrease) vs. Year Ended December 31, 2018
(in millions) Year Ended December 31, 2019 Passenger Revenue
RPMs (Traffic)
ASMs (Capacity) Passenger Mile Yield PRASM Load Factor
Domestic $ 30,367    7.8  % 6.8  % 5.3  % 1.0  % 2.4  % 1.2    pts
Atlantic 6,381    3.5  % 4.8  % 4.4  % (1.3) % (0.9) % 0.4    pts
Latin America 3,002    4.0  % (0.1) % (0.9) % 4.0  % 4.9  % 0.7    pts
Pacific 2,527    (0.6) % 3.5  % 5.0  % (4.0) % (5.3) % (1.2)   pts
Total passenger revenue $ 42,277    6.3  % 5.5  % 4.6  % 0.8  % 1.7  % 0.8    pts

Passenger revenue increased $2.5 billion, or 6.3%, compared to the prior year. PRASM increased 1.7% and passenger mile yield increased 0.8% on 4.6% higher capacity. Load factor increased 0.8 pts from the prior year to 86.3%.

Domestic unit revenue increased 2.4%, resulting from our commercial initiatives, including our premium products, as well as high load factors driven by a combination of strong demand and limited industry capacity growth.
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Passenger revenue related to our international regions increased 2.7% year-over-year primarily due to capacity growth in the Atlantic region and yield strength in the Latin America region. This growth in passenger revenue was achieved despite the negative impact of foreign currency fluctuations.

Atlantic unit revenues decreased due to foreign currency fluctuations between the U.S. dollar and the Euro and British pound, the uncertain economic outlook in Europe and increased industry capacity. These conditions were partially offset by growth in premium product demand and strong U.S. point of sale.

Unit revenue increased in Latin America principally as a result of yield growth, mainly due to reduced industry capacity in Brazil and improvements in Mexico beach markets. In the September 2019 quarter we announced our plan to enter into a strategic alliance with LATAM, which is expected to provide great customer convenience, a more seamless travel experience and to better connect customers between North and South America.

Unit revenue decreased in the Pacific region primarily on persistent economic and trade related uncertainty, foreign currency fluctuations and increased capacity to China, Japan and Korea due to our network transformation. Despite these challenges, our joint venture with Korean Air has enabled solid traffic growth and we have continued to reshape our Pacific network with the announcements that in the March 2020 quarter we will transfer our U.S.-Tokyo services from Narita to Haneda airport, Tokyo's preferred airport for corporate customers, and shift our Beijing service to the new Beijing Daxing airport.

Starting in February 2020, we temporarily suspended flights between the U.S. and China as the result of an outbreak of a novel coronavirus originating in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. We have suspended flights between the U.S. and China through April 30, will continue to monitor the situation closely and may make additional adjustments.

Other Revenue
Year Ended December 31, Increase
(Decrease)
% Increase
(Decrease)
(in millions) 2019 2018
Loyalty program $ 1,962    $ 1,459    $ 503    34.5  %
Ancillary businesses and refinery 1,297    1,801    (504)   (28.0) %
Miscellaneous 718    558    160    28.7  %
Total other revenue $ 3,977    $ 3,818    $ 159    4.2  %


Loyalty Program. Loyalty program revenues relate primarily to brand usage by third parties and include the redemption of miles for non-travel awards.

Effective January 1, 2019, we amended our co-brand agreement with American Express, and we also amended other agreements with American Express during the March quarter. The new agreements increase the value we receive and extend the terms to 2029. Under the agreements, we sell miles to American Express and allow American Express to market its services or products using our brand and customer database. The products and services sold with the miles (such as award travel, priority boarding, baggage fee waivers, lounge access and the use of our brand) are consistent with previous agreements. We continue to use the accounting method that allocates the consideration received based on the relative selling prices of those products and services. The increase in loyalty program revenues are primarily related to brand usage by American Express.

Ancillary Businesses and Refinery. Ancillary businesses and refinery includes aircraft maintenance provided to third parties, our vacation wholesale operations, our private jet operations and refinery sales to third parties. Refinery sales to third parties, which are at or near cost, decreased $451 million compared to 2018. The 2018 results also included $244 million of third-party revenue from DGS, which was sold in December 2018. These decreases were mitigated by growth in our MRO revenues, which increased $175 million to $877 million during 2019.

In January 2020, we combined Delta Private Jets, our wholly owned subsidiary which provides private jet operations, with Wheels Up. Upon closing, we received a 27% equity stake in Wheels Up. Delta Private Jets will no longer be consolidated and annual revenues of approximately $200 million, which have historically been generated ratably through the year, will no longer be reflected in ancillary businesses and refinery revenue.

Miscellaneous. Miscellaneous revenue is primarily composed of lounge access and codeshare revenues, with lounge access revenue driving the majority of the $160 million increase compared to 2018. We continually enhance the customer experience at our lounges, which also included opening three new Sky Clubs during 2019 in Austin, Phoenix and New Orleans.
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Operating Expense
Year Ended December 31, Increase
(Decrease)
% Increase
(Decrease)
(in millions) 2019 2018
Salaries and related costs $ 11,225    $ 10,743    $ 482    4.5  %
Aircraft fuel and related taxes 8,519    9,020    (501)   (5.6) %
Regional carriers expense, excluding fuel 3,584    3,438    146    4.2  %
Contracted services 2,641    2,175    466    21.4  %
Depreciation and amortization 2,581    2,329    252    10.8  %
Passenger commissions and other selling expenses 1,993    1,941    52    2.7  %
Landing fees and other rents 1,762    1,662    100    6.0  %
Aircraft maintenance materials and outside repairs 1,751    1,575    176    11.2  %
Profit sharing 1,643    1,301    342    26.3  %
Passenger service 1,251    1,178    73    6.2  %
Ancillary businesses and refinery 1,245    1,695    (450)   (26.5) %
Aircraft rent 423    394    29    7.4  %
Other 1,771    1,723    48    2.8  %
Total operating expense $ 40,389    $ 39,174    $ 1,215    3.1  %


Salaries and Related Costs. The increase in salaries and related costs is primarily due to pay rate increases for eligible employees. This increase is partially offset by salaries for DGS employees, which are no longer included in salaries and related costs following the sale of that business in December 2018. DGS-related expenses are now recorded in contracted services.

Aircraft Fuel and Related Taxes. Fuel expense decreased $501 million compared to the prior year despite a 4.6% increase in capacity, due to an 8% decrease in the market price per gallon of fuel and improved fuel efficiency driven by our investment in new aircraft.

The table below shows the impact of hedging and the refinery on fuel expense and average price per gallon, adjusted (non-GAAP financial measures):
Average Price Per Gallon
Year Ended December 31,    Increase
(Decrease)
Year Ended December 31,    Increase (Decrease)
(in millions, except per gallon data)(1)
2019 2018 2019 2018
Fuel purchase cost(2)
$ 8,581    $ 9,131    $ (550)   $ 2.04    $ 2.22    $ (0.18)  
Fuel hedge impact 14    (53)   67    —    (0.01)   0.01   
Refinery segment impact (76)   (58)   (18)   (0.02)   (0.01)   (0.01)  
Total fuel expense $ 8,519    $ 9,020    $ (501)   $ 2.02    $ 2.20    $ (0.18)  
MTM adjustments and settlements on hedges(3)
(14)   53    (67)   —    0.01    (0.01)  
Total fuel expense, adjusted $ 8,505    $ 9,073    $ (568)   $ 2.02    $ 2.21    $ (0.19)  

(1)This reconciliation may not calculate exactly due to rounding.
(2)Market price for jet fuel at airport locations, including related taxes and transportation costs.
(3)MTM adjustments and settlements on hedges include the effects of the derivative transactions disclosed in Note 5 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements. For additional information and the reason for adjusting fuel expense, see "Supplemental Information" below.

Contracted Services. The increase in contracted services expense predominantly relates to services performed by DGS that were recorded in salaries and related costs prior to the sale of that business in December 2018. During 2018, DGS incurred expenses of approximately $350 million related to internal Delta services that were primarily recorded in salaries and related costs. After the sale of DGS to a third party, we now record these expenses and our portion of the new entity's ("AirCo") financial results under the equity method of accounting, in contracted services.

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Depreciation and Amortization. The increase in depreciation and amortization primarily results from $79 million of accelerated depreciation due to the decision to early retire our MD-90 fleet by the end of 2022, new aircraft deliveries, fleet modifications and technology enhancements. As we take delivery of new aircraft, we continue to evaluate our current fleet compared to network requirements. See Note 11 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on the planned early retirement of our MD-90 fleet.

In addition to investing in our fleet, we have also increased our technology investments in an effort to enhance interactions with our customers and allow us to deliver more personalized service, further enhancing the customer experience and strengthening our brand and competitive position. During 2019, we delivered several capabilities that enable our front-line employees to personalize their interactions with our customers, added self-service features on the FlyDelta app, including automatic international check-in, integrated security wait times and the ability to pre-select meals in Delta One and domestic First Class. In addition, we expanded facial recognition biometric boarding for international travelers in the Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Salt Lake City airports. These increased capital expenditures have led to a corresponding increase in depreciation and amortization.

Aircraft Maintenance Materials and Outside Repairs. Aircraft maintenance materials and outside repairs consist of costs associated with the maintenance of aircraft used in our operations. The increase primarily relates to a higher volume of scheduled engine overhauls on certain aircraft during the second half of 2019.

Profit Sharing. Profit sharing expense increased $342 million to $1.6 billion, marking the sixth consecutive year that Delta employees will receive over $1 billion in recognition of their contributions to the company's performance. The increase in profit sharing is related to higher profit during the year. Our profit sharing program pays 10% to all eligible employees for the first $2.5 billion of annual profit and 20% of annual profit above $2.5 billion.

Ancillary Businesses and Refinery. Ancillary businesses and refinery includes expenses associated with aircraft maintenance services we provide to third parties, our vacation wholesale operations, our private jet operations and refinery sales to third parties. Expenses related to refinery sales to third parties, which are at or near cost, decreased $451 million compared to the prior year. In addition, approximately $200 million of costs related to services performed by DGS on behalf of third parties were recorded in ancillary businesses and refinery prior to the sale of that business in December 2018. These decreases were partially offset by growth in our MRO business, as discussed above.

In January 2020, we combined Delta Private Jets, our wholly owned subsidiary which provides private jet operations, with Wheels Up. Upon closing, we received a 27% equity stake in Wheels Up. Delta Private Jets will no longer be consolidated and annual costs of approximately $200 million, which have historically been incurred ratably through the year, will no longer be reflected in ancillary businesses and refinery expense.
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Non-Operating Results
Year Ended December 31, Favorable (Unfavorable)
(in millions) 2019 2018  2019 vs. 2018
Interest expense, net $ (301)   $ (311)   $ 10   
Gain/(loss) on investments, net 119    38    81   
Miscellaneous, net (238)   160    (398)  
Total non-operating expense, net $ (420)   $ (113)   $ (307)  

Interest Expense. At December 31, 2018, the principal amount of debt and finance leases was $9.7 billion. During 2019, we issued $1.5 billion of unsecured notes and $500 million of aircraft secured EETC debt. As a result of the debt issuances, partially offset by principal payments, the amount of debt and finance leases was $11.0 billion at December 31, 2019. Despite the increase in debt during the current year, interest expense decreased $10 million compared to the prior year due to recent refinancing transactions at lower interest rates resulting from our improvement to investment grade credit rating in recent years and the favorable interest rate environment.

Gain/(Loss) on Investments. Gain/(loss) on investments reflects the gains and losses on our equity investments. The increase compared to 2018 primarily results from unrealized gains in Hanjin-KAL and Air France-KLM.

Miscellaneous. Miscellaneous, net is primarily composed of pension and related expense, our proportionate share of earnings from our equity investments in Virgin Atlantic and Grupo Aeroméxico, charitable contributions and foreign exchange gains/(losses).

The change from 2019 compared to 2018 primarily results from the unfavorable movement in pension and related expense and the sale of our DGS entity in 2018. The pension and related expense was $65 million in 2019 compared to a benefit of $245 million in 2018. In 2018, the sale of our DGS entity to a subsidiary of Argenbright Holdings, LLC resulted in a gain of $91 million.

Our equity investment earnings and foreign exchange gains/(losses) fluctuate and thus impact the comparability of miscellaneous from period to period.

Income Taxes

Our effective tax rate for 2019 was 23.1%. We expect our annual effective tax rate to be between 23% and 24% for 2020. At December 31, 2019, we had approximately $1.9 billion of U.S. federal pre-tax net operating loss carryforwards, which do not begin to expire until 2027. We believe we will utilize the majority of our remaining federal net operating losses and tax credits during 2020.

For more information about our income taxes, see Note 12 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

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Refinery Segment

The refinery primarily produces gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Monroe exchanges the non-jet fuel products the refinery produces with third parties for jet fuel consumed in our airline operations. The jet fuel produced and procured through exchanging gasoline and diesel fuel produced by the refinery provides approximately 200,000 barrels per day, or approximately 75% of our consumption, for use in our airline operations. We believe that the jet fuel supply resulting from the refinery's operation contributes to reducing the market price of jet fuel and thus lowers our cost of jet fuel compared to what it otherwise would be.

During the December 2018 quarter, the refinery completed a planned maintenance event ("turnaround") and did not produce any refined products for approximately 60 days. The turnaround was in accordance with the long-term maintenance plan for the facility to allow for the safe completion of major repairs and upgrades.

The refinery recorded operating revenues of $5.6 billion in 2019, compared to $5.5 billion in 2018. Operating revenues in 2019 were primarily composed of $4.0 billion of non-jet fuel products exchanged with third parties to procure jet fuel, $1.1 billion of sales of jet fuel to the airline segment and $395 million of non-jet fuel product sales. Refinery revenues increased compared to the prior year due to higher throughput and yields offset by lower costs of crude oil leading to lower pricing for associated refined products.

The refinery recorded operating income of $76 million and $58 million in 2019 and 2018, respectively. The refinery's operating income in 2019 was higher primarily due to the 60 day cessation of operations during the turnaround in the December 2018 quarter and favorable market conditions year over year.

A refinery is subject to annual EPA requirements to blend renewable fuels into the gasoline and on-road diesel fuel it produces. Alternatively, a refinery may purchase renewable energy credits, called RINs, from third parties in the secondary market. The refinery operated by Monroe purchases the majority of its RINs requirement in the secondary market. Observable RINs prices stabilized in 2019 after significant fluctuations in previous years, with Monroe incurring $58 million in RINs compliance costs during the current year.

For more information regarding the refinery's results, see Note 15 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.



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Financial Condition and Liquidity

We expect to meet our cash needs for the next 12 months with cash flows from operations, cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash equivalents and financing arrangements. As of December 31, 2019, we had $6.0 billion in unrestricted liquidity, consisting of $2.9 billion in cash and cash equivalents and $3.1 billion in undrawn revolving credit facilities. During 2019, we used existing cash and cash generated from operations to fund capital expenditures of $4.9 billion, and return $3.0 billion to shareholders.

Sources of Liquidity

Operating Activities

Cash flows from operating activities continue to provide our primary source of liquidity. We generated cash flows from operations of $8.4 billion in 2019 and $7.0 billion in 2018. We also expect to continue generating cash flows from operations in 2020.

Our operating cash flows are impacted by the following factors:

Seasonality of Advance Ticket Sales. We sell tickets for air travel in advance of the customer's travel date. When we receive a cash payment at the time of sale, we record the cash received on advance sales as deferred revenue in air traffic liability. The air traffic liability increases during the winter and spring as advanced ticket sales grow prior to the summer peak travel season and decreases during the summer and fall months.

Fuel. Fuel expense represented approximately 21% of our total operating expenses for 2019. The market price for jet fuel is volatile, which can impact the comparability of our periodic cash flows from operations.

Pension Contributions. We sponsor defined benefit pension plans for eligible employees and retirees. These plans are closed to new entrants and are frozen for future benefit accruals. Our funding obligations for these plans are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, as modified by the Pension Protection Act of 2006. We had no minimum funding requirements in 2019. However, during 2019, we voluntarily contributed $1 billion to these plans. We contributed $500 million to these plans during 2018. We have no minimum funding requirements in 2020, but we plan to voluntarily contribute approximately $500 million to these plans.

Profit Sharing. Our broad-based employee profit sharing program provides that, for each year in which we have an annual pre-tax profit, as defined by the terms of the program, we will pay a specified portion of that profit to employees. In determining the amount of profit sharing, the program defines profit as pre-tax profit adjusted for profit sharing and certain other items.

We pay profit sharing annually in February. We paid $1.3 billion in 2019 and $1.1 billion in 2018 to our employees in recognition of their contributions toward meeting our financial goals. During the year ended December 31, 2019, we recorded $1.6 billion in profit sharing expense based on 2019 pre-tax profit, which we will pay to employees in February 2020.

Effective October 1, 2017, we aligned our profit sharing plans under a single formula. Under this formula, our profit sharing program pays 10% to all eligible employees for the first $2.5 billion of annual profit and 20% of annual profit above $2.5 billion. Prior to that time, the profit sharing program for pilots used this formula but in the first nine months of 2017, the profit sharing program for merit, ground and flight attendant employees paid 10% of annual profit and, if we exceeded our prior-year results, the program paid 20% of the year-over-year increase in profit to eligible employees.

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Investing Activities

Capital Expenditures. Our capital expenditures were $4.9 billion in 2019 and $5.2 billion in 2018. Our capital expenditures are primarily related to the purchase of aircraft, fleet modifications and technology enhancements.

As part of a multi-year initiative, we are investing in aircraft intended to provide more premium products, improved customer experience, greater fuel efficiency and better operating economics. We have committed to future aircraft purchases that will require significant capital investment and have obtained, but are under no obligation to use, long-term financing commitments for a substantial portion of the purchase price of a significant number of these aircraft. We expect that we will invest approximately $4.5 billion in 2020 primarily for aircraft, including deliveries and advance deposit payments, as well as aircraft modifications, the majority of which relate to cabin enhancements throughout our fleet. We expect that the investments in 2020 will be funded principally through cash flows from operations.

In October 2019, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced a 10% tariff on new aircraft imported from Europe. We are evaluating the impact of this announcement on our future Airbus deliveries.

Equity Investments. During 2019, we acquired 10% of the outstanding shares of Hanjin-KAL, the largest shareholder of Korean Air for $170 million.

In September 2019 we announced our plan to enter into a strategic alliance with LATAM Airlines Group S.A ("LATAM") as well as acquire up to a 20% interest through a tender offer. In January 2020 we acquired 20% of the shares of LATAM for $1.9 billion, or $16 per share.

In addition, to support the establishment of the strategic alliance, we will invest $350 million, $200 million of which was disbursed in 2019. An additional $50 million is scheduled to be disbursed during 2020. As part of our planned strategic alliance with LATAM, we have also agreed to acquire four A350 aircraft from LATAM and plan to assume ten of LATAM's A350 purchase commitments from Airbus, with deliveries through 2025.

This alliance is expected to generate new growth opportunities, building upon Delta's and LATAM's global footprint and joint ventures, including Delta's existing partnership with Aeroméxico. We have sold our GOL ownership stake and are winding down our commercial agreements with GOL to facilitate the formation of our strategic alliance with LATAM.

See Note 4 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information on our equity investments.

Los Angeles International Airport ("LAX") Construction. We executed a modified lease agreement during 2016 with the City of Los Angeles ("the City") which owns and operates LAX, and announced plans to modernize, upgrade and connect Terminals 2 and 3 at LAX. Under the lease agreement, we have relocated certain airlines and other tenants from Terminals 2 and 3 to Terminals 5 and 6 and undertaken various initial projects to enable operations from Terminals 2 and 3 during the project. We are now designing and constructing the redevelopment of Terminal 3 and enhancement of Terminal 2, which also includes rebuilding the ticketing and arrival halls and security checkpoint, construction of core infrastructure to support the City's planned airport people mover, ramp improvements and construction of a secure connector to the north side of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Construction is expected to be completed by 2024.

Under the lease agreement and subsequent project component approvals by the City's Board of Airport Commissioners, the City has appropriated to date approximately $1.6 billion to purchase completed project assets. The lease allows for a maximum reimbursement by the City of $1.8 billion. Costs we incur in excess of such maximum will not be reimbursed by the City.

A substantial majority of the project costs are being funded through the Regional Airports Improvement Corporation ("RAIC"), a California public benefit corporation, using an $800 million revolving credit facility provided by a group of lenders. The credit facility was executed during 2017 and amended in 2019 and we have guaranteed the obligations of the RAIC under the credit facility. Loans made under the credit facility are being repaid with the proceeds from the City’s purchase of completed project assets. Using funding provided by cash flows from operations and/or the credit facility, we spent approximately $176 million on this project during 2019 and expect to spend approximately $240 million during 2020.

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New York-LaGuardia Redevelopment. As part of the terminal redevelopment project at LaGuardia Airport, we are partnering with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ("Port Authority") to replace Terminals C and D with a new state-of-the-art terminal facility consisting of 37 gates across 4 concourses connected to a central headhouse. The terminal will feature a new, larger Delta Sky Club, wider concourses, more gate seating and 30 percent more concessions space than the existing terminals. The facility will also offer direct access between the parking garage and terminal and improved roadways and drop-off/pick-up areas. The design of the new terminal will integrate sustainable technologies and improvements in energy efficiency. Construction will be phased to limit passenger inconvenience and is expected to be completed by 2026.

In connection with the redevelopment, during 2017, we entered into an amended and restated terminal lease with the Port Authority with a term through 2050. Pursuant to the lease agreement we will (1) fund (through debt issuance and existing cash) and undertake the design, management and construction of the terminal and certain off-premises supporting facilities, (2) receive a Port Authority contribution of $600 million to facilitate construction of the terminal and other supporting infrastructure, (3) be responsible for all operations and maintenance during the term of the lease and (4) have preferential rights to all gates in the terminal subject to Port Authority requirements with respect to accommodation of designated carriers. We currently expect our net project cost to be approximately $3.3 billion and we bear the risks of project construction, including any potential cost over-runs. Using funding provided by cash flows from operations and/or financing arrangements, we spent approximately $562 million on this project during 2019 and expect to spend approximately $700 million during 2020.

In the December 2019 quarter, we opened Concourse G, the first of the four new concourses housing seven of the 37 new gates. Not only does this deliver the first direct impact to the Delta passenger experience, it also represents the first major phasing milestone. This new concourse will allow us to vacate portions of the existing terminals which can then be demolished and made ready for the next phase of construction. The next major milestone will be the opening of the headhouse and Concourse E, which is scheduled for 2022.

Financing Activities

Debt and Finance Leases. In February 2019, we entered into a $1 billion term loan issued by two lenders, which was subsequently repaid by the end of the June 2019 quarter. We used the net proceeds of the term loan to accelerate planned 2019 repurchases under our share repurchase program.

In the March 2019 quarter, we completed a $500 million offering of Pass Through Certificates, Series 2019-1 ("2019-1 EETC") through a pass through trust. The net proceeds of the offering were used for general corporate purposes, including to refinance debt maturing during 2019.

In October 2019 we issued $1.5 billion in aggregate principal amount of unsecured notes, consisting of $900 million of 2.9% Notes due 2024 and $600 million of 3.75% Notes due 2029 (collectively, the "Notes"). We used the net proceeds from the offering of these Notes to fund a portion of the tender offer to acquire common shares of LATAM in January 2020.

During 2019, the three major credit rating agencies reaffirmed our investment-grade ratings:
Rating Agency Current Rating Outlook
Fitch BBB- Stable
Moody's Baa3 Stable
Standard & Poor's BBB- Stable

Capital Returns to Shareholders. Since first implementing our quarterly dividend in 2013, we have annually increased the dividend per share and paid $3.8 billion in total dividends, including $980 million in 2019. Through dividends and share repurchases, we have returned $15.3 billion to shareholders since 2013, while reducing outstanding shares by approximately 25% compared to the beginning of 2013. During 2019, we repurchased and retired 38 million shares at a cost of $2.0 billion.

On February 6, 2020, the Board of Directors approved and we will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.4025 per share to shareholders of record as of February 20, 2020.

Undrawn Lines of Credit

We have $3.1 billion available in revolving lines of credit. These credit facilities include covenants customary for financing of this type. If we are not in compliance with these covenants, we may be required to repay amounts borrowed under the credit facilities or we may not be able to draw on them.
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Covenants

We were in compliance with the covenants in our financing agreements at December 31, 2019.

Contractual Obligations

The following table summarizes our contractual obligations at December 31, 2019 that we expect will be paid in cash. The table does not include amounts that are contingent on events or other factors that are uncertain or unknown at this time, including legal contingencies, uncertain tax positions and amounts payable under collective bargaining arrangements, among others. In addition, the table does not include expected significant cash payments representing obligations that arise in the ordinary course of business that do not include contractual commitments.

The amounts presented are based on various estimates, including estimates regarding the timing of payments, prevailing interest rates, volumes purchased, the occurrence of certain events and other factors. Accordingly, the actual results may vary materially from the amounts presented in the table.
Contractual Obligations by Year(1)
(in millions) 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Thereafter Total
Debt (see Note 7)
Principal amount $ 2,060    $ 1,094    $ 1,708    $ 932    $ 1,508    $ 2,689    $ 9,991   
Interest payments 307    295    246    185    154    635    1,822   
Finance lease obligations (see Note 8)
Principal amount 233    213    156    111    171    169    1,053   
Interest payments 31    26    18    13      10    107   
Operating lease obligations (see Note 8)
1,031    913    825    803    738    4,293    8,603   
Aircraft purchase commitments (see Note 11)
2,980    3,740    3,390    1,640    500    1,440    13,690   
Contract carrier obligations (see Note 11)
1,750    1,432    1,377    1,132    1,002    2,349    9,042   
Employee benefit obligations (see Note 10)
134    133    119    110    102    4,650    5,248   
Other obligations 2,993    919    1,137    807    596    5,904    12,356   
Total $ 11,519    $ 8,765    $ 8,976    $ 5,733    $ 4,780    $ 22,139    $ 61,912   
(1)For additional information, see the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements referenced in the table above.

Debt, Principal Amount. Represents scheduled principal payments on debt.

Debt, Interest Payments. Represents estimated interest payments based on interest rates specified in our applicable debt agreements. Interest payments on variable interest rate debt were calculated using LIBOR at December 31, 2019.

Finance and Operating Lease Obligations. Refer to Note 8 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding finance and operating leases.

Aircraft Purchase Commitments. Refer to the aircraft purchase commitments table in Item 2 for additional information about our future aircraft purchases.

Contract Carrier Obligations. Represents our estimated minimum fixed obligations under capacity purchase agreements with third-party regional carriers. The reported amounts are based on (1) the required minimum levels of flying by our contract carriers under the applicable agreements and (2) assumptions regarding the costs associated with such minimum levels of flying.

Employee Benefit Obligations. Represents primarily (1) projected future benefit payments from our unfunded postretirement and postemployment plans and (2) our estimated minimum required funding for our qualified defined benefit pension plans based on actuarially determined estimates. For additional information about our defined benefit pension plan obligations, see "Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates."

Other Obligations. Represents estimated purchase obligations under which we are required to make minimum payments for goods and services, including, but not limited to, aviation-related, maintenance, professional security, insurance, marketing, technology, sponsorships and other third-party services and products. This also includes obligations related to our investment in and planned strategic alliance with LATAM.
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Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Our critical accounting policies and estimates are those that require significant judgments and estimates. Accordingly, the actual results may differ materially from these estimates. For a discussion of these and other accounting policies, see Note 1 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Loyalty Program

Our SkyMiles loyalty program generates customer loyalty by rewarding customers with incentives to travel on Delta. This program allows customers to earn mileage credits ("miles") by flying on Delta, Delta Connection and other airlines that participate in the loyalty program. When traveling, customers earn redeemable miles based on the passenger's loyalty program status and ticket price. Customers can also earn miles through participating companies such as credit card companies, hotels, car rental agencies and ridesharing companies. To facilitate transactions with participating companies, we sell miles to non-airline businesses, customers and other airlines. Miles are redeemable by customers in