ALLEGHENY COUNTY AIRPORT AUTHORITY CREDIT RATING IS RAISED BY STANDARD & POOR’S, MOODY’S ON OUTSTANDING BONDS FOR PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
PITTSBURGH, PA (April 16, 2012) – The Allegheny County Airport Authority recently received high marks in rating reports from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch.
“This is great news for the Allegheny County Airport Authority. It demonstrates that despite the numerous challenges Pittsburgh International Airport has faced, that the Airport Authority has acted in a fiscally responsible fashion to ensure long term success for one of our region’s most important assets,” stated Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
“I think this is a successful result based upon events where the Airport Authority has implemented significant cost containment measures despite rising fuel costs and an economic downturn. The ratings agencies recognized that Pittsburgh has been successful in converting from a hub to a market where most begin and end their trips here,” said David Minnotte, Chairman, Allegheny County Airport Authority.
From Standard & Poor’s Report:
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its long-term rating and underlying rating to 'A-' from 'BBB+' on the Allegheny County Airport Authority, Pa.'s bonds outstanding issued for Pittsburgh International Airport.
In addition, Standard & Poor's assigned its 'A-' rating to the authority's $50 million series 2012 airport revenue bonds, also issued for the airport. The outlook is stable.
"The upgrade is based on our opinion that the airport's overall financial situation is stable," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Mary Ellen Wriedt. "Despite historic service reductions by US Airways Inc., Southwest Airlines’ expansions at the airport have enhanced origin and destination passenger levels," added Ms. Wriedt.
From Moody’s Report:
Moody's Revises To Positive from Stable Outlook on Allegheny County Airport Authority's Series 2012 Revenue Bonds; Baa1 Rating Affirmed on All Outstanding Bonds
Moody's affirms Baa1 rating to outstanding bonds for Pittsburgh International Airport and assigns Baa1 rating to 2012 bonds to be issued. The outlook on all bonds is revised to positive from stable.
The Baa1 rating is based on the Authority's stable enplanement levels, solid competitive position, satisfactory debt service coverage ratio and relatively low financial liquidity. Additionally, the rating considers the airport's residual rate making agreement with the airlines, which is in place through 2018. The positive outlook is based on a stability in the service area economy with upside potential for economic growth, continued stability in enplanement levels, and continued stability in the airport financial liquidity position. The airport's return to stability after a period of large enplanement declines from the reduced connecting activity by US Airways is a positive development as the majority of the airport's debt will be retired by 2019.
Fitch Ratings has assigned a triple B plus rating to Allegheny County (Pa.) Airport Authority's $50.8 million of series 2012 bonds. The ratings firm also affirmed the triple B plus rating on $360.9 million of outstanding airport revenue bonds. The rating outlook remains stable.
The rating is supported by a stabilized origination and destination traffic base; a diversified mix of air carriers; a residual use and lease agreement; fast debt amortization but limited liquidity; diverse revenue sources; and a modest capital program, Fitch said.