Mesa Air Group Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2021 Results

February 9, 2021

PHOENIX, Feb. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mesa Air Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESA) today reported first quarter fiscal 2021 financial and operating results.

Highlights for the quarter:

  • $18.9 million in pretax income and positive cash flow
  • Signed 5-year extension with American Airlines for 40 aircraft
  • Received $195 million loan under the CARES Act
  • Launched cargo operations for DHL with two 737-400F aircraft
  • Placed 12 new E-175 aircraft into service with United Airlines
  • Continued improvement in operational performance
  • No furloughs despite expiration of Payroll Support Program (PSP)

Mesa's Q1 2021 results reflect net income of $14.1 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, compared to net income of $10.8 million, or $0.31 per diluted share for Q1 2020. Mesa's Q1 2021 pre-tax income was $18.9 million, compared to $10.8 million for Q1 2020. Mesa's Q1 2021 adjusted pre-tax income1 was $18.0 million, compared to $14.3 million for Q1 2020. Mesa Q1 2021 results include, per GAAP, the deferral of $5.2 million of revenue, all of which was billed and paid by American and United during the quarter and will be recognized over the remaining terms of the contracts. The primary reason for the $3.7 million increase in adjusted pre-tax income from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021 was $11.3 million of benefit from the Payroll Support Program (“PSP”) under the CARES Act offset by the $5.2 million of deferred revenue and the impact of a 26% reduction in Contract Revenue related to reduced flying as a result of COVID-19.

Additionally, Mesa's Adjusted EBITDA1 for Q1 2021 was $47.4 million, compared to $47.4 million in Q1 2020, and Adjusted EBITDAR1 was $57.5 million, compared to $58.8 million in Q1 2020.

1 See Reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures

“While 2020 has been a challenging year for the industry, we were pleased to remain profitable and cash flow positive throughout the pandemic. In addition, we implemented a number of important strategic initiatives with our partners at American, United, and DHL. Lastly and importantly, we avoided employee furloughs despite the expiration of the PSP program,” said Jonathan Ornstein, Mesa’s Chairman and CEO. Brad Rich, Chief Operating Officer added, “Working closely with our partners and front-line employees, we added more regional aircraft, launched our 737 cargo operation, and improved overall reliability in our key contractual operational performance metrics.”

December quarter details:

Contract Revenue decreased by $44.6 million or 26% to $127.2 million in Q1 2021 as compared to Q1 2020 primarily as a result of the reduced block hours as a result of COVID-19. Contract Revenue increased by $29.8 million or 31% as compared to our prior quarter primarily as a result of increased block hours. Total operating expense decreased by $33.5 million, or 21.3%, to $123.4 million in Q1 2021 as compared to Q1 2020. The primary reason for the decrease was a $15.7 million lower flight operations expense due to reduced flying as a result of COVID-19 and $11.3 million benefit received through the PSP under the CARES Act. The Company recognized the benefit received through the PSP under the CARES Act as an offset to payroll expenses in Flight Operations, Maintenance and General and Administrative expense.


All of our operating revenue in the three months ended December 31, 2020 was derived from operations associated with our American and United Capacity Purchase Agreements and DHL Flight Services Agreement. For the three months ended December 31, 2020, 53% of our aircraft in scheduled service were operated for United, 46% for American and 1% was operated for DHL.

Below is our current and future fleet plan by partner and fleet type:

Fleet Plan Fiscal Year 2020   Fiscal Year 2021  
Q3 (Jun '20) Q4 (Sep '20)   Q1 (Dec '20) Q2 (Mar '21) Q3 (Jun '21) Q4 (Sep '21)  
Actual Actual   Actual Forecast Forecast Forecast  
E-175 - UA   60     60     72   76   80   80  
CRJ-700 - UA   20     20     8   0   0   0  
CRJ-900 - AA   55     54     54   45   45   45  
737-400F - DHL   0     0     2   2   2   2  
Sub-total   135     134     136   123   127   127  
Leased / Spares Support                
CRJ-700 to be leased to Third Party   0     0     12   20   20   20  
CRJ-900 Spares Support   9     10     10   19   18   18  
CRJ-200 Spares Support   1     1     1   1   1   1  
Total   145     145     159   163   166   166  

Liquidity and Capital Resources:

Mesa ended the quarter at $181 million in unrestricted cash and equivalents compared to $99 million in Q4 FY2020. During the quarter, Mesa received $195 million from the U.S. Treasury as a five-year secured loan under the CARES Act. In November 2020, Mesa extinguished $164 million of aircraft debt utilizing $82 million of cash on hand and $82 million from United Airlines which was a prepayment under the Capacity Purchase Agreement. At the end of Q1 2021, the United prepayment balance was $48 million and was subsequently reduced to zero at the end of January 2021. In February 2021, the Company was granted $49 million in financial assistance by the U.S. Treasury under the Payroll Support Program Extension (“PSP2”) and received the first installment of $24 million in February 2021 with the balance expected to be received by the end of March. The Company is not required to issue any warrants or to repay any of the $49 million received under the PSP2 program. The PSP2 payments are conditioned on our agreement to refrain from conducting involuntary employee layoffs or furloughs through March 31, 2021 as well as prohibitions on share repurchases and dividends through March 31, 2022 and certain limitations on executive compensation.

Forward Guidance:

The Company is providing the following guidance for FY2021:

Outlook FY 2021                
($ amounts in millions) Fiscal Year 2020   Fiscal Year 2021  
  Q3 (Jun '20) Q4 (Sep '20)   Q1 (Dec '20) Q2 (Mar '21) Q3 (Jun '21) Q4 (Sep '21)  
  Actual Actual   Actual Forecast Forecast Forecast  
Block Hours 31,622 57,622   69,247 76,000 85,000 89,000  
Pass Through Maintenance ($2.5) $9.3   $19.7 $13.0 $12.0 $5.0  
Non-Pass Through Engine and C Check $2.8 $8.1   $8.3 $14.0 $14.0 $11.0  
Deferred Revenue $16.0 $7.8   $5.2 $3.7 $1.5 $0.2  

Mesa Air Group will host a conference call with analysts on Monday, February 9 at 4:30 pm ET/1:30 pm PT. The conference call number is 888-469-2054 (Passcode: Phoenix). The conference call can also be accessed live via the web by visiting A recorded version will be available on Mesa's website approximately two hours after the call for approximately 14 days.

Reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures

Although these financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. ("GAAP"), certain non-GAAP financial measures may provide investors with useful information regarding the underlying business trends and performance of Mesa's ongoing operations and may be useful for period-over-period comparisons of such operations. The tables below reflect supplemental financial data and reconciliations to GAAP financial statements for the three months ended December 31, 2020 and the three months ended December 31, 2019. Readers should consider these non-GAAP measures in addition to, not a substitute for, financial reporting measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures exclude some, but not all items that may affect the Company's net income. Additionally, these calculations may not be comparable with similarly titled measures of other companies.

Reconciliation of GAAP versus Non-GAAP Disclosures
(In thousands, except for per diluted share) (Unaudited)

    Three months ended December 31, 2020  
    Income Before
    Income Tax
    Net Income
Diluted Share
GAAP Income   $ 18,939     $ (4,821 )   $ 14,118     $ 0.39  
FY21 Adjustments (1)     (950 )           (950 )        
Adjusted Income     17,989       (4,821 )     13,168     $ 0.36  
Interest Expense     9,082                          
Interest Income     (126 )                        
Depreciation and Amortization     20,470                          
Adjusted EBITDA     47,415                          
Aircraft Rent     10,048                          
Adjusted EBITDAR     57,463                          

    Three months ended December 31, 2019  
    Income Before
    Income Tax
    Net Income
Diluted Share
GAAP Income   $ 14,320     $ (3,535 )   $ 10,785     $ 0.31  
Adjusted Income   $ 14,320     $ (3,535 )   $ 10,785     $ 0.31  
Interest Expense     12,628                          
Interest Income     (58 )                        
Depreciation and Amortization     20,552                          
EBITDA     47,442                          
Aircraft Rent     11,329                          

      1)   Includes adjustment for gain on extinguishment of debt

About Mesa Air Group, Inc.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Mesa Air Group, Inc. ("Mesa" or the "Company") is a holding company whose principal subsidiary, Mesa Airlines, Inc. ("Mesa Airlines"), operates as a regional air carrier providing scheduled flight service to 116 cities in 42 states, the District of Columbia, the Bahamas, and Mexico as well as Cargo services out of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. As of December 31, 2020, Mesa operated a fleet of 159 aircraft with approximately 420 daily departures and 3,200 employees. Mesa operates all of its flights as either American Eagle, United Express, or DHL Express flights pursuant to the terms of the capacity purchase agreements entered into with American Airlines, Inc. (“American”) and United Airlines, Inc. (“United”) and flight services agreement with DHL (“DHL”).

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that are subject to the “safe harbor” created by those sections. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “estimate,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “believe,” “intend,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “seek,” “approximate” or “plan,” or the negative of these words and phrases or similar words or phrases. Forward-looking statements, by their nature, involve estimates, projections, goals, forecasts and assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. For more information on risk factors for Mesa Air Group, Inc.’s business, please refer to the periodic reports the Company files with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Many of the risks identified in the periodic reports have been and will continue to be heightened as a result of the ongoing and numerous adverse effects arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. These forward-looking statements herein speak only as of the date of this press release and should not be relied upon as predictions of future events. Mesa Air Group, Inc. expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, to reflect any change in Mesa Air Group, Inc.’s expectations with regard thereto, or any other change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, except as required by law.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(In thousands, except per share amounts) (Unaudited)

    Three Months Ended
December 31,
    2020     2019  
Operating revenues:                
Contract revenue   $ 127,158     $ 171,800  
Pass-through and other     23,213       12,236  
Total operating revenues     150,371       184,036  
Operating expenses:                
Flight operations     36,964       52,644  
Fuel     390       169  
Maintenance     52,864       58,095  
Aircraft rent     10,048       11,329  
Aircraft and traffic servicing     901       1,064  
General and administrative     13,073       12,996  
Depreciation and amortization     20,470       20,552  
CARES Act Grant Recognition     (11,311 )      
Total operating expenses     123,399       156,849  
Operating income     26,972       27,187  
Other (expenses) income, net:                
Interest expense     (9,082 )     (12,628 )
Interest income     126       58  
Other (expense) income, net     923       (297 )
Total other (expense), net     (8,033 )     (12,867 )
Income before taxes     18,939       14,320  
Income tax expense     4,821       3,535  
Net income   $ 14,118     $ 10,785  
Net income per share attributable to common shareholders                
Basic   $ 0.40     $ 0.31  
Diluted   $ 0.39     $ 0.31  
Weighted-average common shares outstanding                
Basic     35,531       35,023  
Diluted     36,647       35,182  

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(In thousands, except shares) (Unaudited)

    December 31,
    September 30,
CURRENT ASSETS:                
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 181,300     $ 99,395  
Restricted cash     3,634       3,446  
Receivables, net     15,412       13,712  
Expendable parts and supplies, net     22,760       22,971  
Prepaid expenses and other current assets     12,897       16,067  
Total current assets     236,003       155,591  
Property and equipment, net     1,194,061       1,212,415  
Intangibles, net     7,722       8,032  
Lease and equipment deposits     1,851       1,899  
Operating Lease right-of-use assets     114,666       123,251  
Other Assets     514       742  
TOTAL ASSETS   $ 1,554,817     $ 1,501,930  
CURRENT LIABILITIES:                
Current portion of long-term debt and financing leases   $ 99,745     $ 189,268  
Current portion of deferred revenue     51,253       9,389  
Current maturities of operating leases     44,712       43,932  
Accounts payable     47,576       53,229  
Accrued compensation     7,029       12,030  
Other accrued expenses     37,581       45,478  
Total current liabilities     287,896       353,326  
Long-term debt and financing leases - excluding current portion     624,116       542,456  
Noncurrent operating lease liabilities     53,570       62,531  
Deferred credits     5,176       5,705  
Deferred income taxes     69,111       64,275  
Deferred revenue, net of current portion     26,504       14,369  
Other noncurrent liabilities     4,147       1,409  
Total noncurrent liabilities     782,624       690,745  
Total liabilities     1,070,520       1,044,071  
STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY:                
Preferred stock of no par value, 5,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued
 and outstanding
Common stock of no par value and additional paid-in capital, 125,000,000
 shares authorized; 35,532,162 (2021) and 35,526,918 (2020) shares issued
 and outstanding, and 4,899,497 (2021) and 3,600,953 (2019) warrants
 issued and outstanding
    255,092       242,772  
Retained earnings     229,205       215,087  
Total stockholders' equity     484,297       457,859  
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY   $ 1,554,817     $ 1,501,930  

Operating Highlights (unaudited)

    Three months ended    
    December 31    
    2020     2019     Change    
Available Seat Miles (thousands)     1,670,943       2,735,386       -38.9 %  
Block Hours     69,247       115,562       -40.1 %  
Departures     35,344       62,725       -43.7 %  
Average Stage Length (miles)     637       573       11.2 %  
Passengers     1,829,714       3,697,138       -50.5 %  

Source: Mesa Air Group, Inc.

Mesa Air Group, Inc.
Investor Relations
Brian Gillman
(602) 685-4010

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Source: Mesa Air Group, Inc.