ALLEGHENY COUNTY AIRPORT AUTHORITY BONDS RATED BY STANDARD & POOR’S RATINGS SERVICES
PITTSBURGH, PA (December 26, 2008) — Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has affirmed its 'BBB+' underlying rating on Allegheny County Airport Authority bonds, issued for Pittsburgh International Airport. The outlook is stable.
“I think is a very successful result based upon the recent events where the Allegheny County Airport Authority has implemented significant cost containment measures despite rising fuel costs and an economic downturn. The ratings agency recognized that Pittsburgh has been successful in converting from a hub to a market where most begin and end their trips here,” said Jim Gill, Chief Financial Officer of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.
Standard & Poor’s noted Southwest Airlines’ and AirTran Airways’ expansion at the airport along with new entrants such as JetBlue Airways, which initiated service in 2006, have enhanced origin and destination passenger levels. This has stimulated local demand, as evidenced by the increase in origin and destination enplanements since 2004. The Airport Authority's debt restructuring, cost savings and reduction initiatives, and revenue enhancement initiatives further helped to offset the revenue lost as a result of US Airways’ reductions.
The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor’s expectation that the airport will continue to see generally stable origin and destination passenger levels, providing steady financial performance. The outlook also reflects the authority's limited additional debt needs and the expectation that it will maintain adequate debt service coverage.
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