This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our cookie notice for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.
The full functionality of our site is not supported on your browser version, or you may have 'compatibility mode' selected. Please turn off compatibility mode, upgrade your browser to at least Internet Explorer 9, or try using another browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

ASC 908 — Airlines

Below is an overview of FASB Accounting Standards Codification Topic 908, Airlines, as well as a list of FASB Accounting Standards Updates (ASUs) and proposed ASUs related to this Topic.


ASC 908-10 notes the following:


Entities in the airline industry primarily provide carrier services for passengers and cargo, frequently as joint operations. Other services, such as maintenance or food service for other carriers, may also be provided.

The most unusual characteristic of the airline industry is its revenue cycle. Sales may be made at numerous locations by either the carrier or third parties (travel agents or other carriers); for some carriers, third parties handle a substantial portion of the ticket transactions. Paper tickets and electronic tickets usually are sold in advance of the transportation date, and the ticket sales date usually does not coincide with the revenue recognition date (the date that service is provided). Tickets sold are not necessarily used, in whole or in part, on the carrier making the sale, and some tickets are refundable if not used by the customer for up to one year after the sales date. Other tickets are nonrefundable but exchangeable with payment of a fee, and other tickets are nonrefundable and nonexchangeable. The determination of revenue earned may be complex.

A major portion of an airline's fixed assets comprises aircraft and other flight equipment. Because such assets are constantly changing locations, the responsibility for physical custody and control of aircraft is substantially different from that of nonmobile fixed assets.

Maintenance requirements are dictated by the highly sophisticated nature of the industry's equipment. The timing and extent of maintenance procedures are determined by individual carriers using studies based on actual experience that demonstrate airworthiness to the Federal Aviation Administration. Maintenance may be provided in-house, which requires maintenance facilities outfitted with specifically designed equipment.

Compensation of flight personnel usually represents a significant portion of an airline's operating expenses. The amount of compensation is generally dependent on a number of variables, including, among others, flying status, type of equipment flown, hours flown, whether flights are made during the day or at night, and employee seniority.

ASC 908 contains the following intersecting Subtopics that provide some background on each area noted in ASC 908-10 and guidance specific to entities in the airline industry:

The full text of ASC 908 can be found in the FASB Accounting Standards Codification (link to the FASB's Web site; registration required). Also, the full text of the Codification and Deloitte-authored Q&As related to the Codification are available in the Deloitte Accounting Research Tool (DART) Web site (subscription required).

Content from the FASB Accounting Standards Codification® included at is copyrighted by the Financial Accounting Foundation, 401 Merritt 7, PO Box 5116, Norwalk, CT 06856-5116, and is reproduced with permission.

FASB Accounting Standards Updates

The following ASUs amended the guidance in this Topic:

Proposed FASB Accounting Standards Updates

No current proposed ASUs on Topic 908.

Correction list for hyphenation

These words serve as exceptions. Once entered, they are only hyphenated at the specified hyphenation points. Each word should be on a separate line.