Outlook revised to negative
TAMPA – Fitch Ratings has advised the Aviation Authority that the Airport’s outstanding revenue bonds totaling $692 million have been reaffirmed at the AA- rating but the rating outlook was revised to negative from stable.
“We are disappointed about the revised negative outlook but pleased with the reaffirmed AA- rating, especially during these tough economic times,” stated Joe Lopano, Chief Executive Officer, Tampa International Airport.
Rating rationale from Fitch includes uncertainty with the speed of enplanement and revenue recovery coming out of the economic downturn. Previously, the Airport’s new CEO Lopano advised the Airport’s board of directors of his focus to improve revenues and improve the Airport’s economic impact in the Tampa Bay community.
“We are focused on growing our enplanements and all associated revenues. I have formed an employee council to evaluate all of our revenues and expect to see good results on enplanements due to new air service and increased capacity to San Juan, London and certain domestic destinations. We feel confident that the economy and passenger traffic in Tampa are in a recovery phase. Tampa International Airport is one of only two airports in Florida with AA ratings from two-of-the-three rating agencies,” Lopano said.
Fitch reaffirmed the Airport’s double A rating by citing factors such as, high level of origination and destination traffic; diverse carrier mix; and large population base. The rating also reflects the Authority’s relatively strong financial profile, evidenced by high liquidity levels, and below industry average costs per enplanement.