424B4 1 tm2113248-12_424b4.htm 424B4 tm2113248-12_424b4 - none - 43.2346886s
  Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4)​
 Registration No. 333-256201​
 Registration No. 333-256309​
PROSPECTUS
7,250,000 Shares
Sun Country Airlines Holdings, Inc.
Common Stock
The selling stockholder identified in this prospectus is selling 7,250,000 shares of common stock of Sun Country Airlines Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation. We are not selling any shares of our common stock, and we will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of shares of our common stock offered by the selling stockholder.
Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (Nasdaq) under the symbol SNCY. The last reported sale price of our common stock on May 19, 2021 was $35.55 per share.
SCA Horus Holdings, LLC (the Apollo Stockholder), which is an affiliate of certain investment funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc., is currently our majority stockholder and is the selling stockholder in this offering. Following the completion of this offering, the Apollo Stockholder will continue to own a majority of the voting power of our outstanding common stock. As a result, we expect to continue to be a controlled company under the corporate governance rules for Nasdaq-listed companies and will remain exempt from certain corporate governance requirements of such rules. See Risk Factors—Risks Related to this Offering and Ownership of our Common Stock, Management—Controlled Company and Principal and Selling Stockholders.
We are also an emerging growth company as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 and are eligible for reduced public company reporting requirements. Please see Prospectus Summary—Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company.
By participating in this offering, you are representing that you are a citizen of the United States, as defined in 49 U.S.C. § 40102(a)(15). See Description of Capital Stock—Limited Ownership and Voting by Foreign Owners.
Investing in our common stock involves risks that are described in the Risk Factors section beginning on page 22 of this prospectus.
Per Share
Total
Public offering price
$ 34.50 $ 250,125,000
Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)
$ 1.38 $ 10,005,000
Proceeds, before expenses, to the selling stockholder
$ 33.12 $ 240,120,000
(1)
See “Underwriting (Conflict of Interest)” for additional information regarding the underwriters’ compensation and reimbursement of expenses.
The underwriters may also exercise their option to purchase up to an additional 1,087,500 shares from the selling stockholder at the public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions, for 30 days after the date of this prospectus.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
The underwriters expect to deliver the shares of common stock against payment on or about May 24, 2021.
Joint Bookrunners
Barclays             Morgan StanleyDeutsche Bank Securities
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLCNomura
Co-Managers
Apollo Global Securities AmeriVet Securities Siebert Williams Shank Tribal Capital Markets, LLC
Prospectus dated May 19, 2021

 
For investors outside the United States: none of us, the selling stockholder or the underwriters have done anything that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus or any free writing prospectus we may provide to you in connection with this offering in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. You are required to inform yourselves about and to observe any restrictions relating to this offering and the distribution of this prospectus and any such free writing prospectus outside of the United States.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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F-1
None of us, the selling stockholder or the underwriters have authorized any other person to provide you with any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectuses we have prepared. We, the selling stockholder and the underwriters take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may provide you. The selling stockholder is offering to sell, and seeking offers to buy, shares of common stock only in jurisdictions where offers and sales are permitted. You should assume that the information appearing in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or of any sale of the common stock. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.
 
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TRADEMARKS, TRADE NAMES, AND SERVICE MARKS
We use various trademarks, trade names and service marks in our business, including “Sun Country,” “Sun Country Airlines,” “Sun Country Connections,” “Sun Country Rewards,” “Sun Country Vacations,” “The Hometown Airline” and “UFLY,” as well as our signature “S” logo. This prospectus contains references to our trademarks, trade names and service marks. Solely for convenience, trademarks and trade names referred to in this prospectus may appear without the ® or TM symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensor to these trademarks and trade names. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trade names, trademarks or service marks to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies.
INDUSTRY AND MARKET DATA
We include in this prospectus statements regarding our industry, our competitors and factors that have impacted our and our customers’ industries. Such statements are statements of belief and are based on industry data and forecasts that we have obtained from industry publications and surveys, including those published by the United States Department of Transportation, as well as internal company sources. Industry publications, surveys and forecasts generally state that the information contained therein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but there can be no assurance as to the accuracy or completeness of such information. In addition, while we believe that the industry information included herein is generally reliable, such information is inherently imprecise. Certain statements regarding our competitors are based on publicly available information, including filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and United States Department of Transportation by such competitors, published industry sources and management estimates. While we are not aware of any misstatements regarding the industry, competitor and market data presented herein, our estimates involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in this prospectus.
BASIS OF PRESENTATION
In this prospectus, unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, references to the “Company,” the “Issuer,” “Sun Country,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer, prior to our conversion to a corporation, to SCA Acquisition Holdings, LLC and its consolidated subsidiaries and, after our conversion to a corporation, to Sun Country Airlines Holdings, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries. See “Prospectus Summary—The Reorganization Transactions.”
On April 11, 2018, MN Airlines, LLC (d/b/a Sun Country Airlines and now known as Sun Country, Inc.) was indirectly acquired by certain investment funds (the “Apollo Funds”) managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, “Apollo”). As a result of the change of control, the acquisition was accounted for as a business combination using the acquisition method of accounting, which requires, among other things, that our assets and liabilities be recognized on the consolidated balance sheet at their fair value as of the acquisition date. Accordingly, the financial information provided in this prospectus is presented as “Predecessor” or “Successor” to indicate whether they relate to the period preceding the acquisition or the period succeeding the acquisition, respectively. Due to the change in the basis of accounting resulting from the acquisition, the consolidated financial statements for the Predecessor and Successor periods, included elsewhere in this prospectus, are not necessarily comparable.
All consolidated financial statements presented in this prospectus have been prepared in U.S. dollars in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”).
For the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, we were managed as a single segment that provided scheduled service and charter air transportation to passengers. In May 2020, we began providing air cargo services under the ATSA (as defined in the “Glossary of Terms” below) and, during the fourth quarter of 2020, we determined that we have two reportable segments: passenger and cargo. As air cargo operations commenced in May 2020, the cargo segment had no comparable operations for any other prior period presented.
 
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GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Set forth below is a glossary of certain terms used in this prospectus:
“Adjusted CASM” means CASM excluding fuel costs, costs related to our cargo operations (starting in 2020 when we launched our cargo operations), certain commissions and other costs of selling our vacations product and excluding special items, income tax receivable expenses and other adjustments, as defined for the relevant reporting period, that are not representative of the ongoing costs necessary to our airline operations and may improve comparability between periods. We also exclude stock compensation expense when computing Adjusted CASM. Our compensation strategy includes the use of stock-based compensation to attract and retain employees and executives and is principally aimed at aligning their interests with those of our stockholders and at long-term employee retention, rather than to motivate or reward operational performance for any particular period. Thus, stock-based compensation expense varies for reasons that are generally unrelated to operational decisions and performance in any particular period. When Adjusted CASM is referenced or presented for other airlines, it has been adjusted to our average stage length for the period presented.
“Aircraft miles” means miles flown by all of our aircraft, measured by summing up the miles for each completed flight segment.
“Air traffic liability” means the value of tickets sold in advance of travel.
“ALPA” means the Air Line Pilots Association, the union representing our pilots. “Amazon” means Amazon.com Services, LLC, together with its affiliates.
“Ancillary revenue” consists primarily of revenue generated from air travel-related services such as baggage fees, seat selection and upgrade fees, itinerary service fees, on-board sales and sales of trip insurance.
“Ancillary services” refers to the services that generate ancillary revenue.
“ATSA” means the Air Transportation Services Agreement, dated as of December 13, 2019, as amended as of June 30, 2020, by and between Sun Country, Inc. and Amazon.com Services, LLC (successor to Amazon.com Services, Inc.), as amended or modified from time to time.
“Available seat miles” or “ASMs” means the number of seats available for passengers multiplied by the number of miles the seats are flown.
“Average aircraft” means the average number of aircraft used in flight operations, as calculated on a daily basis.
“Average daily aircraft utilization” means block hours divided by number of days in the period divided by average aircraft.
“Average stage length” means the average number of statute miles flown per flight segment.
“Block hours” means the number of hours during which the aircraft is in revenue service, measured from the time of gate departure before take-off until the time of gate arrival at the destination.
“Cargo service” includes our CMI service operations under the ATSA.
“CASM” or “unit costs” means operating expenses divided by total ASMs. When CASM is referenced or presented for other airlines, it has been adjusted to our average stage length for the period presented.
“CBA” means a collective bargaining agreement.
“CBP” means the United States Customs and Border Protection.
“Charter service” means flights operated for specific customers who purchase the entire flight from us and specify the origination and destination.
“Citizen of the United States” means (A) an individual who is a citizen of the United States; (B) a partnership each of whose partners is an individual who is a citizen of the United States; or (C) a corporation
 
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or association organized under the laws of the United States or a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States, of which the president and at least two-thirds of the board of directors and other managing officers are citizens of the United States, which is under the actual control of citizens of the United States, and in which at least 75% of the voting interest is owned and controlled by persons that are citizens of the United States.
“CMI service” means an arrangement whereby a cargo customer provides us with aircraft, pursuant to a sublease, and we provide crew, maintenance and insurance to operate such aircraft on the customer’s behalf. Amazon is currently our only CMI service customer.
“Completion factor” means the percentage of scheduled flights that are completed.
“COVID-19” means the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which was first reported in December 2019.
“DOT” means the United States Department of Transportation.
“EPA” means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
“FAA” means the United States Federal Aviation Administration.
“Flight cycle” means a cycle consisting of one take-off and one landing.
“Freighters” include the aircraft operated under the ATSA, which are configured entirely for cargo operations.
“GDS” means a Global Distribution System such as Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport, used by travel agencies and corporations to purchase tickets on participating airlines.
“IBT” means the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union representing our flight attendants.
“LCC” means low-cost carrier and includes JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines.
“Load factor” means the percentage of aircraft seat miles actually occupied on a flight (RPMs divided by ASMs) for scheduled service.
“Mainline U.S. passenger airlines” includes us, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Travel Company, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines.
“NMB” means the National Mediation Board.
“OTAs” means online travel agents.
“Passengers” means the total number of passengers flown on all flight segments.
“PRASM” means scheduled service revenue divided by ASMs for scheduled service.
“Revenue passenger miles” or “RPMs” means the number of miles flown by passengers.
“RLA” means the United States Railway Labor Act.
“Scheduled service” means transportation of passengers on flights we operate in and out of airports on a schedule of routes and flight times we provide for general sale.
“Scheduled service revenue” consists of base fares, unused and expired passenger credits and other expired travel credits for scheduled service.
“Stage-length adjustment” refers to an adjustment that can be utilized to compare CASM, PRASM and TRASM across airlines with varying stage lengths. All other things being equal, the same airline will have lower CASM, PRASM and TRASM as stage length increases since fixed and departure related costs are spread over increasingly longer average flight lengths. Therefore, as one method to facilitate comparison of these quantities across airlines (or even across the same airline for two different periods if the airline’s average stage length has changed significantly), it is common in the airline industry to settle on a common assumed
 
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stage length and then to adjust CASM, PRASM and TRASM appropriately. Stage-length adjusted comparisons are achieved by multiplying the base metric by a quotient, the numerator of which is the square root of the carrier’s stage length and the denominator of which is the square root of the common stage length. Stage-length adjustment techniques require judgment and different observers may use different techniques. For stage-length PRASM or TRASM comparisons in this prospectus, the stage length being utilized is the aircraft stage length.
“TRASM” or “unit revenue” means total revenue divided by total ASMs. Starting in 2020, we exclude cargo revenue from total revenue as the freighters we operate under the ATSA do not contribute to our ASMs. When TRASM is referenced or presented for other airlines, it has been adjusted to our average stage length for the period presented.
“TSA” means the United States Transportation Security Administration.
“TWU” means the Transport Workers Union, the union representing our dispatchers.
“ULCC” means ultra low-cost carrier and includes Allegiant Travel Company, Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines.
“VFR” means visiting friends and relatives.
 
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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY
The following summary contains selected information about us and about this offering. It does not contain all of the information that is important to you and your investment decision. Before you make an investment decision, you should review this prospectus in its entirety, including matters set forth under “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. Some of the statements in the following summary constitute forward-looking statements. See “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.” For definitions of certain terms used in this prospectus, see “Glossary of Terms” beginning on page iii.
Overview
Sun Country Airlines is a new breed of hybrid low-cost air carrier that dynamically deploys shared resources across our synergistic scheduled service, charter and cargo businesses. By doing so, we believe we are able to generate high growth, high margins and strong cash flows with greater resilience than other passenger airlines. We focus on serving leisure and visiting friends and relatives (“VFR”) passengers and charter customers and providing CMI service to Amazon, with flights throughout the United States and to destinations in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Based in Minnesota, we operate an agile network that includes our scheduled service business and our synergistic charter and cargo businesses. We share resources, such as flight crews, across our scheduled service, charter and cargo business lines with the objective of generating higher returns and margins and mitigating the seasonality of our route network. We optimize capacity allocation by market, time of year, day of week and line of business by shifting flying to markets during periods of peak demand and away from markets during periods of low demand with far greater frequency than nearly all other large U.S. passenger airlines. We believe our flexible business model generates higher returns and margins while also providing greater resiliency to economic and industry downturns than a traditional scheduled service carrier.
Our Unique Business Model
Scheduled Service.   Our scheduled service business combines low costs with a high quality product to generate higher TRASM than ULCCs while maintaining lower Adjusted CASM than LCCs, resulting in best-in-class unit profitability. Our scheduled service business includes many cost characteristics of ultra low-cost carriers, or ULCCs (which include Allegiant Travel Company, Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines), such as an unbundled product (which means we offer a base fare and allow customers to purchase ancillary products and services for an additional fee), point-to-point service and a single-family fleet of Boeing 737-NG aircraft, which allow us to maintain a cost base comparable to these ULCCs. However, we offer a high quality product that we believe is superior to ULCCs and consistent with that of low-cost carriers, or LCCs (which include Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways). For example, our product includes more legroom than ULCCs, complimentary beverages, in-flight entertainment and in-seat power, none of which are offered by ULCCs. The combination of our agile peak demand network with our elevated consumer product allows us to generate higher TRASM than ULCCs while maintaining lower Adjusted CASM than LCCs. In addition, as a low cost, leisure focused carrier, rather than a business travel focused carrier, we believe we are well-positioned to be one of the early beneficiaries of the industry rebound following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Charter.   Our charter business, which is one of the largest narrow body charter operations in the United States, is a key component of our strategy both because it provides inherent diversification and downside protection (it is uncorrelated to our scheduled service and cargo businesses, as evidenced by the fact that it recovered faster than our scheduled service business during the COVID-19 pandemic) as well as because it is synergistic with our other businesses (for example, we can dynamically deploy aircraft and pilots to their most profitable uses whether they be charter or scheduled service). Our charter business has several favorable characteristics, including large repeat customers, more stable demand than scheduled service flying and the ability to pass through certain costs, including fuel. Our diverse charter customer base includes casino operators, the U.S. Department of Defense, college sports teams and professional sports teams. We are the primary air carrier for the NCAA Division I National Basketball Tournament (known as “March Madness”), and we flew over 100 college sports teams during 2019. Our charter business includes
 
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ad hoc, repeat, short-term and long-term service contracts with pass through fuel arrangements and annual rate escalations. Most of our business is non-cyclical because the U.S. Department of Defense and sports teams still fly during normal economic downturns, and our casino contracts are long-term in nature. Our charter business has proven to be more resilient than our scheduled service business during the COVID-19 induced downturn, with charter revenue having declined less than scheduled service revenue on a percentage basis in 2020 as compared to 2019. Additionally, our charter business complements our seasonal and day-of-week focused scheduled passenger service by allowing us to optimally schedule our aircraft and crews to the most profitable flying opportunities. In general, charter available seat miles, or ASMs, are highest in fall months when scheduled service operations are less favorable. From 2017 through 2019, we grew our charter revenue by approximately 32% while providing charter services to 395 destinations in 27 countries across the world. While our charter revenues were down as a result of COVID-19, they rebounded in the second half of 2020 and into the first quarter of 2021. In the first quarter of 2021, our charter revenues were 32.4% lower when compared to the first quarter of 2019. In comparison, combined U.S. passenger airline revenues were 61.7% lower during the first quarter of 2021 when compared to the first quarter of 2019.
Cargo.   On December 13, 2019, we signed a six-year contract (with two, two-year extension options, for a total term of 10 years), which we refer to as the “ATSA,” with Amazon to provide air cargo services. Flying under the ATSA began in May 2020 and, as of the date of this prospectus, we are flying 12 Boeing 737-800 cargo aircraft for Amazon (having been awarded two additional aircraft in October and November 2020 after the initial contract for 10 aircraft). Our CMI service is asset-light from a Sun Country perspective, as Amazon supplies the aircraft and covers many of the operating expenses, including fuel, and provides all cargo loading and unloading services. We are responsible for flying the aircraft under our air carrier certificate, crew, aircraft line maintenance and insurance, all of which allow us to leverage our existing operational expertise from our scheduled service and charter businesses. The ATSA has generated consistent, positive cash flows through the COVID-19 induced downturn. The ATSA offers potential future growth opportunities by establishing a long-term partnership with Amazon. Our cargo business also enables us to leverage certain assets, capabilities and fixed costs to enhance profitability and promote growth across our company. For example, we believe that by deploying pilots across each of our business lines, we increase the efficiency of our operations.
Our Transformation
In April 2018, Sun Country Airlines was acquired by the Apollo Funds. Since the acquisition, our business has been transformed under a new management team of seasoned professionals who have a strong combination of low-cost and legacy network airline experience.

We redesigned our network to focus our flying on peak demand opportunities by concentrating scheduled service trips during the highest yielding months of the year and days of the week and allocating aircraft to our charter service when it is more profitable to do so. This effectively shifted our focus toward leisure customers.

We invested over $200 million in capital projects that included modernizing the cabin experience with new seats, in-seat power and in-flight entertainment. Our investments also facilitated a transition to owning our fleet, rather than leasing, to reduce costs. We implemented a new booking engine, Navitaire, rebranded our product along with our website and invested in improving the customer support experience. We consolidated our corporate headquarters into an on-airport hangar.

We greatly expanded our ancillary products and services, which consist of baggage fees, seat assignment fees and other fees, increasing average ancillary revenue per scheduled service passenger by 148% from 2017 to 2019.

We launched and grew our asset light cargo business and fully integrated our pilot base across our scheduled service, charter and cargo businesses.

We reduced unit costs by 19% from 2017 to 2019 with several initiatives, including: renegotiating certain key contracts and agreements; increasing the portion of bookings made directly through our website; reducing the cost of our fleet through more efficient aircraft sourcing and financing; staffing efficiencies; and other cost-saving initiatives.
 
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While the COVID-19 induced industry downturn impeded our growth in 2020, we believe that these investments have positioned us to profitably grow our business in the long term following a rebound in the U.S. airline industry and that our period of heavy investment in transformative capital spending is behind us for the foreseeable future.
Initial Public Offering
On March 19, 2021, we completed our initial public offering (the “initial public offering”), in which we issued and sold 10,454,545 shares of our common stock at a public offering price of $24.00 per share. We received net proceeds of approximately $235.2 million from sales of shares in the initial public offering, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions of approximately $15.7 million. We used approximately $46.2 million of the net proceeds from the initial public offering to repay all amounts outstanding under the CARES Act Loan. A portion of the proceeds was used to pay fees and expenses in connection with the initial public offering. The remaining net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including to acquire additional aircraft.
Additionally, each of PAR Investment Partners, L.P. (“PAR Capital”) and certain funds or accounts managed by an investment adviser subsidiary of Blackrock, Inc. (such funds and accounts, the “Blackrock Entities”) purchased shares of our common stock from the Apollo Stockholder in private placements that closed on March 19, 2021 concurrently with our initial public offering. The number of shares of common stock purchased by each of PAR Capital and the Blackrock Entities from the Apollo Stockholder was based on an aggregate purchase price of $50.0 million and a price per share equal to 94% of the initial public offering price. Based on the initial public offering price of $24.00 per share of common stock, PAR Capital purchased 2,216,312 shares of common stock from the Apollo Stockholder at a price per share of $22.56 and the Blackrock Entities purchased an aggregate of 2,216,308 shares of common stock from the Apollo Stockholder at a price per share of $22.56.
COVID-19 Induced Downturn
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020, 42 U.S. states and territories, encompassing 73% of U.S. counties, issued mandatory stay-at-home orders, with most occurring during the month of April 2020. All major U.S. passenger airlines were negatively impacted by the declining demand environment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We have experienced a significant decline in demand related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a material decline in our revenues and negatively impacted our financial condition and operating results during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is likely to continue for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our business operations were adjusted in response to the pandemic as described below. However, we believe that our diversified and flexible business model allowed us to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our business better than any other large U.S. passenger airline (which we consider to be the largest 11 U.S. mainline passenger carriers based on 2019 ASMs) based on pre-tax and operating income margins for the year ended December 31, 2020, as calculated by us based on publicly available information for other airlines. We believe this result was due to our business model, which includes a cargo business, allows us to shift resources to our charter and cargo businesses and away from our scheduled service business during periods of low scheduled services passenger demand, focuses on leisure point-to-point routes and provides us with flexibility in scheduling our routes. Other airlines have different business models than ours, and a comparison of pre-tax and operating income margins among airlines during normal industry conditions may have a different result.
Actions we took during 2020 to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 induced downturn preserved more than $152.0 million in liquidity and included: capacity reductions; a company-wide hiring freeze; headcount reductions; voluntary leave programs; reduced advertising expenditures; reduced capital expenditures; and deferred vendor payments. In February 2021, we entered into a new credit agreement (the “Credit Agreement”), which provides for a $25.0 million revolving credit facility (the “Revolving Credit Facility”), which is currently undrawn, and a $90.0 million delayed draw term loan facility (the “Delayed Draw Term Loan Facility” and, together with the Revolving Credit Facility, the “Credit Facilities”) to be used to finance the acquisition of aircraft and engines. Further, we have received grants from the United States Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) through the Payroll Support Program (the “Payroll Support
 
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Program”) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“Payroll Support Program 3”), and accepted a loan from Treasury through the CARES Act Loan Program (the “CARES Act Loan”), which has now been repaid in full, without issuing any warrants, unlike nearly all other carriers with whom we compete that received government assistance. We have also maintained our pre-COVID-19 corporate credit ratings throughout the downturn. With the expectation that COVID-19 vaccines continue to become more widely distributed in 2021, we believe the airline industry will rebound in the back half of 2021 and normalize in 2022. Given our focus on low-cost domestic leisure travel, we believe we are well-positioned to rebound faster than most other U.S. airlines.
Our financial and operating results and business operations for our scheduled service and charter businesses for the year ended December 31, 2020 were materially and adversely impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which impact is likely to continue during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that our financial and operating results for the year ended December 31, 2019 are more useful indicators of our scheduled service and charter service operating performance during normal industry conditions. See “Risk Factors.”
Our Competitive Strengths
We believe that the following key strengths allow us to compete successfully within the U.S. airline industry.
Diversified and Resilient Business Model.   Our diversified business model, which includes significant leisure and VFR focused scheduled service, charter and e-commerce related cargo service, is unique in the airline sector and mitigates the impact of economic and industry downturns on our business when compared with other large U.S. passenger airlines. Our charter business has rebounded quicker than our scheduled service business as customers such as the U.S. Department of Defense and large university sports teams continued to fly in 2020, while our casino customers are subject to long-term contracts and began flying again in June 2020. Our cargo business exhibited steady growth in 2020 and into 2021 as flying ramped up and demand remained strong, driven by underlying secular growth in e-commerce.
Agile Peak Demand Scheduling Strategy.   We flex our capacity by day of the week, month of the year and line of business to capture what we believe are the most profitable flying opportunities available from both our Minneapolis-St. Paul home market, or MSP, and our network of non-MSP markets. As a result, our route network varies widely throughout the year. For the year ended December 31, 2019, the most recent normalized full year before the COVID-19 pandemic, we flew approximately 38% of our ASMs during our top 100 peak demand days of the year as compared to 15% of our ASMs during our bottom 100 demand days of the year. For 2019, our average fare was approximately 29% higher on our top 100 peak demand days as compared to the remaining days of the year. In 2019, only 3% of our routes were daily year-round, compared to 67% for Southwest Airlines, 42% for Spirit Airlines, 8% for Frontier Airlines and 2% for Allegiant Travel Company. Our agile peak demand strategy allows us to generate higher TRASM by focusing on days with stronger demand. Our flexible network has also benefitted us in 2020 during the COVID-19 induced industry downturn where we have been able to quickly shift capacity from low demand markets to high demand markets within the United States as COVID-19 infection rates shifted across regions of the country. The following charts demonstrate that our schedule is highly variable by day of the week and month of the year.
 
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In addition to shifting aircraft across our network by season and day of week, we also shift aircraft between our scheduled service and charter businesses to maximize the return on our assets. We regularly schedule our fleet using what we refer to as “Power Patterns,” which involves scheduling aircraft and crew on trips that combine scheduled service and charter legs, dynamically replacing what would be lower margin scheduled service flights with charter opportunities. Our agility is supported by our variable cost structure and the cross utilization of our people and assets between our lines of business. Our synergies from cross utilization have increased since we began providing CMI services because our pilots are interchangeably deployed between scheduled service, charter and cargo flights. For example, when demand in our scheduled service business declined in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 induced industry downturn, we allocated more pilot flying hours to our charter and cargo businesses.
Tactical Mid-Life Fleet with Flexible Operations.   We maintain low aircraft ownership costs by acquiring mid-life Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which have lower acquisition costs, when compared to new Boeing 737 aircraft, that more than offsets their higher ongoing maintenance and repair costs. Lower ownership costs allow us to maintain lower unit costs at lower levels of utilization. This allows us to concentrate our flying during periods of peak demand, which generates higher TRASM and also allows us to park aircraft during periods of low demand, such as in 2020, at a lower cost than other airlines. In 2019, we flew our aircraft an average of 9.6 hours per day, which is the lowest among major U.S. airlines, other than Allegiant Travel Company, which operates a similar low utilization model but serves smaller markets. In addition to the benefits of lower all-in ownership costs, we do not have an aircraft order book because we only purchase mid-life aircraft. As a result, unlike many other airlines, we are not locked into large future capital expenditures at above market aircraft prices. Rather, we have the ability to opportunistically take advantage of falling aircraft prices with purchases at the time of our choosing. Our single family aircraft fleet also has operational and cost advantages, such as allowing for optimization of crew scheduling and training and lower maintenance costs. Our fleet is highly reliable, and we have a demonstrated ability to maintain our high completion factor during harsh weather conditions. For the year ended December 31, 2019, we had a completion factor of 99.8% across our system.
Superior Low-Cost Product and Brand.   We have invested in numerous projects to create a well-regarded product and brand that we believe is superior to ULCCs while maintaining lower fares than LCCs and larger full service carriers. Some of the reasons that we believe we have a superior brand to ULCCs include:
 
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Our Cabin Experience.   All of our 737-800 aircraft have new state-of-the-art seats that comfortably recline and have full size tray tables. Our seats have an average pitch of approximately 31 inches, giving our customers comparable legroom to Southwest Airlines and greater legroom than all ULCCs in the United States. We also provide seat-back power, complimentary in-flight entertainment and free beverages to improve the overall flying experience for our customers. Such amenities are comparable to those offered by our LCC competitors and are not available on any ULCCs in the United States.

Our Digital Experience.   We have significantly improved the buying experience for our customers. We overhauled our passenger service system in 2019 and transitioned to Navitaire, the premier passenger service system in the United States. Navitaire has decreased our overall website session length, decreased the percentage of failures to complete a transaction after accessing our website on a mobile device and increased the percentage of visits to our website that result in an airfare purchase. The transition to Navitaire has been one of the most important initiatives in improving the Sun Country customer experience, making our website booking more seamless, allowing us to create a large customer database and supporting ancillary revenue growth. Beyond Navitaire, we have improved the check-in experience for customers by providing access to web-check in across the system and access to kiosks in our main hub location of MSP. Since the Navitaire transition, 71% of our Minneapolis originating passengers have checked in either online or at a kiosk. System wide over 66% of our passengers have checked in electronically. These tools increase the chances that the passenger can skip the check in counter, which we believe improves our customers’ experience while also reducing costs.
In addition to our product, we believe that our brand is well recognized and well regarded in the markets that we serve. In the fourth quarter of 2019, management conducted a study of individuals across a variety of ages, income levels, home regions and home airports (including both MSP and non-MSP travelers), each of whom had traveled for leisure within the prior 24 months. Individuals selected for the survey included Sun Country passengers and a consumer sample provided by a third-party survey panel provider. 468 individuals responded to the study, 275 of whom had flown Sun Country Airlines. Based on the study: 79% of the 29 respondents who expressed a preference between airlines and had flown on both Sun Country Airlines and Allegiant Travel Company said they would rather fly on Sun Country Airlines; 77% of the 71 respondents who expressed a preference between airlines and had flown on both Sun Country
 
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Airlines and Frontier Airlines said they would rather fly on Sun Country Airlines; and 81% of the 77 respondents who expressed a preference between airlines and had flown on both Sun Country Airlines and Spirit Airlines said they would rather fly on Sun Country Airlines.
Competitive Low Cost Structure.   Our CASM declined from 10.09 cents for the year ended December 31, 2017 to 8.82 cents for the year ended December 31, 2019. Our Adjusted CASM declined from 7.80 cents for the year ended December 31, 2017 to 6.31 cents for the year ended December 31, 2019. Our completed and ongoing cost savings efforts include conversion to a focus on owning (versus leasing) aircraft, renegotiation of our component maintenance agreement, fuel savings initiatives, catering cost reductions, renegotiation of distribution contracts, consolidation of staff at headquarters on airport property and various other initiatives. Our CASM and Adjusted CASM for the year ended December 31, 2020 of 8.91 cents and 7.57 cents and for the three months ended March 31, 2021 of 7.46 cents and 6.15 cents, respectively, were adversely impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Adjusted CASM for all U.S. airlines increased in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 induced downturn, we believe that our business model and strategy positions us well to maintain and improve our Adjusted CASM in the future, while maintaining lower utilization rates than many other U.S. passenger airlines.
Strong Position in Our Profitable MSP Home Market.   We have been based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area since our founding over 35 years ago, where our brand is well-known and well-liked. We are the largest low-cost carrier operating at MSP, which is our largest base, and the second largest airline based on ASMs at MSP after Delta Air Lines, which primarily serves business and connecting traffic customers, while we primarily serve leisure customers. Excluding Delta Air Lines, we have nearly twice the capacity, as measured by ASMs, of any other competitor operating at MSP.  Spirit Airlines and Southwest Airlines scaled back from MSP during the COVID-19 induced downturn and focused on their core markets, demonstrating MSP is likely not a strategic market for either airline. However, our current seat share at MSP is still meaningfully lower than Spirit Airlines’ seat share in Detroit and Frontier Airlines’ seat share in Denver, and we believe there is significant room for us to grow in MSP through further market stimulation once the U.S. air travel market rebounds. We fly out of Terminal 2, which we believe is preferred by many flyers because of its smaller layout, shorter security wait times, close parking relative to check-in and full suite of retail shops. As of the date of this prospectus, we utilize 8 of the 14 gates in Terminal 2. As a result of our focus on flying during seasonal peak periods, our well regarded brand and product and our strong position in Minneapolis, we have historically enjoyed a TRASM premium at MSP. In 2019, the most recent normalized full year before the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe MSP was among the most profitable LCC bases in the United States and we believe we generated higher TRASM in MSP during 2019 than any ULCC in the United States in its primary base.
Seasoned Management Team.   Our Chief Executive Officer, Jude Bricker, joined Sun Country Airlines in July 2017 and has over 16 years of experience in the aviation industry, including serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Allegiant Travel Company from 2016 to 2017. Our President and Chief Financial Officer, Dave Davis, joined Sun Country in April 2018 and has over 22 years of experience in the aviation industry, including previously serving as the Chief Financial Officer at Northwest Airlines and US Airways. Other members of our management team have worked at airlines such as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.
Our Growth Strategy
Since 2018, we have established the infrastructure to support our significant long-term profitable growth strategy that we plan to continue once the U.S. air travel market rebounds from the COVID-19 induced downturn.

Network.   We launched 64 new markets from 2018 through 2019 and developed a repeatable network growth strategy. Our network strategy is expected to support passenger fleet growth to approximately 50 aircraft by the end of 2023.

Fleet.   We restructured our fleet with a focus on ownership of Boeing 737-800s with no planned lease redeliveries prior to 2024, allowing us to focus on growth with low capital commitments. We believe the current dislocation in the aircraft market will enable us to access new aircraft at an attractive cost relative to our peers.
 
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Customer.   We rebranded the airline around a leisure product with a significant ancillary revenue component which we believe will allow us to stimulate demand during the rebound from COVID-19 earlier than airlines focused on business travelers.

Culture.   We installed a new management team with a cost-conscious ethos, which included moving our headquarters into a hangar at MSP.

Operations.   We maintained high standards of operational performance, including a 99.8% completion factor for the year ended December 31, 2019.
We believe our initiatives have provided us with a platform to profitably grow our business. Key elements of our growth strategy include:
Leverage the Expected Rebound in Our Passenger Business.   The number of domestic LCC and ULCC passenger enplanements grew at a compound annual growth rate of 7% from 2014 to 2019 due to long-term increasing demand for air travel in the United States. Following the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, passenger levels declined. We believe our scheduled service business is poised for a rapid rebound following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe we are positioned to be among the early beneficiaries of this rebound given our peak demand strategy and focus on leisure and VFR travelers, who are expected to be the first to fly at pre-COVID-19 levels. In previous economic downturns, leisure and VFR travelers have also been the first to return to flying at normalized levels.
Grow Our Cargo Business.   In December 2019, we signed the ATSA with Amazon to provide air cargo transportation services flying 10 aircraft with agreed pricing. Since that time, Amazon requested, and we agreed to fly, two additional aircraft to bring the total number of aircraft we are flying for Amazon as of the date of this prospectus to 12. We believe we are well-positioned to continue growing our cargo business over time, while continuing to operate for Amazon and potentially new customers.
Expand our Peak Demand Flying in Minneapolis and Beyond.   Following a rebound in U.S. air travel, we intend to continue growing our network profitably both from MSP and on new routes outside of MSP by focusing on seasonal markets and day-of-the-week flying during periods of peak demand. We expanded our network from 46 routes in 2017 to 98 as of the end of 2019, including expanding our routes that neither originate nor terminate in MSP from 5 routes in 2017 to 42 as of the end of 2019. We have identified over 250 new market opportunities as the long-term reduction in our unit costs has expanded the number of markets that we can profitably serve. We have a successful history of opening and closing stations quickly to meet seasonal demand, which we believe will benefit us in re-opening markets we closed during the COVID-19 downturn and in pursuing new market growth opportunities quickly. Our future network plans include growing our network at our hub in Minneapolis to full potential, including adding frequencies on routes we already serve and adding new routes to leverage our large, loyal customer base in the area. Our long-term strategic plans have identified growth opportunities at MSP that we believe represent approximately 40% of our scheduled service capacity growth opportunities.
We had also been rapidly growing outside of MSP prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we expect to do so again once the air travel market rebounds. Our customer-friendly low fares have been well received in the upper Midwest and in large, fragmented markets elsewhere that we can profitably serve on a seasonal and/or day-of-week basis. Our upper Midwest growth is focused on cold to warm weather leisure routes from markets similar to Minneapolis, such as Madison, Wisconsin. Additionally, we have added capacity on large leisure trunk routes on a seasonal basis during periods when demand is high. Examples of such routes include Los Angeles to Honolulu and Dallas to Mexican beach destinations during the summer months. Our business model is ideally suited to seasonally serve these routes, which are highly profitable in normal environments because fares are elevated during the months in which we fly them. Our long-term strategic plans have identified non-MSP growth opportunities that we believe represent approximately 60% of our scheduled service capacity growth opportunities.
Continue to Increase Our Margins and Free Cash Flow.   From December 31, 2017 through December 31, 2019, we reduced our CASM from 10.09 cents to 8.82 cents and our Adjusted CASM from 7.80 cents to 6.31 cents, a level comparable to ULCCs. When combined with our TRASM, which remains comparable to LCCs and higher than ULCCs, we generate highly competitive margins. Our period of investment in fleet renewal and transformative capital expenditures is largely behind us, and our focus, following the end of the
 
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COVID-19 pandemic, will pivot to growth. We intend to continue to improve our leading margin and free cash flow profile through a variety of initiatives and measures. Key initiatives include further conversion to an owned (versus leased) model for aircraft ownership, leveraging our fixed cost base as we continue to grow our passenger aircraft fleet to achieve economies of scale, continuous optimization of our maintenance operations and completion of other ongoing strategic initiatives. As a result, we expect improvements in profit margins and free cash flow, which we define as operating cash flow minus non-aircraft capital expenditures, following a rebound in the U.S. air travel market to support growth in the years ahead.
Our Route Network
During the twelve months ended March 31, 2021, we served 53 airports throughout the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. During 2020 and into 2021, we continue to focus on serving markets out of MSP, particularly core leisure markets (MCO, RSW, PHX, LAS, LAX), and we have announced 15 new markets from MSP that will start throughout 2021. The map below represents our current network.
Risk Factor Summary
Participating in this offering involves substantial risk. Our ability to execute our strategy also is subject to certain risks. The risks described under the heading “Risk Factors” immediately following this summary may cause us not to realize the full benefits of our competitive strengths or may cause us to be unable to successfully execute all or part of our strategy. Some of the more significant challenges and risks we face include the following:

the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, including related travel restrictions, social distancing measures and decreased demand for air travel;

we are depending upon a successful COVID-19 vaccine and significant uptake by the general public in order to normalize economic conditions, the airline industry and our business operations and to realize our planned financial and growth plans and business strategy;

changes in economic conditions;

the price and availability of aircraft fuel and our ability to control other costs;

threatened or actual terrorist attacks or security concerns;

the ability to operate in an exceedingly competitive industry;
 
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factors beyond our control, including air traffic congestion, adverse weather, federal government shutdowns, aircraft-type groundings, increased security measures or disease outbreaks;

the ability to realize the anticipated strategic and financial benefits of the ATSA with Amazon;

any restrictions on or increased taxes applicable to charges for ancillary products and services; or

our concentration in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market.
Our Sponsor
Founded in 1990, Apollo is a leading global alternative investment manager with offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Bethesda, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, among others. Apollo had assets under management of approximately $461 billion as of March 31, 2021 in credit, private equity and real assets funds.
Upon the closing of this offering, we will continue to be a “controlled company” within the meaning of the Nasdaq corporate governance standards because more than 50% of the voting power of our outstanding common stock will be owned by the Apollo Stockholder. For further information on the implications of this distinction, see “Risk Factors—Risks Related to this Offering and Ownership of Our Common Stock” and “Management—Controlled Company.”
The Apollo Stockholder has the right, at any time until Apollo and its affiliates, including the Apollo Stockholder, no longer beneficially own at least 5% of the voting power of our outstanding common stock, to nominate a number of directors comprising a percentage of our board of directors in accordance with their beneficial ownership of the voting power of our outstanding common stock (rounded up to the nearest whole number), except that if Apollo and its affiliates, including the Apollo Stockholder, beneficially own more than 50% of the voting power of our outstanding common stock, the Apollo Stockholder will have the right to nominate a majority of the directors. See “Management—Board Composition,” “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—Stockholders Agreement” and “Description of Capital Stock—Composition of Board of Directors; Election and Removal of Directors” for more information.
Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company
We are an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or the JOBS Act, enacted in April 2012. As an “emerging growth company,” we may take advantage of specified reduced reporting and other requirements that are otherwise applicable to public companies. These provisions include, among other things:

exemption from the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting;

exemption from new or revised financial accounting standards applicable to public companies until such standards are also applicable to private companies;

exemption from compliance with any new requirements adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), requiring mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to our auditor’s report in which the auditor would be required to provide additional information about the audit and our financial statements;

an exemption from the requirement to seek non-binding advisory votes on executive compensation and golden parachute arrangements; and

reduced disclosure about executive compensation arrangements.
We may take advantage of these provisions until the end of the fiscal year ending December 31, 2026 or such earlier time that we are no longer an “emerging growth company.” We will cease to be an “emerging growth company” if we have $1.07 billion or more in total annual gross revenues during our most recently completed fiscal year, if we become a “large accelerated filer” with the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates exceeding $700 million or more as of the last business day of the second quarter of such fiscal year, or as of any date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt over the three-year period to such date.
 
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We may choose to take advantage of some, but not all, of these reduced burdens. For example, we have taken advantage of the reduced reporting requirement with respect to disclosure regarding our executive compensation arrangements and expect to take advantage of the exemption from the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, while we have elected to avail ourselves of the exemption to adopt new or revised accounting standards until those standards apply to private companies, we are permitted and have elected to early adopt certain new or revised accounting standards for which the respective standard allows for early adoption. See Note 2 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information. For as long as we take advantage of the reduced reporting obligations, the information that we provide stockholders may be different from information provided by other public companies.
The Reorganization Transactions
We were formed in December 2017 as a Delaware limited liability company under the name SCA Acquisition Holdings, LLC in connection with the acquisition by the Apollo Funds. Following the acquisition by the Apollo Funds in April 2018, one of the Apollo Funds beneficially owned 5,326,755 outstanding equity interests of SCA Acquisition Holdings, LLC, which historically were denominated as shares of common stock that we refer to as “SCA common stock,” which represented approximately 78.3% of the outstanding SCA common stock, and another Apollo Fund owned a warrant to purchase an additional 40,005,885 shares of SCA common stock at an exercise price of approximately $0.0005 per share.
Prior to our initial public offering, the Apollo Funds engaged in a series of transactions to form a new holding company, which is the Apollo Stockholder, that acquired all of the outstanding shares of SCA common stock held by one of the Apollo Funds and acquired and immediately exercised all of the warrants to purchase SCA common stock that were held by another Apollo Fund. As a result, the Apollo Stockholder owned 45,332,640 shares of SCA common stock, which represented approximately 96.9% of the outstanding SCA common stock.
On January 31, 2020, SCA Acquisition Holdings, LLC was converted into a Delaware corporation pursuant to a statutory conversion and changed its name to Sun Country Airlines Holdings, Inc. In connection with our conversion to a corporation, all of the outstanding shares of SCA common stock were converted into shares of our common stock, the outstanding warrants held by Amazon to purchase shares of SCA common stock were converted into warrants to purchase shares of our common stock and all of the outstanding options to purchase shares of SCA common stock were converted into options to purchase shares of our common stock. As a result of the conversion, Sun Country Airlines Holdings, Inc. continued to hold all property and assets of SCA Acquisition Holdings, LLC and assumed all of the debts and obligations of SCA Acquisition Holdings, LLC, the members of the board of directors of SCA Acquisition Holdings, LLC became the members of the board of directors of Sun Country Airlines Holdings, Inc. and the officers of SCA Acquisition Holdings, LLC became the officers of Sun Country Airlines Holdings, Inc.
Prior to our initial public offering, on March 3, 2021, we effected an approximately 18.8886 for 1 stock split of our common stock (the “Stock Split”), with exercise prices for our outstanding warrants and options appropriately adjusted.
In this prospectus, we refer to the transactions described in this section as the “Reorganization Transactions.” The Reorganization Transactions are intended to simplify our capital structure and to facilitate our initial public offering.
Corporate Information
We were organized under the laws of the State of Delaware as a limited liability company on December 8, 2017 and converted to a corporation under the laws of the state of Delaware on January 31, 2020. Our principal executive offices are located at 2005 Cargo Road, Minneapolis, MN 55450. Our telephone number is (651) 681-3900. Our website is located at https://www.suncountry.com. Our website and the information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website will not be deemed to be incorporated by reference in, and are not considered part of, this prospectus. You should not rely on our website or any such information in making your decision whether to purchase shares of our common stock.
 
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The Offering
By participating in this offering, you are representing that you are a citizen of the United States, as defined in 49 U.S.C. § 40102(a)(15). See “Description of Capital Stock—Limited Ownership and Voting by Foreign Owners.”
The Company
Sun Country Airlines Holdings, Inc.
Common stock offered by us
None.
Common stock offered by the selling stockholder
7,250,000 shares (or 8,337,500 shares if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full as described below).
Common stock outstanding after this offering
57,153,467
Option to purchase additional shares
The selling stockholder has granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 1,087,500 shares. The underwriters may exercise this option at any time within 30 days from the date of this prospectus. See “Underwriting (Conflict of Interest).”
Use of proceeds
The selling stockholder will receive all of the proceeds from the sale of shares of our common stock in this offering. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares of our common stock in this offering. The selling stockholder will bear any underwriting discounts and commissions attributable to their sale of our common stock and we will bear the remaining fees, costs and expenses of this offering, which we estimate to be approximately $0.5 million.
Controlled company
Upon completion of this offering, the Apollo Stockholder will continue to beneficially own more than 50% of the voting power of our outstanding common stock. As a result, we will continue to avail ourselves of the “controlled company” exemptions under the Nasdaq rules, including exemptions from certain of the corporate governance listing requirements. See “Management—Controlled Company.”
Dividend policy
We have not to date paid any cash dividends on our common stock and we currently do not intend to pay cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. However, we may, in the future, decide to pay dividends on our common stock. Any declaration and payment of cash dividends in the future, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon such factors as earnings levels, cash flows, capital requirements, levels of indebtedness, restrictions imposed by applicable law, our overall financial condition, restrictions in our debt agreements, and any other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors.
As a holding company, our ability to pay dividends also depends on our receipt of cash dividends from our operating subsidiaries. Our ability to pay dividends will therefore be restricted as a result of restrictions on their ability to pay dividends to us under the CARES Act and the Credit Agreement and may be restricted under future indebtedness that we or they may incur.
See “Market Price of Common Stock and Dividend Policy.”
 
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Listing
Our common stock is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol “SNCY.”
Risk factors
You should read the section titled “Risk Factors” beginning on page 22 of this prospectus for a discussion of some of the risks and uncertainties you should carefully consider before deciding to invest in our common stock.
Conflict of interest
Apollo Global Securities, LLC, an affiliate of Apollo, is an underwriter in this offering and will receive a portion of the underwriting discounts and commissions in connection with this offering. Affiliates of Apollo beneficially own in excess of 10% of our issued and outstanding common stock. As a result, Apollo Global Securities, LLC is deemed to have a “conflict of interest” under FINRA Rule 5121, and this offering will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Rule 5121. Pursuant to that rule, the appointment of a “qualified independent underwriter” is not required in connection with this offering as the members primarily responsible for managing the public offering do not have a conflict of interest and meet the requirements of paragraph (f)(12)(E) of Rule 5121. Apollo Global Securities, LLC will not confirm sales of the securities to any account over which it exercises discretionary authority without the specific written approval of the account holder. See “Underwriting (Conflict of Interest).”
Except as otherwise indicated, all of the information in this prospectus:

is based on 57,153,467 shares of common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2021;

assumes no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase up to 1,087,500 additional shares of common stock from the selling stockholder;

assumes no exercise of the warrants to purchase an aggregate of 9,482,606 shares of common stock issued to Amazon in connection with the ATSA (the “2019 Warrants”), approximately 11.3% of which have vested as of March 31, 2021. As is the case for investment in our company generally, the exercise of the 2019 Warrants is limited by restrictions imposed by federal law on foreign ownership and control of U.S. airlines. See “Description of Capital Stock—Limited Ownership and Voting by Foreign Owners” and “Description of Capital Stock—Warrants”;

does not reflect 3,600,000 shares of common stock reserved for grant under the Sun Country Airlines Holdings, Inc. 2021 Omnibus Incentive Plan (the “Omnibus Incentive Plan”). See “Executive Compensation—Equity Compensation Plans—2021 Omnibus Incentive Plan”; and

does not reflect 5,880,688 shares of common stock that may be issued upon the exercise of stock options outstanding as of March 31, 2021 under the SCA Acquisition Holdings, LLC Equity Incentive Plan (the “SCA Acquisition Equity Plan”). The following table sets forth the outstanding stock options under the SCA Acquisition Equity Plan as of March 31, 2021:
Number of
Options(1)
Weighted-
Average Exercise
Price Per Share
Vested stock options (time-based vesting)
1,070,385 $ 5.86
Unvested stock options (time-based vesting)
1,252,871 $ 6.79
Unvested stock options (performance-based vesting)
3,557,432 $ 6.39
(1)
Upon a holder’s exercise of one option, we will issue to the holder one share of common stock.
 
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Summary Consolidated Financial and Operating Information
The following tables present our summary consolidated financial and operating information for the periods indicated. We have derived our summary historical consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 and for the periods January 1, 2018 through April 10, 2018 (Predecessor) and April 11, 2018 through December 31, 2018 (Successor). We have derived our summary historical consolidated statement of operations data for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 from our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. We have derived our summary historical consolidated balance sheet data as of March 31, 2021 from our unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.
The significant differences in accounting for the Successor periods as compared to the Predecessor period, which were established as part of our acquisition by the Apollo Funds, are in (1) aircraft rent, due to the over-market liabilities related to unfavorable terms of our existing aircraft leases and maintenance reserve payments, which will be amortized on a straight-line basis as a reduction of aircraft rent over the remaining life of each lease, (2) maintenance expenses, due to recognizing a liability (or contra-asset) that will offset expenses for maintenance events incurred by the Successor but paid for by the Predecessor and (3) depreciation and amortization, due to the recognition of our property and equipment and other intangible assets at fair value at the time of the acquisition, which will be amortized through depreciation and amortization on a straight-line basis over their respective useful lives. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of our results that may be expected for any future period. The following summary consolidated financial and operating information should be read in conjunction with the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.
Successor
Predecessor
(in thousands, except share and per share
data)
For the three
months ended
March 31,
2021
For the three
months ended
March 31,
2020
For the year
ended
December 31,
2020
For the year
ended
December 31,
2019
For the period
April 11, 2018
through
December 31,
2018
For the period
January 1,
2018 through
April 10, 2018
Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:
Operating Revenues:
Passenger
$ 104,195 $ 178,486 $ 359,232 $ 688,833 $ 335,824 $ 172,897
Cargo
21,585 36,809
Other
1,831 1,844 5,445 12,551 49,107 24,555
Total Operating Revenue
127,611 180,330 401,486 701,384 384,931 197,452
Operating Expenses:
Aircraft Fuel
$ 24,274 $ 55,561 $ 83,392 $ 165,666 $ 119,553 $ 45,790
Salaries, Wages, and Benefits.
44,075 38,091 141,641 140,739 90,263 36,964
Aircraft Rent(1)
5,599 11,032 30,989 49,908 36,831 28,329
Maintenance(2)
9,210 6,478 27,416 35,286 15,491 9,508
Sales and Marketing.
5,110 8,572 16,570 35,388 17,180 10,854
Depreciation and Amortization(3)
12,615 10,527 48,086 34,877 14,405 2,526
Ground Handling
5,230 9,292 20,596 41,719 23,828 8,619
Landing Fees and Airport Rent.
8,785 11,114 31,256 44,400 25,977 10,481
Special Items, net(4)
(26,871) (64,563) 7,092 (6,706) 271
Other Operating, net
14,651 14,433 48,718 68,187 40,877 17,994
Total Operating Expenses
102,678 165,100 384,101 623,262 377,699 171,336
Operating Income
24,933 15,230 17,385 78,122 7,232 26,116
 
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Successor
Predecessor
(in thousands, except share and per
share data)
For the three
months ended
March 31,
2021
For the three
months ended
March 31,
2020
For the year
ended
December 31,
2020
For the year
ended
December 31,
2019
For the period
April 11, 2018
through
December 31,
2018
For the period
January 1,
2018 through
April 10, 2018
Non-operating Income (Expense):
Interest Income
$ 15 $ 251 $ 377 $ 937 $ 258 $ 96
Interest Expense
(7,121) (5,616) (22,073) (17,170) (6,060) (339)
Other, net
(5) (169) (371) (1,729) (1,636) 37
Total Non-operating
Expense
(7,111) (5,534) (22,067) (17,962) (7,438) (206)
Income (Loss) before Income
Tax
17,822 9,696 (4,682) 60,160 (206) 25,910
Income Tax Expense
(Benefit)
5,406 2,445 (778) 14,088 161
Net Income (Loss)
$ 12,416 $ 7,251 $ (3,904) $ 46,072 $ (367) $ 25,910
Net Income (Loss) per share to common stockholders:
Basic
$ 0.26 $ 0.16 $ (0.08) $ 0.99 $ (0.01) $ 0.26
Diluted
$ 0.24 $ 0.15 $ (0.08) $ 0.96 $ (0.01) $ 0.26
Weighted average shares outstanding:
Basic
48,496,077 46,805,951 46,805,951 46,773,038 46,700,990 100,000,000
Diluted
52,508,186 48,225,603 46,805,951 47,909,413 46,700,990 100,000,000
(1)
Aircraft Rent expense for the Successor periods is reduced due to amortization of a liability representing lease rates and maintenance reserves which were higher than market terms of similar leases at the time of our acquisition by the Apollo Funds. This liability was recognized at the time of the acquisition and is being amortized into earnings through a reduction of Aircraft Rent on a straight-line basis over the remaining life of each lease. See Note 2 and Note 4 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information.
(2)
Maintenance expense for the Successor periods is reduced due to recognizing a liability (or contra-asset) to represent the Successor’s obligation to perform planned maintenance events paid for by the Predecessor on leased aircraft at the date of our acquisition by the Apollo Funds. The liability (or contra-asset) is recognized as a reduction to Maintenance expense as reimbursable maintenance events are performed and maintenance expense is incurred. See Note 2 and Note 4 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information.
(3)
Depreciation and amortization expense increased in the Successor periods due to higher fair values for certain acquired assets and to the amortization of definite-lived intangible assets. See Note 2 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information.
(4)
See Note 16 to our audited consolidated financial statements and Note 11 to our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information on the components of Special items, net.
As of
March 31,
2021
(in thousands)
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
Cash and equivalents
$ 269,599
Total assets
1,244,202
Long-term debt and leases, including current portion.
505,141
Total stockholders’ equity
409,960
 
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Successor
Predecessor
(in thousands)
For the three
months ended
March 31,
2021
For the three
months ended
March 31,
2020
For the year
ended
December 31,
2020
For the year
ended
December 31,
2019
For the period
April 11, 2018
through
December 31,
2018
For the period
January 1,
2018 through
April 10, 2018
Adjusted Net Income (Loss)(1)
$ (4,919) $ 7,591 $ (47,916) $ 53,734 $ (5,871) $ 26,181
Adjusted EBITDAR(1)
19,405 37,061 38,930 171,129 49,688 57,279
(1)
Adjusted Net Income (Loss) is a non-GAAP measure included as supplemental disclosure because we believe it is a useful indicator of our operating performance. Derivations of net income are well recognized performance measurements in the airline industry that are frequently used by our management, as well as by investors, securities analysts and other interested parties in comparing the operating performance of companies in our industry. Adjusted EBITDAR is a non-GAAP measure included as supplemental disclosure because we believe it is a valuation measure commonly used by investors, securities analysts and other interested parties in the industry to compare airline companies and derive valuation estimates without consideration of airline capital structure or aircraft ownership methodology. We believe that while items excluded from Adjusted EBITDAR may be recurring in nature and should not be disregarded in evaluation of our earnings performance, Adjusted EBITDAR is useful because its calculation isolates the effects of financing in general, the accounting effects of capital spending and acquisitions (primarily aircraft, which may be acquired directly, directly subject to acquisition debt, by finance lease or by operating lease, each of which is presented differently for accounting purposes), and income taxes, which may vary significantly between periods and for different companies for reasons unrelated to overall operating performance. Adjusted EBITDAR should not be viewed as a measure of overall performance or considered in isolation or as an alternative to net income because it excludes aircraft rent, which is a normal, recurring cash operating expense that is necessary to operate our business. We have historically incurred substantial rent expense due to our legacy fleet of operating leased aircraft, which are currently being transitioned to owned and finance leased aircraft.
Adjusted Net Income (Loss) and Adjusted EBITDAR have limitations as analytical tools. Some of the limitations applicable to these measures include: Adjusted Net Income (Loss) and Adjusted EBITDAR do not reflect the impact of certain cash charges resulting from matters we consider not to be indicative of our ongoing operations; Adjusted EBITDAR does not reflect our cash expenditures, or future requirements, for capital expenditures or contractual commitments; Adjusted EBITDAR does not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs; Adjusted Net Income (Loss) and Adjusted EBITDAR do not reflect the interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments, on our debt; although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future, and Adjusted EBITDAR does not reflect any cash requirements for such replacements; and other companies in our industry may calculate Adjusted Net Income (Loss) and Adjusted EBITDAR differently than we do, limiting each measure’s usefulness as a comparative measure. Because of these limitations Adjusted Net Income (Loss) and Adjusted EBITDAR should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for performance measures calculated in accordance with GAAP.
As derivations of Adjusted Net Income (Loss) and Adjusted EBITDAR are not determined in accordance with GAAP, such measures are susceptible to varying calculations and not all companies calculate the measures in the same manner. As a result, derivations of net income, including Adjusted Net Income (Loss) and Adjusted EBITDAR, as presented may not be directly comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies. For the foregoing reasons, each of Adjusted Net Income (Loss) and Adjusted EBITDAR has significant limitations which affect its use as an indicator of our profitability and valuation. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this information.
 
16

 
The following table presents the reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) to Adjusted Net Income (Loss) for the periods presented below.
Successor
Predecessor
(in thousands)
For the three
months ended
March 31,
2021
For the three
months ended
March 31,
2020
For the year
ended
December 31,
2020
For the year
ended
December 31,
2019
For the period
April 11, 2018
through
December 31,
2018
For the period
January 1,
2018 through
April 10, 2018
Net income (loss).
$ 12,416 $ 7,251 $ (3,904) $ 46,072 $ (367) $ 25,910
Special items, net(a)
(26,871) (64,563) 7,092 (6,706) 271
Stock compensation expense
2,870 369 2,110 1,888 373
Loss (gain) on asset transactions, net
72 413 745 (811)
Early repayment of CARES Act Loan
842
Income tax receivable agreement expense
264
Loss on refinancing credit facility
382
Other adjustments(b)
4,881 226
Income tax effect of adjusting items, net(c)
5,178 (101) 13,147 (2,289) 1,640
Adjusted Net Income (Loss) .
$ (4,919) $ 7,591 $ (47,916) $ 53,734 $ (5,871) $ 26,181
(a)
See Note 16 to our audited consolidated financial statements and Note 11 to our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information on the components of Special items, net.
(b)
Other adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2020 include expenses related to a voluntary employee leave program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a portion of which is offset by the CARES Act Payroll Support Program as the benefit of this program is also adjusted as a component of special items. Other adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2019 include expenses incurred in terminating work on a planned new crew base.
(c)
The tax effect of adjusting items, net is calculated at the Company’s statutory rate for the applicable period.
The following table presents the reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) to Adjusted EBITDAR for the periods presented below.
 
17

 
Successor
Predecessor
(in thousands)
For the three
months ended
March 31,
2021
For the three
months ended
March 31,
2020
For the year
ended
December 31,
2020
For the year
ended
December 31,
2019
For the period
April 11, 2018
through
December 31,
2018
For the period
January 1,
2018 through
April 10, 2018
Net income (loss)
$ 12,416 $ 7,251 $ (3,904) $ 46,072 $ (367) $ 25,910
Special items, net(a)
(26,871) (64,563) 7,092 (6,706) 271
Interest expense
7,121 5,616 22,073 17,170 6,060 339
Stock compensation expense
2,870 369 2,110 1,888 373
Loss (gain) on asset transactions, net
72 413 745 (811)
Other adjustments(b)
4,881 226
Interest income
(15) (251) (377) (937) (258) (96)
Provision for income taxes
5,406 2,445 (778) 14,088 161
Depreciation and
amortization
12,615 10,527 48,086 34,877 14,405 2,526
Aircraft rent
5,599 11,032 30,989 49,908 36,831 28,329
Income tax receivable agreement expense
264
Adjusted EBITDAR
$ 19,405 $ 37,061 $ 38,930 $ 171,129 $ 49,688 $ 57,279
(a)
See Note 16 to our audited consolidated financial statements and Note 11 to our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for additional information on the components of Special items, net.
(b)
Other adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2020 include expenses related to a voluntary employee leave program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a portion of which is offset by the CARES Act Payroll Support Program as the benefit of this program is also adjusted as a component of special items. Other adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2019 include expenses incurred in terminating work on a planned new crew base.
 
18

 
Key Operating Statistics and Metrics
Three Months Ended March 31, 2021
Three Months Ended March 31, 2020
Scheduled
Service
Charter
Cargo
Total
Scheduled
Service
Charter
Total
Departures(1) 4,323 1,511 2,565 8,452 5,806 1,636 7,523
Block hours(1)
15,207 3,331 8,242 26,932 20,242 3,612 24,087
Aircraft miles(1)
6,233,184 1,222,451 3,285,525 10,784,543 8,157,586 1,311,533 9,534,560
ASMs (in thousands)(1)
1,158,012 211,721 * 1,376,796 1,508,196 236,863 1,757,067
TRASM (in cents)(2)
* * * 7.70 * * 10.26
Average passenger aircraft available for service(2)
* * * 27.7 * * 26.6
Passenger aircraft at end of period(2)
* * * 31 * * 32
Cargo aircraft at end of period
* * * 12 * *
Average daily aircraft utilization (in hours)(2)
* * * 6.7 * * 8.2
Average stage length
* * * 1,278 * * 1,272
Passengers(3) 553,032 * * * 813,938 * *
RPMs (in thousands)(3)
774,999 * * * 1,149,906 * *
PRASM (in cents)(3)
4.72 * * * 7.57 * *
Load factor(3)
66.9% * * * 76.2% * *
Average fare(3)
$ 98.77 * * * $ 140.34 * *
Ancillary revenue per passenger(3)
$ 42.98 * * * $ 43.04 * *
Charter revenue per block hour
* $ 7,747 * * * $ 8,092 *
Fuel gallons consumed (in thousands)
11,557 2,357 * 13,993 15,751 2,700 18,571
Fuel cost per gallon, excl. derivatives
* * * $ 1.91 * * $ 1.82
Employees at end of period
* * * 1,768 * * 1,640
CASM (in cents)(4)
* * * 7.46 * * 9.40
Non-GAAP Operating Metric:
Adjusted CASM (in cents)(4)(5)
* * * 6.15 * * 6.20
 
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Fiscal Year 2020
Fiscal Year 2019
Fiscal Year 2018
Fiscal Year 2017
Scheduled
Service
Charter
Cargo
Total
Scheduled
Service
Charter
Total
Scheduled
Service
Charter
Total
Scheduled
Service
Charter
Total
Departures(1) 14,117 5,581 4,642 24,518 24,311 9,035 33,586 19,772 8,254 28,194 20,357 7,981 28,469
Block hours(1)
45,988 12,113 13,847 72,424 80,719 19,852 101,137 68,143 17,335 85,883 68,060 16,941 85,298
Aircraft miles(1)
18,685,265 4,539,429 5,666,642 29,030,711 32,217,934 7,356,628 39,738,483 27,584,857 6,369,866 34,095,663 27,723,331 6,358,418 34,181,885
ASMs (in thousands)(1)
3,466,240 819,855 * 4,311,142 5,747,391 1,288,725 7,064,563 4,433,110 1,007,391 5,463,229 4,255,233 979,756 5,250,474
TRASM (in cents)(2)
* * * 8.46 * * 9.93 * * 10.66 * * 10.65
Average passenger aircraft available for service(2)
* * * 27.4 * * 25.4 * * 21.2 * * 21.1
Passenger aircraft at end of
period(2)
* * * 43.0 * * 31.0 * * 30.0 * * 26.0
Average daily aircraft utilization (in hours)(2)
* * * 5.1 * * 9.6 * * 9.7 * * 9.8
Average stage length
* * * 1,179 * * 1,187 * * 1,212 * * 1,203
Passengers(3) 1,679,242 * * * 3,565,939 * * 2,614,929 * * 2,502,082 * *
RPMs (in thousands)(3)
2,250,974 * * * 4,473,347 * * 3,653,007 * * 3,419,527 * *
PRASM (in cents)(3)
5.57 * * * 6.89 * * 8.05 * * 8.74 *
Load factor(3)
64.9% * * * 82.5% * * 82.4% * * 80.4% * *
Average fare(3)
$ 114.96 * * * $ 111.08 * * $ 136.42 * * $ 148.60 * *
Ancillary revenue per passenger(3)
$ 40.53 * * * $ 33.14 * * $ 21.70 * * $ 13.34 * *
Charter revenue per block hour
* $ 8,101 * * * $ 8,793 * * $ 8,767 * * $ 7,818 *
Fuel gallons consumed (in thousands)
34,769 9,075 * 43,844 63,240 14,802 78,042 52,303 12,678 64,981 52,104 12,551 64,656
Fuel cost per gallon, excl.
derivatives
* * * $ 1.60 * * $ 2.26 * * $ 2.34 * * $ 1.85
Employees at end of period
* * * 1,699 * * 1,532 * * 1,549 * * 1,889
CASM (in cents)(4)
* * * 8.91 * * 8.82 * * 10.05 * 10.09
Non-GAAP Operating Metric:
Adjusted CASM (in cents)(4)(5)
* * * 7.57 * * 6.31 * * 7.05 * * 7.80
See “Glossary of Terms” for definitions of terms used in this table.
*
Certain operating statistics and metrics are not presented as they are not calculable or are not utilized by management.
(1)
Total System operating statistics for Departures, Block hours, Aircraft miles and ASMs include amounts related to flights operated for maintenance; therefore the Total System amounts are higher than the sum of Scheduled Service, Charter Service and Cargo Service amounts.
(2)
Scheduled service and charter service utilize the same fleet of aircraft. Aircraft counts and utilization metrics are shown on a system basis only.
(3)
Passenger-related statistics and metrics are shown only for scheduled service. Charter service revenue is driven by flight statistics.
(4)
CASM is a key airline cost metric. CASM is defined as operating expenses divided by total available seat miles.
(5)
Adjusted CASM is a non-GAAP measure derived from CASM by excluding fuel costs, costs related to our cargo operations (starting in 2020 when we launched our cargo operations), certain commissions and other costs of selling our vacations product from this measure as these costs are unrelated to our airline operations and improve comparability to our peers. Adjusted CASM is an important measure used by management and by our board of directors in assessing quarterly and annual cost performance. Adjusted CASM is also a measure commonly used by industry analysts and we believe it is an important metric by which they compare our airline to others in the industry, although other airlines may exclude certain other costs in their calculation of Adjusted CASM. The measure is also the subject of frequent questions from investors. Adjusted CASM excludes fuel costs. By excluding volatile fuel expenses that are outside of our control from our unit metrics, we believe that we have better visibility into the results of operations and our non-fuel cost initiatives. Our industry is highly competitive and is characterized by high fixed costs, so even a small reduction in non-fuel operating costs can lead to a significant improvement in operating results. In addition, we believe that all domestic carriers are similarly impacted by changes in jet fuel costs over the long run, so it is important for management and investors to understand the impact and trends in company-specific cost drivers, such as labor rates, aircraft costs and maintenance costs, and productivity, which are more controllable by management. Adjusted CASM also excludes special items and other adjustments, as defined in the relevant reporting period, that are not representative of the ongoing costs necessary to our airline operations and may improve comparability between periods. We also exclude stock compensation expense when computing Adjusted CASM. The Company’s compensation strategy includes the use of stock-based compensation to attract and retain employees and executives and is principally aimed at aligning their interests with those of our stockholders and at long-term employee retention, rather than to motivate or reward operational performance for any particular period. Thus, stock-based compensation expense varies for reasons that are generally unrelated to operational decisions and performance in any particular period. As derivations of Adjusted CASM are not determined in accordance with GAAP, such
 
20

 
measures are susceptible to varying calculations and not all companies calculate the measures in the same manner. As a result, derivations of Adjusted CASM as presented may not be directly comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies. Adjusted CASM should not be considered in isolation or as a replacement for CASM. For the foregoing reasons, Adjusted CASM has significant limitations which affect its use as an indicator of our profitability. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this information.
The following table presents the reconciliation of CASM to Adjusted CASM.
For the three months ended March 31,
For the year ended December 31,
2021
2020
2020
2019
2018
2017
(in
thousands)
Per ASM
(in cents)
(in
thousands)
Per ASM
(in cents)
(in
thousands)
Per ASM
(in cents)
(in
thousands)
Per ASM
(in cents)
(in
thousands)
Per ASM
(in cents)
(in
thousands)
Per ASM
(in cents)
CASM
$ 102,678 7.46 $ 165,100 9.40 $ 384,101 8.91 $ 623,262 8.82 $ 549,035 10.05 $ 530,008 10.09
Aircraft fuel
24,274 1.76 55,561 3.17 83,392 1.93 165,666 2.35 165,343 3.03 118,382 2.25
Cargo expenses
17,195 1.25 31,429 0.73
Sun Country Vacations
214 0.02 188 0.01 589 0.01 2,448 0.03 4,543 0.08 2,083 0.04
Special items, net
(26,871) (1.95) (64,563) (1.50) 7,092 0.10 (6,435) (0.12)
Stock compensation expense
2,870 0.21 369 0.02 2,110 0.05 1,888 0.03 373 0.01
Income tax receivable agreement expense
264 0.03
Other adjustments .
4,881 0.12 226
Adjusted CASM
$ 84,732 6.15 $ 108,982 6.20 $ 326,263 7.57 $ 445,942 6.31 $ 385,211 7.05 $ 409,543 7.80
   
 
21

 
RISK FACTORS
You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, as well as the other information contained in this prospectus, including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” before deciding to invest in our common stock. In addition, past financial performance may not be a reliable indicator of future performance and historical trends should not be used to anticipate results or trends in future periods. Any of the following risks could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, in which case the trading price of our common stock could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment.
Risks Related to Our Industry
The global pandemic resulting from the novel coronavirus has had an adverse impact that has been material to our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity, and the duration and spread of the pandemic could result in additional adverse impacts. The outbreak of another disease or similar public health threat in the future could also have an adverse effect on our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity.
COVID-19, which was first reported in December 2019, was declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” by the World Health Organization (the “WHO”). On March 13, 2020, the U.S. government declared a national emergency and the U.S. Department of State subsequently issued a global Level 4 “do not travel” advisory advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. The U.S. government, states, cities and other authorities have also implemented enhanced screenings, mandatory quarantine and testing requirements and other travel restrictions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, including restrictions on travel from certain international locations, and many foreign governments and jurisdictions instituted similar measures and declared states of emergency.
Additional governmental and other restrictions and regulations that may be implemented in the future in response to COVID-19 could include additional travel restrictions (including expanded restrictions on domestic air travel within the United States), quarantines of additional populations (including our personnel), limitations on aircraft capacity, testing requirements and restrictions on our ability to access our facilities or aircraft or requirements to collect additional passenger data. In addition, governments, non-governmental organizations and entities in the private sector have issued and may continue to issue non-binding advisories or recommendations regarding air travel or other physical distancing measures, including limitations on the number of persons that should be present at public gatherings, which may significantly reduce demand. These restrictions and regulations have had, and will continue to have, a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity.
In the United States and other locations around the world, public events, such as conferences, sporting events and concerts, have been canceled, attractions, including theme parks and museums, have been closed, cruise lines have suspended operations, airlines have dramatically reduced their schedules and schools and businesses are operating with partial or full remote attendance, among other actions.
We began experiencing a significant decline in demand related to COVID-19 during the first quarter of 2020, and this reduction in demand has continued through the date of this prospectus and is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. The decline in demand caused a material deterioration in our revenues. Our results of operations for fiscal year 2020 were materially and adversely impacted and future results of operations may also be materially and adversely impacted. In response to decreased demand, we reduced scheduled service capacity relative to 2019 by approximately 40% in 2020. We plan to proactively manage capacity for the foreseeable future, which has a negative impact on our revenue. We expect to continue our proactive management of costs, but decreased demand can lead to higher unit costs. In addition, actual or perceived risk of infection on our flights could have a material adverse effect on the public’s demand for and willingness to use air travel, which could harm our reputation and business. Demand for scheduled service business is negatively correlated to case counts in Minnesota and the destinations of our scheduled flights. For example, we experienced a decrease in demand in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the third quarter due to spikes in reported COVID-19 cases. Furthermore, historically, unfavorable U.S. economic conditions have driven changes in travel patterns, including significantly and materially reduced spending for both leisure and business travel. Unfavorable economic conditions, when low fares are often used to
 
22

 
stimulate traffic, have also historically hampered the ability of airlines to raise fares to counteract any increases in fuel, labor and other costs. Any significant increases in unemployment in the United States would likely continue to have a negative impact on passenger bookings, especially when the customers we serve are paying with their own money, and these effects could exist for an extensive period of time. Even once the pandemic and fears of travel subside, demand for air travel may remain weak for a significant period of time. In addition to scheduled service demand, the U.S. Department of Defense has reduced normal personnel movements while most of our other passenger service customers suspended their operations and demand for commercial passenger charters significantly declined. In addition, some college conferences have canceled or reduced sports and related travel. The continued decline in demand, which is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, is expected to have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity. Apart from the decrease in demand, passenger bookings have been on average much closer to the date of service during pandemic than in prior periods, which has reduced our visibility into future revenue.
In addition to the schedule reductions discussed above, we have reduced our planned capital expenditures and reduced operating expenditures for 2020 (including by postponing projects deemed non-critical to our operations), entered into the Credit Agreement and temporarily grounded certain of our fleet. We continue to focus on reducing expenses and managing our liquidity and we expect to continue to modify our cost management structure, liquidity-raising efforts and capacity as the timing of demand recovery becomes more certain.
On April 20, 2020, we entered into a Payroll Support Program Agreement under the CARES Act with Treasury governing our participation in the Payroll Support Program and, on January 29, 2021, we entered into a second Payroll Support Program Agreement under the CARES Act. Under the Payroll Support Program, Treasury provided us with an aggregate of $62.3 million in grants from April 21, 2020 to October 1, 2020 and an additional $16.1 million in grants on February 2, 2021, an additional $16.1 million in grants on March 26, 2021 and an additional $4.8 million in grants on April 22, 2021 (collectively, the “Payroll Support Payments”). Further, we were notified on April 15, 2021 that we would receive a grant of approximately $34.5 million under Payroll Support Program 3. Of this grant amount, $17.3 million was received on April 29, 2021. In addition, on October 26, 2020, we entered into a loan and guarantee agreement (the “CARES Act Loan Agreement”) with Treasury under the aviation direct loan program of the CARES Act, pursuant to which Treasury agreed to extend loans to us in an aggregate principal amount of $45.0 million, subject to specified terms, which was due to be repaid on the earlier of (i) October 24, 2025 or (ii) six months prior to the expiration date of any material loyalty program securing the loan. We used a portion of the proceeds from our initial public offering to repay in full all amounts outstanding under the CARES Act Loan. The substance and duration of restrictions to which we are subject under the grants and/or loans under the CARES Act, including, but not limited to, those outlined below could materially affect our operations, and we may not be successful in managing these impacts. Further, these restrictions could limit our ability to take actions that we otherwise might have determined to be in the best interest of our company and our stockholders. In particular, limitations on executive compensation may impact our ability to attract and retain senior management or attract other key employees during this critical time. Additionally, limitations on dividends and buybacks may diminish investor interest in our stock. See “—Risks Related to Our Business—We are subject to certain restrictions on our business as a result of our participation in governmental programs under the CARES Act and we may be subject to similar or other restrictions pursuant to future governmental programs.”
Further, certain airport and air traffic personnel and ground handlers have tested positive for or been suspected of having COVID-19, which has resulted in facility closures, reduction in available staffing, including for our cargo business, and disruptions to our overall operations. Our operations may be further impacted in the event of additional instances of actual or perceived risk of infection among our employees, suppliers or business partners, and this impact may have a material adverse effect if we are unable to maintain a suitably skilled and sized workforce and address related employee matters. In addition, supply chain disruptions may impede our cargo customers’ ability to deliver freight to the airports we serve, which could reduce their need for our services and thus have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The industry may also be subject to enhanced health and hygiene requirements in attempts to counteract future outbreaks, which requirements may be costly and take a significant amount of time to implement.
 
23

 
We may take additional actions to improve our financial position, including measures to improve liquidity, such as the issuance of unsecured and secured debt securities, equity securities and equity-linked securities, the sale of assets and/or the entry into additional bilateral and syndicated secured and/or unsecured credit facilities. There can be no assurance as to the timing of any such issuance, which may be in the near term, or that any such additional financing will be completed on favorable terms, or at all. Any such actions may be material in nature and could result in significant additional borrowing. Our reduction in expenditures, measures to improve liquidity or other strategic actions that we may take in the future in response to COVID-19 may not be effective in offsetting decreased demand, and we will not be permitted to take certain strategic actions as a result of the CARES Act, which could result in a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, liquidity and financial condition.
The full extent of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our longer-term operational and financial performance will depend on future developments, many of which are outside of our control, including the effectiveness of the mitigation strategies discussed above, the duration, spread, severity and recurrence of COVID-19 and any COVID-19 variants and related travel advisories and restrictions, the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, the impact of COVID-19 on overall long-term demand for air travel, including after the pandemic subsides, the impact of COVID-19 on the financial health and operations of our business partners, future governmental actions, including their duration and scope, and our access to capital, all of which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted.
In addition, an outbreak of another disease or similar public health threat, or fear of such an event, that affects travel demand, travel behavior, travel restrictions or adversely affects supply chains, which would impact our cargo business, could have a material adverse impact on our business, operating results, liquidity and financial condition. Outbreaks of other diseases could also result in increased government restrictions and regulation, such as those actions described above or otherwise, which could adversely affect our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity.
Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has moderated and the enhanced screenings, quarantine requirements, and travel restrictions have eased, we may continue to experience similar adverse effects to our business, operating results, financial condition and liquidity resulting from a recessionary or depressed economic environment that may persist, including increases in unemployment, and our business and operating results may not return to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels on a timely basis or at all. The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our businesses, operating results, financial condition and liquidity could exacerbate the other risks identified in this prospectus.
We are depending upon a successful COVID-19 vaccine and significant uptake by the general public in order to normalize economic conditions, the airline industry and our business operations and to realize our planned financial and growth plans and business strategy. The failure of a vaccine, significant unplanned adverse reactions to the vaccine, politicization of the vaccine or general public distrust of the vaccine could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Our financial and operating results and business operations for our scheduled service and charter businesses for the year ended December 31, 2020 were materially and adversely impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which impact is likely to continue during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are depending upon a successful COVID-19 vaccine, including an efficient distribution and sufficient supply, and significant uptake by the general public in order to normalize economic conditions, the airline industry and our business operations and to realize our financial and growth plans and business strategy. The potential efficacy and availability of a COVID-19 vaccine and the extent to which a vaccine is widely accepted is highly uncertain, and we cannot predict if or when we will be able to resume normal operations. The failure of a vaccine, including to the extent it is not effective against any COVID-19 variants, significant unplanned adverse reactions to the vaccine, politicization of the vaccine or general public distrust of the vaccine could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
The demand for airline services is highly sensitive to changes in economic conditions, and another recession or similar or worse economic downturn in the United States would weaken demand for our services and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The demand for travel and cargo services is affected by U.S. and global economic conditions. Unfavorable economic conditions have historically reduced aviation spending. For most passengers visiting
 
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friends and relatives and cost-conscious leisure travelers (our primary market), travel is a discretionary expense, and during periods of unfavorable economic conditions as a result of such carriers’ low base fares travelers have often elected to replace air travel at such times with car travel or other forms of ground transportation or have opted not to travel at all. Likewise, during periods of unfavorable economic conditions, businesses have deferred air travel or forgone it altogether. Additionally, retail and thus cargo demand can also decrease. Furthermore, most of our charter revenue is generated from ad hoc or short-term contracts with repeat customers, and these customers may cease using our services or seek to negotiate more aggressive pricing during periods of unfavorable economic conditions. Any reduction in charter or cargo revenue during such periods could also increase our unit costs and thus have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Travelers have also reduced spending by purchasing fewer ancillary services, which can result in a decrease in average revenue per seat. Because airlines typically have relatively high fixed costs as a percentage of total costs, much of which cannot be mitigated during periods of lower demand for air travel or cargo services, the airline business is particularly sensitive to changes in economic conditions. Furthermore, if the COVID-19 pandemic leads to a recession or depression, this could result in further reductions in demand for our services. A reduction in the demand for air travel or cargo services due to unfavorable economic conditions also limits our ability to raise fares or fees for cargo services to counteract increased fuel, labor and other costs. If U.S. or global economic conditions are unfavorable or uncertain for an extended period of time, it would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our business has been and in the future may be materially adversely affected by the price and availability of aircraft fuel. Unexpected increases in the price of aircraft fuel or a shortage or disruption in the supply of aircraft fuel could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The cost of aircraft fuel is highly volatile and in recent years has been our largest individual operating expense, accounting for approximately 21.7%, 26.6% and 30.1% of our operating expenses for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. High fuel prices or increases in fuel costs (or in the price of crude oil) could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, including as a result of legacy network airlines and LCCs adapting more rapidly or effectively to higher fuel prices through new-technology aircraft that is more fuel efficient than our aircraft. Over the past several years, the price of aircraft fuel has fluctuated substantially and prices continue to be highly volatile and could increase significantly at any time. In addition, prolonged low fuel prices could limit our ability to differentiate our product and low fares from those of the legacy network airlines and LCCs, as prolonged low fuel prices could enable such carriers to, among other things, substantially decrease their costs, fly longer stages or utilize older aircraft.
Our business is also dependent on the availability of aircraft fuel (or crude oil), which is not predictable. Weather-related events, natural disasters, terrorism, wars, political disruption or instability involving oil-producing countries, changes in governmental or cartel policy concerning crude oil or aircraft fuel production, labor strikes or other events affecting refinery production, transportation, taxes or marketing, environmental concerns, market manipulation, price speculation, changes in currency exchange rates and other unpredictable events may drive actual or perceived fuel supply shortages. Shortages in the availability of, or increases in demand for, crude oil in general, other crude oil-based fuel derivatives and aircraft fuel in particular could result in increased fuel prices and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We may not be able to increase ticket prices sufficiently to cover increased fuel costs, particularly when fuel prices rise quickly. We sell a significant number of tickets to passengers well in advance of travel, and, as a result, fares sold for future travel may not reflect increased fuel costs. In addition, our ability to increase ticket prices to offset an increase in fuel costs is limited by the competitive nature of the airline industry and the price sensitivity associated with air travel, particularly leisure travel, and any increases in fares may reduce the general demand for air travel. Additionally, our cargo and charter customers may choose to refuse fuel pass-through contracts, which could drive down the profitability of those agreements.
From time to time, we may enter into fuel derivative contracts in order to mitigate the risk to our business from future volatility in fuel prices but such contracts may not fully protect us from all related risks. As of December 31, 2020, we had hedges in place for approximately 37% of our projected fuel
 
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requirements for scheduled service operations in 2021, with all of our then existing options expected to be exercised or expire by the end of 2021. Generally speaking, our charter and cargo operations have pass-through provisions for fuel costs, and as such we do not hedge our fuel requirements for that portion of our business. Our hedges in place at the end of 2020 consisted of collars and call options and the underlying commodities consisted of both Gulf Coast Jet Fuel contracts as well as West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil contracts.
Our hedging strategy to date has been designed to protect our liquidity position in the event of a rapid and/or sustained rise in fuel prices that does not allow for immediate response in ticket prices. We may enter into derivatives that do not qualify for hedge accounting, which can impact our results of operations and increase the volatility of our earnings due to recognizing the mark-to-market impact of our hedge portfolio as a result of changes in the forward markets for oil and/or jet fuel. We cannot assure you our fuel hedging program will be effective or that we will maintain a fuel hedging program. Even if we are able to hedge portions of our future fuel requirements, we cannot guarantee that our hedge contracts will provide an adequate level of protection against increased fuel costs or that the counterparties to our hedge contracts will be able to perform. Additionally, our ability to realize the benefit of declining fuel prices will be limited by the impact of any fuel hedges in place, we may incur additional expenses in connection with entering into derivative contracts and we may record significant losses on fuel hedges during periods of declining prices. A failure of our fuel hedging strategy, potential margin funding requirements, overpaying for fuel through the use of hedging arrangements or our failure to maintain a fuel hedging program could prevent us from adequately mitigating the risk of fuel price increases and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Threatened or actual terrorist attacks or security concerns involving airlines could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Past terrorist attacks or attempted attacks, particularly those against airlines, have caused substantial revenue losses and increased security costs, and any actual or threatened terrorist attack or security breach, even if not directly against an airline, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Security concerns resulting in enhanced passenger screening, increased regulation governing carry-on baggage and cargo and other similar restrictions on passenger travel and cargo may further increase passenger inconvenience and reduce the demand for air travel or increase costs associated with providing cargo service. In addition, increased or enhanced security measures have tended to result in higher governmental fees imposed on airlines, resulting in higher operating costs for airlines, which we may not be able to pass on to customers in the form of higher prices. Terrorist attacks, or the fear of such attacks or other hostilities (including elevated national threat warnings or selective cancellation or redirection of flights due to terror threats), even if not made directly on or involving the airline industry, could have a negative impact on the airline industry and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The airline industry is exceedingly competitive, and we compete against new entrants, LCCs, ULCCs, legacy network airlines and cargo carriers; if we are not able to compete successfully in our markets, our business will be materially adversely affected.
We face significant competition with respect to routes, fares and services. Within the airline industry, we compete with new airlines, ULCCs, LCCs and legacy network airlines for airline passengers traveling on the routes we serve, particularly customers traveling in economy or similar classes of service. Competition on most of the routes we presently serve is intense, due to the large number of carriers in those markets. Furthermore, other airlines or new airlines may begin service or increase existing service on routes where we currently face no or little competition. In almost all instances, our competitors are larger than we are and possess significantly greater financial and other resources than we do.
The airline industry is particularly susceptible to price discounting because, once a flight is scheduled, airlines incur only nominal additional costs to provide service to passengers occupying otherwise unsold seats. Increased fare or other price competition could adversely affect our operations. Airlines typically use discount fares and other promotions to stimulate traffic during normally slower travel periods to generate cash flow and to increase revenue per available seat mile. The prevalence of discount fares can be particularly
 
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acute when a competitor has excess capacity to sell. Moreover, many other airlines have unbundled their services, at least in part, by charging separately for services such as baggage and advance seat selection, which previously were offered as a component of base fares. This unbundling and other cost-reducing measures could enable competitor airlines to reduce fares on routes that we serve. The availability of low-priced fares coupled with an increase in domestic capacity has led to dramatic changes in pricing behavior in many U.S. markets. Many domestic carriers began matching lower cost airline pricing, either with limited or unlimited inventory.
During economic downturns, including during a health crisis, our competitors may choose to take an aggressive posture toward market share growth on routes where we compete, which would flood a low demand market with additional capacity that drives down fares, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our growth and the success of our high-growth, low-cost business model could stimulate competition in our markets through our competitors’ development of their own LCC or ULCC strategies, new pricing policies designed to compete with LCCs, ULCCs or new market entrants. Airlines increase or decrease capacity in markets based on perceived profitability. If our competitors increase overall industry capacity, or capacity dedicated to a particular domestic or foreign region, market or route that we serve, it could have a material adverse impact on our business. If a legacy network airline were to successfully develop a low-cost product or if we were to experience increased competition from LCCs, our business could be materially adversely affected. Regardless of cost structure, the domestic airline industry has often been the source of fare wars undertaken to grow market share or for other reasons. Additionally, each of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines has begun to offer a so-called “basic economy” offering with reduced amenities designed specifically to compete against LCCs and ULCCs, which presents a significant form of competition for us.
A competitor adopting an LCC or ULCC strategy may have greater financial resources and access to lower cost sources of capital than we do, which could enable them to operate their business with a lower cost structure, or enable them to operate with lower marginal revenues without substantial adverse effects, than we can. If these competitors adopt and successfully execute an LCC or ULCC business model, our business could be materially adversely affected.
Similarly, our competitors may choose to commence or expand their existing charter operations, which could adversely impact our ability to obtain or renew charter contracts, especially in periods of low demand. This could result in decreases in our charter services market share and reduced profitability for our charter operations, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our competitors may also choose to commence, or expand their existing, cargo operations. In addition, our competitors could seek to provide cargo services to Amazon, which could adversely impact our ability to maintain or renew the ATSA. This could result in reduced frequencies for our cargo operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
There has been significant consolidation within the airline industry, including, for example, the combinations of American Airlines and US Airways, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways, and Alaska Airlines and Virgin America. In the future, there may be additional consolidation in our industry. Business combinations could significantly alter industry conditions and competition within the airline industry and could permit our competitors to reduce their fares.
The extremely competitive nature of the airline industry could prevent us from attaining the level of passenger traffic or maintaining the level of fares or ancillary revenues required to sustain profitable operations in new and existing markets and could impede our growth strategy, which could harm our operating results. Due to our relatively small size, we are susceptible to a fare war or other competitive activities in one or more of the markets we serve, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
 
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Airlines are often affected by factors beyond their control including: air traffic congestion at airports; air traffic control inefficiencies; government shutdowns; FAA grounding of aircraft; major construction or improvements at airports; adverse weather conditions, such as hurricanes or blizzards; increased security measures; new travel-related taxes; or the outbreak of disease, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Like other airlines, our business is affected by factors beyond our control, including air traffic congestion at airports, air traffic control inefficiencies, major construction or improvements at airports at which we operate, increased security measures, new travel-related taxes and fees, adverse weather conditions, natural disasters and the outbreak of disease. Factors that cause flight delays frustrate passengers and increase costs and decrease revenues, which in turn could adversely affect profitability. The federal government controls all U.S. airspace, and airlines are completely dependent on the FAA to operate that airspace in a safe, efficient and affordable manner. The air traffic control system, which is operated by the FAA, faces challenges in managing the growing demand for U.S. air travel. U.S. and foreign air traffic controllers often rely on outdated technologies that routinely overwhelm the system and compel airlines to fly inefficient, indirect routes resulting in delays. The federal government also controls airport security. In addition, there are proposals before Congress that would treat a wide range of consumer protection issues, which could increase the costs of doing business. Further, implementation of the Next Generation Air Transport System, or NextGen, by the FAA would result in changes to aircraft routings and flight paths that could lead to increased noise complaints and lawsuits, resulting in increased costs. In addition, federal government shutdowns can affect the availability of federal resources necessary to provide air traffic control and airport security. Furthermore, a federal government grounding of our aircraft type could result in flight cancellations and adversely affect our business.
Adverse weather conditions and natural disasters, such as hurricanes, thunderstorms, winter snowstorms or earthquakes, can cause flight cancellations or significant delays, and in the past have led to Congressional demands for investigations. Cancellations or delays due to adverse weather conditions or natural disasters, air traffic control problems or inefficiencies, breaches in security or other factors may affect us to a greater degree than other, larger airlines that may be able to recover more quickly from these events, and therefore could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition to a greater degree than other air carriers. Because of our day of week, limited schedule and optimized utilization and point-to-point network, operational disruptions can have a disproportionate impact on our ability to recover. In addition, many airlines reaccommodate their disrupted passengers on other airlines at prearranged rates under flight interruption manifest agreements. We have been unsuccessful in procuring any of these agreements with our peers, which makes our recovery from disruption more challenging than for larger airlines that have these agreements in place. Similarly, outbreaks of pandemic or contagious diseases, such as ebola, measles, avian flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), COVID-19, H1N1 (swine) flu, pertussis (whooping cough) and zika virus, or their respective variants, could result in significant decreases in passenger traffic and the imposition of government restrictions in service and could have a material adverse impact on the airline industry. Any increases in travel-related taxes could also result in decreases in passenger traffic. Any general reduction in airline passenger traffic could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Moreover, U.S. federal government shutdowns may cause delays and cancellations or reductions in discretionary travel due to longer security lines, including as a result of furloughed government employees or reductions in staffing levels, including air traffic controllers. U.S. government shutdowns may also impact our ability to take delivery of aircraft and commence operations in new domestic stations. Another extended shutdown like the one in December 2018-January 2019 may have a negative impact on our operations and financial results.
Risks associated with our presence in international markets, including political or economic instability, and failure to adequately comply with existing and changing legal requirements, may materially adversely affect us.
Some of our target growth markets include countries with less developed economies, legal systems, financial markets and business and political environments that are vulnerable to economic and political disruptions, such as significant fluctuations in gross domestic product, interest and currency exchange rates, civil disturbances, government instability, nationalization and expropriation of private assets, trafficking and the imposition of taxes or other charges by governments, as well as health and safety concerns. The
 
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occurrence of any of these events in markets served by us now or in the future and the resulting instability may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We emphasize compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in all jurisdictions where we operate and have implemented and continue to implement and refresh policies, procedures and certain ongoing training of our employees, third-party providers and partners with regard to business ethics and key legal requirements; however, we cannot assure you that our employees, third-party providers or partners will adhere to our code of ethics, other policies or other legal requirements. If we fail to enforce our policies and procedures properly or maintain adequate recordkeeping and internal accounting practices to record our transactions accurately, we may be subject to sanctions. In the event we believe or have reason to believe our employees, third-party providers or partners have or may have violated applicable laws or regulations, we may incur investigation costs, potential penalties and other related costs, which in turn may materially adversely affect our reputation and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Increases in insurance costs or reductions in insurance coverage may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If any of our aircraft were to be involved in a significant accident or if our property or operations were to be affected by a significant natural catastrophe or other event, we could be exposed to material liability or loss. If insurance markets harden due to other airline global incidents, general aviation incidents or other economic factors, we could be unable to obtain sufficient insurance (including aviation hull and liability insurance and property and business interruption coverage) to cover such liabilities or losses, our business could be materially adversely affected.
We currently obtain war risk insurance coverage (terrorism insurance) as part of our commercial aviation hull and liability policy, and additional excess third-party war risk insurance through the commercial aviation war risk market. Our current war risk insurance from commercial underwriters excludes nuclear, radiological and certain other events. The global insurance market for aviation-related risks has been faced with significant losses, resulting in substantial tightening in insurance markets with reduced capacity and increased prices. If we are unable to obtain adequate third-party hull and liability or third-party war risk (terrorism) insurance or if an event not covered by the insurance we maintain were to take place, our business could be materially adversely affected.
The airline industry is heavily taxed.
The airline industry is subject to extensive government fees and taxation that negatively impact our revenue and profitability. The U.S. airline industry is one of the most heavily taxed of all industries. These fees and taxes have grown significantly in the past decade for domestic flights, and various U.S. fees and taxes also are assessed on international flights. For example, as permitted by federal legislation, most major U.S. airports impose a passenger facility charge per passenger on us. In addition, the governments of foreign countries in which we operate impose on U.S. airlines, including us, various fees and taxes, and these assessments have been increasing in number and amount in recent years. Moreover, we are obligated to collect a federal excise tax, commonly referred to as the “ticket tax,” on domestic and international air transportation. We collect the excise tax, along with certain other U.S. and foreign taxes and user fees on air transportation (such as passenger security fees), and pass along the collected amounts to the appropriate governmental agencies. Although these taxes and fees are not our operating expenses, they represent an additional cost to our customers, which, because we operate in a highly elastic environment, drives down demand. There are continuing efforts in Congress and in other countries to raise different portions of the various taxes, fees, and charges imposed on airlines and their passengers, including the passenger facility charge, and we may not be able to recover all of these charges from our customers. Increases in such taxes, fees and charges could negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Under regulations set forth by the Department of Transportation, or the DOT, all governmental taxes and fees must be included in the prices we quote or advertise to our customers. Due to the competitive revenue environment, many increases in these fees and taxes have been absorbed by the airline industry rather than being passed on to the customer. Further increases in fees and taxes may reduce demand for air travel, and thus our revenues.
 
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Restrictions on or increased taxes applicable to charges for ancillary products and services paid by airline passengers and burdensome consumer protection regulations or laws could harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, we generated ancillary revenues of approximately $68.1 million, $118.2 million and $56.7 million, respectively. Our ancillary revenue consists primarily of revenue generated from air travel-related services such as baggage fees, seat selection and upgrade fees, itinerary service fees, on-board sales and sales of trip insurance. The DOT has rules governing many facets of the airline-consumer relationship, including, for instance, consumer notice requirements, handling of consumer complaints, price advertising, lengthy tarmac delays, oversales and denied boarding process/compensation, ticket refunds, liability for loss, delay or damage to baggage, customer service commitments, contracts of carriage, consumer disclosures and the transportation of passengers with disabilities. The DOT periodically audits airlines to determine whether such airlines have violated any of the DOT rules. If the DOT determines that we are not, or have not been, in compliance with these rules or if we are unable to remain compliant, the DOT may subject us to fines or other enforcement action. The DOT may also impose additional consumer protection requirements, including adding requirements to modify our websites and computer reservations system, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. The U.S. Congress and the DOT have examined the increasingly common airline industry practice of unbundling the pricing of certain products and ancillary services, a practice that is a core component of our business strategy. If new laws or regulations are adopted that make unbundling of airline products and services impermissible, or more cumbersome or expensive, or if new taxes are imposed on ancillary revenues, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be negatively impacted. Congressional, Federal agency and other government scrutiny may also change industry practice or the public’s willingness to pay for ancillary services. See also “—Risks Related to Our Business—We are subject to extensive regulation by the FAA, the DOT, the TSA, CBP and other U.S. and foreign governmental agencies, compliance with which could cause us to incur increased costs and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.”
We are subject to risks associated with climate change, including increased regulation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
Concern about climate change and greenhouse gases has resulted, and is expected to continue to result, in additional regulation or taxation of aircraft emissions in the United States and abroad. In particular, on March 6, 2017, the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, an agency of the United Nations established to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, adopted new carbon dioxide, or CO2 certification standards for new aircraft beginning in 2020. The new CO2 standards will apply to new aircraft type designs from 2020, and to aircraft type designs already in production as of 2023.
In-production aircraft that do not meet the standard by 2028 will no longer be able to be produced unless their designs are modified to meet the new standards. In August 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, made a final endangerment finding that aircraft engine greenhouse gas, or GHG, emissions cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare, which obligates the EPA under the Clean Air Act to set GHG emissions standards for aircraft. On January 11, 2021, the EPA issued a rule regulating GHG emissions from aircraft that largely conforms to the March 2017 ICAO standards. However, on January 20, 2021, President Biden, who is expected to promote more aggressive policies with respect to climate change and carbon emissions, including in the aviation there may be future rulemaking that sector, issued an executive order calling for a review of regulatory actions of the prior administration for their consistency with the Biden administrations policies, including with respect to climate change. Accordingly, may result in stricter GHG emissions standards than those contained in the rule. In addition, federal climate legislation, including the “Green New Deal” resolution, has been introduced in Congress recently, although Congress has yet to pass a bill specifically addressing GHG regulation. Several states are also considering or have adopted initiatives to regulate emissions of GHGs, primarily through the planned development of GHG emissions inventories and/or regional cap-and-trade programs.
In addition, in October 2016, the ICAO adopted the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA, which is a global, market-based emissions offset program designed to
 
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encourage carbon-neutral growth beyond 2020. Further, in June 2018 the ICAO adopted standards pertaining to the collection and sharing of information on international aviation emissions beginning in 2019. The CORSIA will increase operating costs for us and other U.S. airlines that operate internationally. The CORSIA is being implemented in phases, with information sharing beginning in 2019 and a pilot phase beginning in 2021. Certain details are still being developed and the impact cannot be fully predicted. The potential impact of the CORSIA or other emissions-related requirements on our costs will ultimately depend on a number of factors, including baseline emissions, the price of emission allowances or offsets that we would need to acquire, the efficiency of our fleet and the number of flights subject to these requirements. These costs have not been completely defined and could fluctuate.
In the event that legislation or regulation with respect to GHG emissions associated with aircraft or applicable to the fuel industry is enacted in the United States or other jurisdictions where we operate or where we may operate in the future, or as part of international conventions to which we are subject, it could result in significant costs for us and the airline industry. In addition to direct costs, such regulation may have a greater effect on the airline industry through increases in fuel costs that could result from fuel suppliers passing on increased costs that they incur under such a system.
We face competition from air travel substitutes.
In addition to airline competition from legacy network airlines, LCCs and ULCCs, we also face competition from air travel substitutes. Our business serves primarily leisure travelers, for whom travel is entirely discretionary. On our domestic routes, particularly those with shorter stage lengths, we face competition from some other transportation alternatives, such as bus, train or automobile. The new presidential administration and the new Secretary of the Department of Transportation have indicated strong support for trains. In addition, technology advancements may limit the demand for air travel. For example, video teleconferencing and other methods of electronic communication may reduce the need for in-person communication and add a new dimension of competition to the industry as travelers seek lower-cost substitutes for air travel. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated adoption of such technology and customers may be more likely to think it is sufficient for their needs, which could reduce demand for air travel. If we are unable to stimulate demand for air travel with our low base fares or if we are unable to adjust rapidly in the event the basis of competition in our markets changes, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Risks Related to Our Business
If we fail to implement our business strategy successfully, our business will be materially adversely affected.
Our business strategy includes growth in our aircraft fleet, expansion of markets we serve by building out our MSP hub, growing our seat share at MSP and growing non-MSP point-to-point markets, increasing the seats in each aircraft, expanding our ancillary product offering and growing our charter service. When developing our route network, we focus on gaining market share on routes that have been underserved or are served primarily by higher cost airlines where we have a competitive cost advantage. Effectively implementing our growth strategy is critical for our business to achieve economies of scale and to sustain or increase our profitability. The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected our growth plans and business strategy. We face numerous challenges in implementing our growth strategy, including our ability to:

sustain our relatively low unit costs, continue to realize attractive revenue performance and maintain profitability; stimulate traffic with low fares;

maintain an optimal level of aircraft utilization, balanced with a low aircraft acquisition cost, to execute our scheduled, cargo and charter operations;

access airports located in our targeted geographic markets; and

maintain operational performance necessary to complete all flights.
If we are unable to obtain and maintain access to a sufficient number of slots, gates or related ground facilities at desirable airports to accommodate our growing fleet, we may be unable to compete in desirable markets, our aircraft utilization rate could decrease, and we could suffer a material adverse effect on our
 
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business, results of operations and financial condition. There can be no assurances that we will be able to grow our business at MSP or in non-MSP markets as we anticipate, or at all.
Our growth is also dependent upon our ability to maintain a safe and secure operation and will require additional personnel, equipment and facilities as we induct new aircraft and continue to execute our growth plan. In addition, we will require additional third-party personnel for services we do not undertake ourselves. An inability to hire and retain personnel, especially in light of the CARES Act limitations, timely secure the required equipment and facilities in a cost-effective manner, efficiently operate our expanded facilities or obtain the necessary regulatory approvals may adversely affect our ability to achieve our growth strategy, which could harm our business. Furthermore, expansion to new markets may have other risks due to factors specific to those markets. We may be unable to foresee all of the existing risks upon entering certain new markets or respond adequately to these risks, and our growth strategy and our business may suffer as a result. In addition, our competitors may reduce their fares and/or offer special promotions following our entry into a new market and may also offer more attractive frequent flyer programs and/or access to marketing alliances with other airlines, which we do not currently offer. We cannot assure you that we will be able to profitably expand our existing markets or establish new markets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has materially disrupted our strategic operating and growth plans in the near-term, and there are risks to our business, operating results, liquidity and financial condition associated with executing our strategic operating and growth plans in the long-term.
The COVID-19 pandemic has materially disrupted our strategic operating and growth plans in the near-term, and there are risks to our business, operating results and financial condition associated with executing our strategic operating and growth plans in the long-term. In developing our strategic operating and growth plans, we make certain assumptions, including, but not limited to, those related to customer demand, competition, market consolidation, the availability of aircraft and the global economy. Actual economic, market and other conditions have been and may continue to be different from our assumptions. In 2020, demand was, and is expected to continue to be, significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has materially disrupted the timely execution of our strategic operating and growth plans, including plans to add capacity in 2020 and expand our routes, markets and number of aircraft. If we do not successfully execute or adjust our strategic operating and growth plans in the long-term, or if actual results continue to vary significantly from our prior assumptions or vary significantly from our future assumptions, our business, operating results and financial condition could be materially and adversely impacted.
The anticipated strategic and financial benefits of the ATSA may not be realized.
In December 2019, we entered into the ATSA with Amazon with the expectation that the transactions contemplated thereby would result in various benefits including, among others, growth in revenues, improved cash flows and operating efficiencies. Achieving the anticipated benefits from the ATSA is subject to a number of challenges and uncertainties, such as: unforeseen maintenance and other costs; our ability to hire pilots, crew and other personnel necessary to support our CMI services; interruptions in the operations under the ATSA as a result of unexpected or unforeseen events, whether as a result of factors within the Company’s control or outside of the Company’s control; and the level of operations and results of operations, including margins, under the ATSA being less than the Company’s current expectations and projections. We have not historically had any significant cargo operations, nor have we had main deck cargo operations. Applying our existing business strategies to cargo operations may be costly, complex and time-consuming, and our management will have to devote substantial time and resources to such effort and it may not be successful. We may also experience difficulties or delays in securing ramp access and other airport services necessary to operate in the air cargo and express shipping sector. If we are unable to successfully implement our CMI services and achieve our objectives, the expected benefits may be only partially realized or not at all, or may take longer to realize than expected. There can be no assurances that the ATSA or our relationship with Amazon will benefit our financial condition or results of operations, and we will incur costs related to the relationship, including related to the 2019 Warrants, which could have a negative impact on our results of operations if not offset by benefits from the ATSA. In addition, if we fail to perform under the terms and conditions of the contract, we may be required to pay fees or penalties under the ATSA and, in certain cases, Amazon may have the right to terminate the agreement. Amazon may also terminate the ATSA for convenience, subject to certain notice requirements and payment of a termination fee. The ATSA is also
 
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subject to two, two-year extension options, which Amazon may choose not to exercise. Importantly, Amazon has not agreed to any minimum flying requirements under the ATSA and could choose not to fly significant volumes with us. If we do not achieve the benefits we expect from the ATSA, we could suffer from a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our cargo business is concentrated with Amazon, and any decrease in volumes or increase in costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, operations, financial condition and brand.
Our cargo service is concentrated with Amazon and our business is impacted by economic and business preferences of Amazon and its customers. The ATSA does not require a minimum amount of flying and therefore our cargo business would decrease if Amazon’s use of our cargo services decreases, which would materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, and prospects.
In addition, the profitability of the ATSA is dependent on our ability to manage costs. Our projections of operating costs, crew productivity and maintenance expenses contain key assumptions, including flight hours, aircraft reliability, crewmember productivity, compensation and benefits and maintenance costs. If actual costs are higher than projected or aircraft reliability is less than expected, or aircraft become damaged and are out of revenue service for repair, the profitability of the ATSA and future operating results may be negatively impacted. We rely on flight crews that are unionized. If collective bargaining agreements increase our costs and we cannot recover such increases, our operating results would be negatively impacted. It may be necessary for us to terminate certain customer contracts or curtail planned growth.
The ATSA contains monthly incentive payments for reaching specific on-time arrival performance thresholds. Additionally, there are monetary penalties for on-time arrival performance below certain thresholds. As a result, our operating revenues may vary from period to period depending on the achievement of monthly incentives or the imposition of penalties. Further, we could be found in default of an agreement if it does not maintain minimum thresholds over an extended period of time. If we are placed in default due to the failure to maintain reliability thresholds, Amazon may elect to terminate all or part of the services we provide after a cure period and pursue those rights and remedies available to it at law or in equity, in which case the 2019 Warrants would remain outstanding.
Our low-cost structure is one of our primary competitive advantages, and many factors could affect our ability to control our costs.
Our low-cost structure is one of our primary competitive advantages. However, we have limited control over many of our costs. For example, we have limited control over the price and availability of aircraft fuel, aviation insurance, the acquisition and cost of aircraft, airport and related infrastructure costs, taxes, the cost of meeting changing regulatory requirements, the cost of capable talent at market wages and our cost to access capital or financing. In addition, the compensation and benefit costs applicable to a significant portion of our employees are established by the terms of collective bargaining agreements, substantially all of which are currently open and are being negotiated. See “—Increased labor costs, union disputes, employee strikes and other labor-related disruption may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.” We cannot guarantee we will be able to maintain our relatively low costs. If our cost structure increases and we are no longer able to maintain a competitive cost structure, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our business is significantly tied to and consolidated in our main hub in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and any decrease in traffic in this hub could have a material adverse effect on our business, operations, financial condition and brand.
Our service is concentrated around our hub in MSP and our business is impacted by economic and geophysical factors of this region. We maintain a large presence in MSP with approximately 90.5% of 2020 capacity, as measured by ASMs, having MSP as either their origin or destination. Flight operations in Minneapolis can face extreme weather challenges in all seasons but especially in the winter which at times has resulted in severe disruptions in our operation and the incurrence of material costs as a consequence of such disruptions. Our business could be further harmed by an increase in the amount of direct competition we face in the Minneapolis market or by continued or increased congestion, delays or cancellations. For instance, MSP is also a significant hub for Delta Air Lines. If Delta Air Lines or another legacy network
 
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airline were to successfully develop low-cost or low-fare products or if we were to experience increased competition from LCCs or ULCCs in the Minneapolis market, our business, results of operations and prospects could be materially adversely affected.
Our business would also be negatively impacted by any circumstances causing a reduction in demand for air transportation in the Minneapolis area, such as adverse changes in local economic conditions, health concerns, adverse weather conditions, negative public perception of Minneapolis, riots, social unrest, terrorist attacks or significant price or tax increases linked to increases in airport access costs and fees imposed on passengers.
We have third-party vendors that support our MSP operations and we cannot guarantee that these vendors will operate to our expectations. We currently operate out of Terminal 2 at MSP. Our access to use our existing gates and other facilities in Terminal 2 is not guaranteed. We cannot assure you that our continued use of our facilities at MSP will occur on acceptable terms with respect to operations and cost of operations, or at all, or that our ongoing use of these facilities will not include additional or increased fees.
Our reputation and business could be adversely affected in the event of an accident or similar public incident involving our aircraft or personnel.
We are exposed to potential significant losses and adverse publicity in the event that any of our aircraft or personnel is involved in an accident, terrorist incident or other similar public incident, which could expose us to significant reputational harm and potential legal liability. In addition, we could face significant costs related to repairs or replacement of a damaged aircraft and its temporary or permanent loss from service. Furthermore, our customers, including Amazon, may choose not to use us for their needs following such an incident. We cannot assure you that we will not be affected by such events or that the amount of our insurance coverage will be adequate in the event such circumstances arise and any such event could cause a substantial increase in our insurance premiums. In addition, any future accident or similar incident involving our aircraft or personnel, even if fully covered by insurance or even if it does not involve our airline, may create an adverse public perception about our airline or that the equipment we fly is less safe or reliable than other transportation alternatives, or, in the case of our aircraft, could cause us to perform time-consuming and costly inspections on our aircraft or engines, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, any accident involving the Boeing 737-NG or an aircraft similar to the Boeing 737-NG that we operate could result in the curtailment of such aircraft by aviation regulators, manufacturers and other airlines and could create a negative public perception about the safety of our aircraft, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. For example, in 2019, certain global aviation regulators and airlines grounded the Boeing 737 MAX in response to accidents involving aircraft flown by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines. In addition, following a 2018 accident involving the failure of a turbofan on a 737-700 aircraft, the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, has recommended that regulators require Boeing to redesign the engine cowl on 737-NG aircraft and retrofit in service 737-NG aircraft with the redesigned cowl. We cannot predict when the FAA will respond to the NTSB recommendations and if it will require us to replace the engine cowls in our aircraft, which may be time-consuming and costly. The resolution of this matter or similar matters in the future could have an impact on our results of operations, financial condition, business and prospects.
Unauthorized breach of our information technology infrastructure could compromise the personally identifiable information of our passengers, prospective passengers or personnel and expose us to liability, damage our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In the processing of our customer transactions and as part of our ordinary business operations, we and certain of our third-party providers collect, process, transmit and store a large volume of personally identifiable information, including email addresses and home addresses and financial data such as credit and debit card information. This data is increasingly subject to legislation and regulation, such as the Fair Accurate Credit Transparency Act, Payment Card Industry legislation, the California Consumer Privacy Act and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation typically intended to protect the privacy of personal data that is collected, processed, stored and transmitted. The security of the systems and network where we and our third-party providers store this data is a critical element of our business, and
 
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these systems and our network may be vulnerable to theft, loss, damage and interruption from a number of potential sources and events, including computer viruses, hackers, denial-of-service attacks, employee theft or misuse, natural or man-made disasters, telecommunications failures, power loss and other disruptive sources and events. As the cyber-threat landscape evolves, attacks are growing in frequency, sophistication and intensity, and are becoming increasingly difficult to detect. We may not have the resources or technical sophistication to anticipate or prevent rapidly evolving types of cyber attacks. Attacks may be targeted at us, our customers (including the U.S. Department of Defense) and our providers, including air navigation service providers, or others who have entrusted us with information, including regulators such as the U.S. Department of Defense, FAA and DOT. In addition, attacks not targeted at us, but targeted solely at providers, may cause disruption to our computer systems or a breach of the data that we maintain on customers, employees, providers and others. Recently, several high profile consumer-oriented companies have experienced significant data breaches, which have caused those companies to suffer substantial financial and reputational harm. We cannot assure you that the precautions we have taken to avoid an unauthorized incursion of our computer systems are either adequate or implemented properly to prevent a data breach and its adverse financial and reputational consequences to our business. The compromise of our technology systems resulting in the loss, disclosure, misappropriation of or access to the personally identifiable information of our passengers, prospective passengers or personnel could result in governmental investigation, civil liability or regulatory penalties under laws protecting the privacy of personal information, and our reputation could be harmed, any or all of which could disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Additionally, any material failure by us or our third-party providers to maintain compliance with the Payment Card Industry security requirements or to rectify a data security issue may result in fines and restrictions on our ability to accept credit and debit cards as a form of payment. Actual or anticipated attacks may cause us to incur increasing costs, including costs to deploy additional personnel and protection technologies, train employees and engage third-party experts and consultants, or costs incurred in connection with the notifications to customers, employees, providers or the general public as part of our notification obligations to the various governments that govern our business. In addition, data and security breaches can also occur as a result of non-technical issues, including breaches by us or by persons with whom we have commercial relationships that result in the unauthorized release of personal or confidential information.
We are subject to increasing legislative, regulatory and customer focus on privacy issues and data security in the United States and abroad. In addition, a number of our commercial partners, including credit card companies, have imposed data security standards on us, and these standards continue to evolve. We will continue our efforts to meet our privacy and data security obligations; however, it is possible that certain new obligations may be difficult to meet and could increase our costs. Additionally, we must manage evolving cybersecurity risks. The loss, disclosure, misappropriation of or access to the information of our customers, personnel or business partners or any failure by us to meet our obligations could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability or regulatory penalties.
We rely on third-party providers and other commercial partners to perform functions integral to our operations.
We have entered into agreements with third-party providers to furnish certain facilities and services required for our operations, including ground handling, catering, passenger handling, engineering, maintenance, refueling, reservations and airport facilities as well as administrative and support services. We are likely to enter into similar service agreements in new markets we decide to enter, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain the necessary services at acceptable rates.
Although we seek to monitor the performance of third parties that furnish certain facilities or provide us with our ground handling, catering, passenger handling, engineering, maintenance, refueling, reservations and airport facilities, the efficiency, timeliness and quality of contract performance by third-party providers are often beyond our control, and any failure by our third-party providers to perform up to our expectations may have an adverse impact on our business, reputation with customers, our brand and our operations. These service agreements are generally subject to termination after notice by the third-party providers. In addition, we could experience a significant business disruption if we were to change vendors or if an existing provider ceased to be able to serve us. We expect to be dependent on such third-party arrangements for the foreseeable future.
 
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We rely on third-party distribution channels to distribute a portion of our airline tickets.
We rely on third-party distribution channels, including those provided by or through global distribution systems, or GDSs, conventional travel agents and online travel agents, or OTAs, to distribute a significant portion of our airline tickets, and we expect in the future to rely on these channels to also collect a portion of our ancillary revenues. These distribution channels are more expensive and at present have less functionality in respect of ancillary revenues than those we operate ourselves, such as our website. Certain of these distribution channels also effectively restrict the manner in which we distribute our products generally. To remain competitive, we will need to successfully manage our distribution costs and rights, and improve the functionality of third-party distribution channels, while maintaining an industry-competitive cost structure. Negotiations with key GDSs and OTAs designed to manage our costs, increase our distribution flexibility, and improve functionality could be contentious, could result in diminished or less favorable distribution of our tickets, and may not provide the functionality we require to maximize ancillary revenues. In addition, in the last several years there has been significant consolidation among GDSs and OTAs. This consolidation and any further consolidation could affect our ability to manage our distribution costs due to a reduction in competition or other industry factors. Any inability to manage such costs, rights and functionality at a competitive level or any material diminishment in the distribution of our tickets could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position and our results of operations. Moreover, our ability to compete in the markets we serve may be threatened by changes in technology or other factors that may make our existing third-party sales channels impractical, uncompetitive or obsolete.
We rely heavily on technology and automated systems to operate our business, and any disruptions or failure of these technologies or systems or any failure on our part to implement any new technologies or systems could materially adversely affect our business.
We are highly dependent on technology and computer systems and networks to operate our business. These technologies and systems include our computerized airline reservation system provided by Navitaire, a unit of Amadeus, flight operations systems, telecommunications systems, mobile phone application, airline website and maintenance systems. In order for our operations to work efficiently, our website and reservation system must be able to accommodate a high volume of traffic, maintain secure information and deliver flight information. Our reservations system, which is hosted and maintained under a long-term contract by a third-party provider, is critical to our ability to issue, track and accept electronic tickets, conduct check-in, board and manage our passengers through the airports we serve and provide us with access to GDSs, which enlarge our pool of potential passengers. There are many instances in the past where a reservations system malfunctioned, whether due to the fault of the system provider or the airline, with a highly adverse effect on the airline’s operations, and such a malfunction has in the past and could in the future occur on our system, or in connection with any system upgrade or migration in the future. We also rely on third-party providers to maintain our flight operations systems, and if those systems are not functioning, we could experience service disruptions, which could result in the loss of important data, increase our expenses, decrease our operational performance and temporarily stall our operations.
Any failure of the technologies and systems we use could materially adversely affect our business. In particular, if our reservation system fails or experiences interruptions, and we are unable to book seats for a period of time, we could lose a significant amount of revenue as customers book seats on other airlines, and our reputation could be harmed. In addition, replacement technologies and systems for any service we currently utilize that experiences failures or interruptions may not be readily available on a timely basis, at competitive rates or at all. Furthermore, our current technologies and systems are heavily integrated with our day-to-day operations and any transition to a new technology or system could be complex and time-consuming. Our technologies and systems cannot be completely protected against events that are beyond our control, including natural disasters, cyber attacks or telecommunications failures. Substantial or sustained disruptions or system failures could cause service delays or failures and result in our customers purchasing tickets from other airlines. We cannot assure you that any of our security measures, change control procedures or disaster recovery plans that we have implemented are adequate to prevent disruptions or failures. In the event that one or more of our primary technology or systems vendors fails to perform and a replacement system is not available or if we fail to implement a replacement system in a timely and efficient manner, our business could be materially adversely affected.
 
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In addition, in the ordinary course of business, our systems will continue to require modification and refinements to address growth and changing business requirements and to enable us to comply with changing regulatory requirements. Modifications and refinements to our systems have been and are expected to continue to be expensive to implement and can divert management’s attention from other matters. Furthermore, our operations could be adversely affected, or we could face impositions of regulatory penalties, if we were unable to timely or effectively modify our systems as necessary or appropriately balance the introduction of new capabilities with the management of existing systems.
We may not be able to grow or maintain our unit revenues or maintain our ancillary revenues.
A key component of our strategy was establishing Sun Country as a premier high-growth, low-cost carrier in the United States by attracting customers with low fares and garnering repeat business by delivering a high-quality customer experience with additional free amenities than traditionally provided on ULCCs in the United States. We intend to continue to differentiate our brand and product in order to expand our loyal customer base and grow or maintain our unit revenues and maintain our ancillary revenues. Differentiating our brand and product has required and will continue to require significant investment, and we cannot assure you that the initiatives we have implemented will continue to be successful or that the initiatives we intend to implement will be successful. If we are unable to maintain or further differentiate our brand and product from LCCs or ULCCs, our market share could decline, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. We may also not be successful in leveraging our brand and product to stimulate new demand with low base fares or gain market share from the legacy network airlines.
In addition, our business strategy includes maintaining our portfolio of desirable, value-oriented, ancillary products and services. However, we cannot assure you that passengers will continue to perceive value in the ancillary products and services we currently offer and regulatory initiatives could adversely affect ancillary revenue opportunities. Failure to maintain our ancillary revenues would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, if we are unable to maintain our ancillary revenues, we may not be able to execute our strategy to continue to lower base fares in order to stimulate demand for air travel.
We operate a single aircraft type.
A critical cost-saving element of our business strategy is to operate a single-family aircraft fleet; however, our dependence on the Boeing 737-NG aircraft and CFM56 engines for all of our aircraft makes us vulnerable to any design defects or mechanical problems associated with this aircraft type or these engines. In the event of any actual or suspected design defects or mechanical problems with these family aircraft or engines, whether involving our aircraft or that of another airline, we may choose or be required to suspend or restrict the use of our aircraft. For example, several Boeing 737-NG aircraft have been grounded in the past by other airlines after inspections revealed cracks in the “pickle forks,” a component of the structure connecting the wings to the fuselages. Our business could also be materially adversely affected if the public avoids flying on our aircraft due to an adverse perception of the Boeing 737-NG aircraft or CFM56 engines, whether because of safety concerns or other problems, real or perceived, or in the event of an accident involving such aircraft or engines.
Increased labor costs, union disputes, employee strikes and other labor-related disruption may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our business is labor intensive, with labor costs representing approximately 36.9%, 22.6% and 23.2% of our total operating costs for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. As of December 31, 2020, approximately 52% of our workforce was represented by labor unions. We cannot assure you that our labor costs going forward will remain competitive or that any new agreements into which we enter will not have terms with higher labor costs or that the negotiations of such labor agreements will not result in any work stoppages. In addition, one or more of our competitors may significantly reduce their labor costs, thereby providing them with a competitive advantage over us. New entrants to the market may not have unionized workforces and therefore may have substantially lower costs or better labor efficiencies. Furthermore, our labor costs may increase in connection with our growth, especially if we needed to hire
 
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more pilots in order to grow our cargo business. We cannot guarantee that our cargo business will grow and that hiring of additional pilots will be required. We may also become subject to additional collective bargaining agreements in the future as non-unionized workers may unionize.
Relations between air carriers and labor unions in the United States are governed by the Railway Labor Act, or the RLA. Under the RLA, collective bargaining agreements generally contain “amendable dates” rather than expiration dates, and the RLA requires that a carrier maintain the existing terms and conditions of employment following the amendable date through a multi-stage and usually lengthy series of bargaining processes overseen by the National Mediation Board, or the NMB. This process continues until either the parties have reached agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement, or the parties have been released to “self-help” by the NMB. In most circumstances, the RLA prohibits strikes; however, after release by the NMB, carriers and unions are free to engage in self-help measures such as lockouts and strikes.
On December 3, 2019 our dispatchers approved a new contract. The amendable date of the collective bargaining agreement is November 14, 2024. Our collective bargaining agreement with our flight attendants is currently amendable. Negotiations with the union representing this group commenced in November of 2019. By mutual consent, the negotiations were paused in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our collective bargaining agreement with our pilots was amendable on October 31, 2020. Neither party chose to serve notice to the other party to make changes by the amendable date, therefore, the new amendable date is October 31, 2021, although the collective bargaining agreement provides for an “early open” 180 days in advance of such date. See also “Business—Employees.” The outcome of our collective bargaining negotiations cannot presently be determined and the terms and conditions of our future collective bargaining agreements may be affected by the results of collective bargaining negotiations at other airlines that may have a greater ability, due to larger scale, greater efficiency or other factors, to bear higher costs than we can. In addition, if we are unable to reach agreement with any of our unionized work groups in current or future negotiations regarding the terms of their collective bargaining agreements, we may be subject to work interruptions, stoppages or shortages. Any such action or other labor dispute with unionized employees could disrupt our operations, reduce our profitability or interfere with the ability of our management to focus on executing our business strategies. As a result, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be materially adversely affected based on the outcome of our negotiations with the unions representing our employees.
Changes in law, regulation and government policy have affected, and may in the future have a material adverse effect on our business.
Changes in, and uncertainty with respect to, law, regulation and government policy at the local, state or federal level have affected, and may in the future significantly impact, our business and the airline industry. For example, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted on December 22, 2017, limits deductions for borrowers for net interest expense on debt. Changes to law, regulations or government policy that could have a material impact on us in the future include, but are not limited to, infrastructure renewal programs; changes to operating and maintenance requirements; foreign and domestic changes in customs, immigration and security policy and requirements that impede travel into or out of the United States; modifications to international trade policy, including withdrawing from trade agreements and imposing tariffs; changes to consumer protection laws; changes to public health policy; changes to financial legislation, including the partial or full repeal of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, or Dodd-Frank Act; public company reporting requirements; environmental regulation and antitrust enforcement. Any such changes could make it more difficult and/or more expensive for us to obtain new aircraft or engines and parts to maintain existing aircraft or engines or make it less profitable or prevent us from flying to or from some of the destinations we currently serve.
To the extent that any such changes have a negative impact on us or the airline industry, including as a result of related uncertainty, these changes may materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We rely on efficient daily aircraft utilization to address peak demand days of the week and months of the year, which makes us vulnerable to flight delays, flight cancellations or aircraft unavailability during peak demand periods.
We aim to optimize our daily aircraft utilization rate by tailoring service to customer demand patterns, which are seasonal and vary by day of the week. Our average daily aircraft utilization was 5.1 hours, 9.6 hours
 
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and 9.7 hours for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Aircraft utilization is block hours divided by number of days in the period divided by average aircraft. Part of our business strategy is to efficiently deploy our aircraft, which is achieved in part by higher utilization during the most profitable seasonal periods and days of the week and more limited usage of less expensive aircraft during weak demand periods. During peak demand periods, we may utilize all of our aircraft, and in the event we experience delays and cancellations from various factors, many of which are beyond our control, including air traffic congestion at airports or other air traffic control problems or outages, adverse weather conditions, increased security measures or breaches in security, international or domestic conflicts, terrorist activity, or other changes in business conditions, because we do not have reaccomodation arrangements with other airlines like legacy network airlines do and cannot reaccommodate passengers on our aircraft because of our limited schedule, we may incur additional costs in completing customer journeys. Due to the relatively small size of our fleet and the limited and changing nature of our scheduled service and our point-to-point network, the unexpected unavailability of one or more aircraft and resulting reduced capacity could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, we frequently use all of our freighters in support of our cargo business. In the event we experience a series of aircraft out of service, we would experience a decline in revenue and potentially customer satisfaction. Furthermore, in the event we are unable to procure aircraft at the price-point necessary to allow for lower utilization during weak demand periods, our costs will be higher and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The cost of aircraft repairs and unexpected delays in the time required to complete aircraft maintenance could negatively affect our operating results.
We provide flight services throughout the world and could be operating in remote regions. Our aircraft may experience maintenance events in locations that do not have the necessary repair capabilities or are difficult to reach. As a result, we may incur additional expenses and lose billable revenues that we would have otherwise earned. Under certain customer agreements, we are required to provide a spare aircraft while scheduled maintenance is completed. If delays occur in the completion of aircraft maintenance, we may incur additional expense to provide airlift capacity and forgo revenues.
If we are unable to attract and retain qualified personnel at reasonable costs or fail to maintain our company culture, our business could be harmed.
Our business is labor intensive. We require large numbers of pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians and other personnel. We compete against other U.S. airlines for pilots, mechanics and other skilled labor and certain U.S. airlines offer wage and benefit packages exceeding ours. The airline industry has from time to time experienced a shortage of qualified personnel. In particular, as more pilots in the industry approach mandatory retirement age, the U.S. airline industry may be affected by a pilot shortage. We and other airlines may also face shortages of qualified aircraft mechanics and dispatchers. As is common with most of our competitors, we have faced considerable turnover of our employees. As a result of the foregoing, we may not be able to attract or retain qualified personnel or may be required to increase wages and/or benefits in order to do so. In addition, we may lose employees due to the impact of COVID-19 on aviation or as a result of restrictions imposed under the CARES Act. If we are unable to hire, train and retain qualified employees, our business could be harmed and we may be unable to implement our growth plans.
In addition, as we hire more people and grow, we believe it may be increasingly challenging to continue to hire people who will maintain our company culture. Our company culture, which we believe is one of our competitive strengths, is important to providing dependable customer service and having a productive, accountable workforce that helps keep our costs low. As we continue to grow, we may be unable to identify, hire or retain enough people who meet the above criteria, including those in management or other key positions. Our company culture could otherwise be adversely affected by our growing operations and geographic diversity. If we fail to maintain the strength of our company culture, our competitive ability and our business, results of operations and financial condition could be harmed.
 
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Our inability to expand or operate reliably or efficiently out of airports where we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and brand.
Our results of operations may be affected by actions taken by governmental or other agencies or authorities having jurisdiction over our operations at these airports, including, but not limited to:

increases in airport rates and charges;

limitations on take-off and landing slots, airport gate capacity or other use of airport facilities;

termination of our airport use agreements, some of which can be terminated by airport authorities with little notice to us;

increases in airport capacity that could facilitate increased competition;

international travel regulations such as customs and immigration;

increases in taxes;

changes in law, regulations and government policies that affect the services that can be offered by airlines, in general, and in particular markets and at particular airports;

restrictions on competitive practices;

changes in law or ordinances that increase minimum wages beyond regional norms;

the adoption of statutes or regulations that impact or impose additional customer service standards and requirements, including operating and security standards and requirements; and

the adoption of more restrictive locally imposed noise regulations or curfews.
Our business is highly dependent on the availability and cost of airport services at the airports where we operate. Any changes in airport operations could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
It has only been a limited period since our current business and operating strategy has been implemented.
Following the implementation of our current business and operating strategy in late 2017 and our acquisition by the Apollo Funds in 2018, we recorded a net loss of approximately $3.9 million, net income of approximately $46.1 million, a net loss of approximately $367 thousand and net income of approximately $25.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, the Successor 2018 period and the Predecessor 2018 period, respectively. We cannot assure you that we will be able to achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or an annual basis. If we generate losses in the future or are cash flow negative, the market price of our common stock may decline.
We are subject to various environmental and noise laws and regulations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We are subject to increasingly stringent federal, state, local and foreign laws, regulations and ordinances relating to the protection of the environment and noise, including those relating to emissions to the air (including air emissions associated with the operation of our aircraft), discharges (including storm water discharges) to surface and subsurface waters, safe drinking water and the use, management, disposal and release of, and exposure to, hazardous substances, oils and waste materials. We are or may be subject to new or amended laws and regulations that may have a direct effect (or indirect effect through our third-party providers, including the petroleum industry, or airport facilities at which we operate) on our operations. In addition, U.S. airport authorities are exploring ways to limit de-icing fluid discharges. Any such existing, future, new or potential laws and regulations could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Similarly, we are subject to environmental laws and regulations that require us to investigate and remediate soil or groundwater to meet certain remediation standards. Under certain laws current and former owners or operators of facilities, as well as generators of waste materials disposed of at such facilities, can be subject to liability for investigation and remediation costs at facilities that have been identified as
 
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requiring response actions. Liability under these laws may be strict, joint and several, meaning that we could be liable for the costs of cleaning up environmental contamination regardless of fault or compliance with applicable law when the disposal occurred or the amount of wastes directly attributable to us.
In addition, the ICAO and jurisdictions around the world have adopted noise regulations that require all aircraft to comply with noise level standards, and governmental authorities in several U.S. and foreign cities are considering or have already implemented aircraft noise reduction programs, including the imposition of overnight curfews and limitations on daytime take-offs and landings. Compliance with existing and future environmental laws and regulations, including emissions limitations and more restrictive or widespread noise regulations, that may be applicable to us could require significant expenditures, increase our cost base and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, and violations thereof can lead to significant fines and penalties, among other sanctions.
We participate with other airlines in fuel consortia and fuel committees at our airports where economically beneficial, which agreements generally include cost-sharing provisions and environmental indemnities that are generally joint and several among the participating airlines. Any costs (including remediation and spill response costs) incurred by such fuel consortia could also have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our intellectual property rights, particularly our branding rights, are valuable, and any inability to protect them may adversely affect our business and financial results.
We consider our intellectual property rights, particularly our branding rights such as our trademarks applicable to our airline and Sun Country Rewards program, to be a significant and valuable aspect of our business. We aim to protect our intellectual property rights through a combination of trademark, copyright and other forms of legal protection, contractual agreements and policing of third-party misuses of our intellectual property, but cannot guarantee that such efforts will be successful. Our failure to obtain or adequately protect our intellectual property or any change in law that lessens or removes the current legal protections of our intellectual property may diminish our competitiveness and adversely affect our business and financial results. Any litigation or disputes regarding intellectual property may be costly and time-consuming and may divert the attention of our management and key personnel from our business operations, either of which may adversely affect our business and financial results.
Negative publicity regarding our customer service could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our business strategy includes the differentiation of our brand and product from the other U.S. airlines, including LCCs and ULCCs, in order to increase customer loyalty and drive future ticket sales. We intend to accomplish this by continuing to offer passengers dependable customer service. However, in the past, we have experienced customer complaints related to, among other things, product and pricing changes related to our business strategy and customer service. In particular, we have generally experienced a higher volume of complaints when we implemented changes to our unbundling policies, such as charging for seats and baggage. These complaints, together with reports of lost baggage, delayed and cancelled flights, and other service issues, are reported to the public by the DOT. In addition, we could become subject to complaints about our booking practices. Finally, we have experienced a significant number of complaints, including letters from lawmakers and attorneys general, concerning non-refundable tickets during the COVID-19 pandemic. If we do not meet our customers’ expectations with respect to reliability and service, our brand and product could be negatively impacted, which could result in customers deciding not to fly with us and adversely affect our business and reputation. We recently entered into agreements for bus service to transport passengers to our MSP hub. If these operators suffer a service problem, safety failure or accident, our brand would be negatively impacted.
Our reputation and brand could be harmed if we were to experience significant negative publicity, including through social media.
We operate in a public-facing industry with significant exposure to social media. Negative publicity, whether or not justified, can spread rapidly through social media. To the extent that we are unable to respond
 
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timely and appropriately to negative publicity, our reputation and brand can be harmed. Damage to our overall reputation and brand could have a negative impact on our financial results.
We are highly dependent upon our cash balances, operating cash flows and availability under our Credit Facilities.
As of December 31, 2020, our principal sources of liquidity were cash and equivalents of approximately $62.0 million and availability under our asset-based revolving credit facility (the “ABL Facility”) of approximately $25.0 million. In addition, we had restricted cash of approximately $8.3 million as of December 31, 2020. Restricted cash includes cash received as prepayment for chartered flights that is maintained in separate escrow accounts, from which the restrictions are released once transportation is provided. On February 10, 2021, we entered into the Credit Agreement, which provides for a $25.0 million Revolving Credit Facility and a $90.0 million Delayed Draw Term Loan Facility, and repaid in full all borrowings outstanding under the ABL Facility. Our Delayed Draw Term Loan Facility is available only to finance the acquisition of aircraft and engines and is not available for working capital or other general corporate purposes. In March 2021 and April 2021, we borrowed $68.0 million and $12.5 million, respectively, under the Delayed Draw Term Loan Facility for the purpose of financing the acquisition of six additional aircraft that we previously leased, all of which have been acquired. We are and will continue to be dependent on our operating cash flows and cash balances to fund our operations, provide capital reserves and make scheduled payments on our aircraft-related fixed obligations. If our operating cash flows become insufficient to cover the entirety of our cash outflows, the Revolving Credit Facility may not be adequate to finance our operations. If we fail to generate sufficient funds from operations to meet our operating cash requirements or do not have access to availability under the Revolving Credit Facility, or other sources of borrowings or equity financing, we could default on our operating leases and fixed obligations. Our inability to meet our obligations as they become due would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our liquidity would be adversely impacted, potentially materially, in the event one or more of our credit card processors were to impose holdback restrictions for payments due to us from credit card transactions.
We currently have agreements with organizations that process credit card transactions arising from purchases of air travel tickets by our customers. Credit card processors may have financial risk associated with tickets purchased for travel which can occur several weeks or months after the purchase. As of December 31, 2020, we were not subject to any credit card holdbacks under our credit card processing agreements, although if we fail to meet certain liquidity and other financial covenants, our credit card processors have the right to hold back credit card remittances to cover our obligations to them. If our credit card processors were to impose holdback restrictions on us, the negative impact on our liquidity could be significant which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our ability to obtain financing or access capital markets may be limited.
We have significant obligations related to leases and debt financing for our aircraft fleet and may incur additional obligations as we grow our operations, and our current strategy is to rely on lessors or access to capital markets to provide financing for our aircraft acquisition needs. There are a number of factors that may affect our ability to raise financing or access the capital markets in the future, including our liquidity and credit status, our operating cash flows, market conditions in the airline industry, U.S. and global economic conditions, the general state of the capital markets and the financial position of the major providers of commercial aircraft financing. We cannot assure you that we will be able to source external financing for our planned aircraft acquisitions or for other significant capital needs, and if we are unable to source financing on acceptable terms, or unable to source financing at all, our business could be materially adversely affected. To the extent we finance our activities with additional debt, we may become subject to financial and other covenants that may restrict our ability to pursue our business strategy or otherwise constrain our growth and operations.
 
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Our maintenance costs will fluctuate over time, we will periodically incur substantial maintenance costs due to the maintenance schedules of our aircraft fleet and obligations to the lessors and we could incur significant maintenance expenses outside of such maintenance schedules in the future.
We have substantial maintenance expense obligations, including with respect to our aircraft operating leases. Prior to an aircraft being returned in connection with an operating lease, we will incur costs to restore these aircraft to the condition required by the terms of the underlying operating leases. The amount and timing of these so-called “return conditions” costs can prove unpredictable due to uncertainty regarding the maintenance status of each particular aircraft at the time it is to be returned and it is not unusual for disagreements to ensue between the airline and the leasing company as to the required redelivery conditions on a given aircraft or engine.
Outside of scheduled maintenance, we incur from time to time unscheduled maintenance which is not forecast in our operating plan or financial forecasts, and which can impose material unplanned costs and the loss of flight equipment from revenue service for a significant period of time. For example, a single unplanned engine event can require a shop visit costing several million dollars and cause the engine to be out of service for a number of weeks.
Furthermore, the terms of our lease agreements require us to pay maintenance reserves to the lessor in advance of the performance of major maintenance, resulting in our recording significant prepaid deposits on our balance sheet, and there are restrictions on the extent to which such maintenance reserves are available for reimbursement. In addition, the terms of any lease agreements that we enter into in the future could also require maintenance reserves in excess of our current requirements. Any significant increase in maintenance and repair expenses would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Please see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates—Aircraft Maintenance.
We have a significant amount of aircraft and other fixed obligations that could impair our liquidity and thereby harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The airline business is capital intensive. As of December 31, 2020, our 31 passenger aircraft fleet consisted of 12 aircraft financed under operating leases, 5 aircraft financed under finance leases and 14 aircraft financed under secured debt arrangements. As of December 31, 2020, we had future aircraft operating lease obligations of approximately $163.4 million, future debt principal obligations of $285.8 million and future finance lease obligations of approximately $139.1 million. During 2021, based on our aircraft leases and debt structure as of December 31, 2020, we expect to incur obligations of $42.0 million related to operating leases, $26.9 million related to debt principal obligations and $17.6 million related to finance lease obligations. Additionally, we made payments for maintenance reserves of $20.7 million for 2020 and expect to make significant payments for maintenance reserves in the future. Our ability to pay the fixed costs associated with our contractual obligations will depend on our operating performance, cash flow, availability under the Revolving Credit Facility and our ability to secure adequate future financing, which will in turn depend on, among other things, the success of our current business strategy and our future financial and operating performance, competitive conditions, fuel price volatility, any significant weakening or improving in the U.S. economy, availability and cost of financing, as well as general economic and political conditions and other factors that are, to some extent, beyond our control. The amount of our aircraft-related fixed obligations could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and could: