This excerpt taken from the ALGT 10-K filed Apr 2, 2007.
Aircraft maintenance and repair costs. The Company accounts for maintenance activities under the direct expense method. Under this method, maintenance and repair costs for owned and leased aircraft, including major overhaul maintenance costs, are charged to operating expenses as incurred. Maintenance deposits paid to aircraft lessors in advance of the performance of major maintenance activities are recorded as prepaid maintenance deposits, and then recognized as maintenance expense when the underlying maintenance is performed. These deposits are calculated based on a performance measure, such as flight hours or cycles, and are available for reimbursement to the Company upon the completion of the maintenance of the leased aircraft. If there are sufficient funds on deposit to reimburse the Company for the invoices initially paid by the Company for these maintenance events, they are reimbursed to the Company by the lessor. Under most of the Companys existing aircraft lease agreements, if the Company exercises the option to purchase the aircraft and there are excess maintenance deposit balances at the exercise date of the purchase option, any excess amounts are applied to the purchase price as an additional down payment. If at any point the Company determines it is not probable it will recover amounts retained by the lessor through future maintenance events, such amounts are expensed.
The maintenance deposits paid under the Companys lease agreements do not transfer either the obligation to maintain the aircraft or the cost risk associated with the maintenance activities to the aircraft lessor. In addition, the Company maintains the right to select any third-party maintenance provider. Therefore, the amounts paid as deposits are recorded on the balance sheet and then recognized as maintenance expense when the underlying maintenance is performed, in accordance with the Companys maintenance accounting policy. Maintenance deposits totaled $2.8 million and $3.2 million as of December 31, 2006 and 2005, respectively. Any amounts that are not probable of being used to fund future maintenance expense, would be recognized as additional aircraft lease rentals.
ALLEGIANT TRAVEL COMPANY
1. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Continued)
In determining whether it is probable maintenance deposits will be used to fund the cost of maintenance events, the Company conducts the following analysis:
1) At the time of delivery of each aircraft under lease, the Company evaluates the aircrafts condition, including the airframe, the engines, the auxiliary power unit and the landing gear.
2) The Company projects future usage of the aircraft during the term of the lease based on its business and fleet plan.
3) The Company estimates the cost of performing all required maintenance during the lease term. These estimates are based on the extensive experience of the Companys management and industry available data, including historical fleet operating statistic reports published by the Companys engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney.
The Company has determined it is probable that all but an immaterial amount of the maintenance deposits would be used to pay the expected costs of maintenance events during the term of the aircraft leases.
The Company reviews this asset (the maintenance deposits) for potential impairment in the preparation of its financial statements. Because there have been no material changes to the estimated cost of expected maintenance events during the remaining term of the leases, no impairment charge was recognized for the years ended December 31, 2006, 2005 or 2004.