RPT-Fitch: Broad Markets, Diverse Services and Healthy Financials Key to Airport Ratings
Oct 30 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington, D.C. are among the highest rated airports due to big market footprints, and varied domestic and international gateways, according to Fitch Ratings' 2nd annual airport peer review.
The annual airport peer review assesses key attributes driving ratings and financial medians across Fitch's airport portfolio.
'From airports serving less than 1 million passengers to the world's largest in Atlanta serving 47 million, more than 90% are now holding stable when it comes to ratings - a trend Fitch expects to continue,' said Seth Lehman, Senior Director in Fitch's Global Infrastructure Group.
Airports maintain strong investment grade ratings, with 85% rated 'A' or above, indicating strong resilience despite generally challenging economics and airline industry issues.
Airports with the weakest ratings cover very small markets or have difficult to manage debt burdens.
'The peer review assessments fall predominantly in the stronger or midrange area, consistent with the generally strong credit characteristics for most U.S. airport credits,' said Lehman.
Since the 2012 airport peer study, Fitch has taken eight positive and nine negative rating actions or outlook revisions. Fitch revised a total of 26 attribute scores since the 2012 review, 14 upward and 12 downward.
For more information, a special report titled 'Peer Review of US Airports' is available on the Fitch Ratings web site at www.fitchratings.com.