Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)


12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Basis of Consolidation
Basis of Consolidation. The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Era Group Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiaries and entities that meet the criteria of VIEs of which the Company is the primary beneficiary. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions are eliminated in consolidation.
The Company employs the equity method of accounting for investments in business ventures when it has the ability to exercise significant influence over the operating and financial policies of the ventures. The Company reports such investments in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets as equity investments and advances. The Company reports its share of earnings or losses of equity investees in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations as equity earnings (losses), net of tax.
Use of Estimates
Use of Estimates. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Such estimates include, among other items, those related to allowance for doubtful accounts, useful lives of property and equipment, inventories, income tax provisions, impairments, fair values used in purchase price allocations and certain accrued and contingent liabilities. Actual results could differ from those estimates and those differences may be material.
Reclassification. Certain amounts reported for prior periods in the consolidated financial statements have been reclassified to conform with the current period’s presentation.
Cash Equivalents
Cash Equivalents. The Company considers all highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less when purchased to be cash equivalents. Cash equivalents consist of overnight investments.
Trade Receivables
Trade Receivables. Customers are primarily international, independent and major integrated exploration, development and production companies, international helicopter operators and U.S. government agencies. Customers are typically granted credit on a short-term basis, and related credit risks are considered minimal. The Company routinely reviews its trade receivables and makes provisions for probable doubtful accounts; however, those provisions are estimates and actual results could differ from those estimates and those differences may be material. Trade receivables are deemed uncollectible and removed from accounts receivable and the allowance for doubtful accounts when collection efforts have been exhausted.
Concentrations of Credit Risk
Concentrations of Credit Risk. The Company is exposed to concentrations of credit risk relating to its receivables due from customers in the industries described above. The Company does not generally require collateral or other security to support its outstanding receivables. The Company minimizes its credit risk relating to receivables by performing ongoing credit evaluations. The Company is also exposed to concentrations of credit risk associated with cash and cash equivalents. The Company minimizes its credit risk relating to these positions by monitoring the financial condition of the financial institutions and counterparties involved and by primarily conducting business with large, well-established financial institutions and diversifying its counterparties.
Inventories. Inventories are stated at the lower of average cost or net realizable value and consist primarily of spare parts and fuel. The Company establishes an allowance to accrue for the retirement of the cost of spare parts expected to be on hand at the end of a fleet’s life over the service lives of the related equipment, taking into account the estimated salvage value of the parts.
Property and Equipment
Property and Equipment. Property and equipment, stated at cost, is depreciated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the asset to an estimated salvage value. With respect to helicopters, the estimated useful life is typically based upon a newly built asset being placed into service and represents the point at which it is typically not justifiable for the Company to continue to operate the asset in the same or similar manner. From time to time, the Company may acquire older assets that have already exceeded the Company’s useful life policy, in which case the Company depreciates such assets based on its best estimate of remaining useful life. The Company reviews the estimated useful lives and salvage values of its property and equipment on an ongoing basis for any changes in estimates. There were no such changes during the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017.
As of December 31, 2019, the estimated useful life (in years) of the Company’s categories of new property and equipment was as follows:
Helicopters (estimated salvage value at 40% of cost)

Machinery, equipment and spares

Buildings and leasehold improvements

Furniture, fixtures, vehicles and other

Equipment maintenance and repair costs and the costs of routine overhauls and inspections performed on helicopter engines and major components are charged to operating expense as incurred. Expenditures that extend the useful life or improve the marketing and commercial characteristics of equipment, as well as major improvements to other properties, are capitalized.
The Company engages a number of third-party vendors to maintain the engines and certain components on some of its helicopter models under programs known as power-by-hour (“PBH”) maintenance contracts. These programs require the Company to pay for the maintenance service ratably over the contract period, typically based on actual flight hours. PBH providers generally bill monthly based on hours flown in the prior month, and the costs are expensed as incurred. In the event the Company places a helicopter in a program after a maintenance period has begun, it may be necessary to pay an initial buy-in charge based on hours flown since the previous maintenance event. The buy-in charge is normally recorded as a prepaid expense and amortized as an operating expense over the remaining PBH contract period. If a helicopter is sold or otherwise removed from a program before the scheduled maintenance work is carried out, the Company may be able to recover part of its payments to the PBH provider, in which case the Company records a reduction to operating expense.
The Company also incurs repairs and maintenance expense through vendor arrangements whereby the Company obtains repair quotes and authorizes service through a repair order process.  Under these arrangements, the Company records the repairs and maintenance cost as the work is completed.  As a result, the timing of repairs and maintenance may result in operating expenses varying substantially when compared with a prior year or prior quarter if a disproportionate number of repairs, refurbishments or overhauls for components that are not covered under PBH arrangements are performed during a period.
Certain interest costs incurred during the construction of equipment are capitalized as part of the assets’ carrying values and are amortized over such assets’ estimated useful lives.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets. The Company performs an impairment analysis on long-lived assets used in operations when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable. The Company’s long-lived assets are grouped at the lowest level for which there are identifiable cash flows that are largely independent of the cash flows of other groups of assets, which is generally at the fleet group level. If an impairment is indicated for the asset group classified as held and used, an impairment evaluation will be performed. Asset impairment evaluations are based on estimated undiscounted cash flows over the remaining useful life for the assets being evaluated. If the sum of the expected future cash flows is less than the carrying amount of the asset group, the Company would be required to recognize an impairment loss. During 2017, the Company concluded that the cash flows associated with its H225 heavy helicopters are largely independent from the cash flows associated with the remainder of the fleet and should be evaluated separately for impairment. The Company performed an impairment analysis on the H225 helicopters, capital parts and related inventory and determined that the projected undiscounted cash flows over the remaining useful life were less than the carrying amount. In determining the fair value, the Company used a cost approach, which begins with the replacement cost of a new asset and adjusts for age and functional and economic obsolescence. The inputs used in the Company’s fair value estimate were from Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy discussed in Note 2. As of December 31, 2019, the Company recorded a $1.6 million impairment charge on its last remaining H225 helicopter. In 2018 and 2017, the Company recorded a $1.0 million and $117.0 million impairment charge on its H225 helicopters, respectively.
Impairment of Equity Investees. For equity investees held, the Company performs regular reviews of each investee’s financial condition, the business outlook for its products and services, and its present and projected results and cash flows. When an investee has experienced consistent declines in financial performance or difficulties in raising capital to continue operations, and when the Company expects the decline to be other-than-temporary, the investment is written down to fair value. Actual results may vary from estimates due to the uncertainty regarding the projected financial performance of investees, the severity and expected duration of declines in value and the available liquidity in the capital markets to support the continuing operations of the investees in which the Company has investments.
Intangible Assets
Intangible Assets. Intangible assets with indefinite lives are recorded during purchase price accounting in a business combination. The Company performs an annual impairment test of indefinite lived intangible assets and interim tests to the extent indicators of impairment develop between annual impairment tests. The Company’s impairment review process compares the fair value to the book value. To determine its fair value, the Company uses a discounted future cash flow approach that uses estimates including, among others, projected utilization of its fleet and contract rates. These estimates are reviewed each time the Company tests indefinite lived assets for impairment. While the Company believes its estimates and assumptions are reasonable, variations from those estimates could produce materially different results. Intangible assets with finite useful lives are amortized over their respective estimated useful lives. During the year ended December 31, 2019 the Company recorded a $1.0 million impairment charge on its indefinite lived intangible assets related to its subsidiary in Colombia. This amount is included in loss on impairment on the consolidated statement of operations.
Business Combinations
Business Combinations. The Company recognizes, with certain exceptions, 100% of the fair value of assets acquired, liabilities assumed, and non controlling interests when the acquisition constitutes a change in control of the acquired entity. Shares issued in consideration for a business combination, contingent consideration arrangements and pre-acquisition loss and gain contingencies are all measured and recorded at their acquisition-date fair value. Subsequent changes to fair value of contingent consideration arrangements are generally reflected in earnings. Acquisition-related transaction costs are expensed as incurred, and any changes in an acquirer’s existing income tax valuation allowances and tax uncertainty accruals are recorded as an adjustment to income tax expense. The operating results of entities acquired are included in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations from the date of acquisition.
Deferred Financing Costs
Deferred Financing Costs. Deferred financing costs incurred in connection with the issuance of debt are amortized over the life of the related debt using the effective interest rate method for term loans and straight line method for revolving credit facilities. Amortization expense for deferred financing costs totaled $1.0 million, $1.4 million and $1.1 million during the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively, including the write-off of $0.4 million of debt issuance costs in 2018, in connection with an amendment to the Company’s amended and restated senior secured revolving credit facility (the “Revolving Credit Facility”). Such amortization expense is included in interest expense in the consolidated statements of operations.
Revenue Recognition
Revenue Recognition. The Company recognizes revenues for flight services and emergency response services with the passing of each day as the Company has the right to consideration from its customers in an amount that corresponds directly with the value to the Company’s customer for the performance completed to date. Therefore, the Company has elected to exercise the right to invoice practical expedient in its adoption of ASC 606. The right to invoice represents a method for recognizing revenue over time using the output measure of “value to the customer” which is an objective measure of an entity’s performance in a contract. The Company typically invoices its customers on a monthly basis for revenues earned during the prior month with payment terms of 30 days. The Company’s customer arrangements do not contain any significant financing component for its customers.
Income Taxes
Income Taxes. Era Group and its majority-owned U.S. subsidiaries file a consolidated U.S. federal tax return. Era Group’s foreign consolidated subsidiaries each file tax returns in their applicable jurisdictions. Deferred income tax assets and liabilities have been provided in recognition of the income tax effect attributable to the book and tax basis differences of assets and liabilities reported in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. Deferred tax assets or liabilities are provided using the enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the periods in which they are expected to be settled or realized. Interest and penalties relating to uncertain tax positions are recognized in interest expense and administrative and general expense, respectively, in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. The Company records a valuation allowance to reduce its deferred tax assets if it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. The Company has evaluated the newly enacted global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) provisions, which could subject its foreign earnings to a minimum level of tax and has decided to make an election to treat these costs as period costs.
Foreign Currency Transactions
Foreign Currency Transactions. The functional currency for each of the Company’s foreign entities is the U.S. dollar. From time to time, the Company enters into transactions denominated in currencies other than its functional currency. Gains and losses resulting from changes in currency exchange rates between the functional currency and the currency in which a transaction is denominated are included in foreign currency gains (losses), net in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations in the period which the currency exchange rates change.
Earnings (Loss) Per Common Share
Earnings (Loss) Per Common Share. Basic earnings (loss) per common share of the Company are computed based on the weighted average number of common shares issued and outstanding during the relevant periods. Diluted earnings (loss) per common share of the Company are computed based on the weighted average number of common shares issued and outstanding plus the effect of potentially dilutive securities through the application of the if-converted method and/or treasury method.
Savings Plan
Savings Plan. The Company provides a defined contribution plan (the “Savings Plan”) for its eligible U.S.-based employees. The Savings Plan provides for qualified, non-elective Company contributions in an amount equal to 3% of each employee’s eligible pay plus an amount equal to 100% of an employee’s first 3% of wages invested in the Savings Plan and immediate and full vesting in the Company’s contributions. The Savings Plan is subject to annual review by the Board of Directors of Era Group (the “Board of Directors”).
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Recent Accounting Pronouncements. - Adopted. In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, “Leases” (ASU No. 2016-02), which establishes comprehensive accounting and financial reporting requirements for leasing arrangements.  This ASU supersedes the existing requirements in FASB ASC Topic 840, “Leases,” and requires lessees to recognize substantially all lease assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet.  The provisions of this ASU also modified the definition of a lease and outline requirements for recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leasing arrangements by both lessees and lessors.  The ASU was effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018, and early adoption of the standard was permitted.  Entities were required to adopt the ASU using a modified retrospective approach, subject to certain optional practical expedients, and apply the provisions of this ASU to leasing arrangements existing at or entered into after the earliest comparative period presented in the financial statements. In July 2018 this ASU was further amended by the provisions of ASU No. 2018-11, “Targeted Improvements” to Topic 842 whereby the FASB decided to provide an alternate transition method by allowing entities to initially apply the new leases standard at the adoption date (such as January 1, 2019, for calendar year-end public business entities) and recognize a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings in the period of adoption consistent with preparers’ requests. The Company adopted the amended ASU No. 2018-11 effective January 1, 2019 using the current-period adjustment method, however upon adoption of the standard the Company determined that a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings in that period was not required. The Company also elected an optional practical expedient to retain its former classification of leases, and as a result, the initial impact of adopting this new standard did not have a material impact to its consolidated financial statements. Additionally, the Company elected not to bifurcate and separately account for non lease components contained in a single contract.
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-15, “Intangibles-Goodwill and Other-Internal-Use Software” (Subtopic 350-40), providing guidance addressing a customer's accounting for implementation costs incurred in a cloud computing arrangement (“CCA”) that is considered a service contract. Under the new guidance, implementation costs for a CCA are evaluated for capitalization using the same approach as implementation costs associated with internal-use software and should be expensed over the term of the hosting arrangement, which includes any reasonably certain renewal periods. The new guidance is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019 for calendar year-end public business entities. Early adoption is permitted, including adoption in any interim period. The Company will not take possession of implemented software and will rely on vendors to host the software, thus determining the cloud computing arrangements are service contracts. The Company adopted ASU No. 2016-13, effective January 1, 2019, and has appropriately accounted for the implementation costs of the cloud computing arrangements entered into in the first half of 2019. The adoption of ASU-2018-15 did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
New Accounting Standards - Not Yet Adopted. In January 2020, the FASB issued ASU No. 2020-01, “Investments-Equity Securities” Topic 321, “Investments-Equity Method and Joint Ventures” Topic 323 and “Derivatives and Hedging” Topic 815 (ASU No. 2020-01) as an update to ASU No. 2016-01 “Financial Instruments-Overall”, further clarifying the interaction between the accounting for equity securities, equity method investments, and certain derivative instruments. This ASU clarifies that a company should consider observable transactions that require a company to either apply or discontinue the equity method of accounting under Topic 323, for the purposes of applying the measurement alternative in accordance with Topic 321 immediately before applying or upon discontinuing the equity method. With this update, the FASB aims to clarify that, when determining the accounting for certain forward contracts and purchased options a company should now consider, whether upon settlement or exercise, if the underlying securities would be accounted for under the equity method or fair value option. The FASB expects this ASU to reduce diversity in practice and increase comparability of the accounting for these interactions. This ASU is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2020. The Company is evaluating the potential impact of adopting this ASU but does not expect such adoption to have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, “Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments” (ASU No. 2016-13), which sets forth the current expected credit loss model, a new forward-looking impairment model for certain financial instruments based on expected losses rather than incurred losses.  The ASU is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2019, and early adoption of the standard is permitted.  Entities are required to adopt this ASU using a modified retrospective approach, subject to certain limited exceptions.  The Company has evaluated the potential impact of adopting this ASU and believes such adoption will not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU-2018-13, “Fair Value Measurements” (ASU No. 2018-13, update to topic ASC-820), providing guidance for the changes in unrealized gains and losses for the period included in other comprehensive income for recurring Level 3 fair value measurements held at the end of the reporting period, and the range and weighted average of significant unobservable inputs used to develop Level 3 fair value measurements. For certain unobservable inputs, an entity may disclose other quantitative information (such as the median or arithmetic average) in lieu of the weighted average if the entity determines that other quantitative information would be a more reasonable and rational method to reflect the distribution of unobservable inputs used to develop Level 3 fair value measurements. ASU-2018-13 will be effective for interim and annual periods beginning December 15, 2019. The Company has not adopted this ASU and believes such adoption will not have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.