Fresno Airport Receives Two Notch Upgrade from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings


Fresno Yosemite International Airport Receives Two Notch Upgrade from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings

Fresno, CA (June 20, 2018) Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S & P Global Ratings) has  upgraded Fresno Yosemite International Airport’s (Airport) underlying rating on outstanding revenue bonds  two notches, from “BBB+” to “A”, with a Stable Outlook.

The positive rating reflects:

  • positive service area economic fundamentals, including population growth above the national rate and a diversifying employment base;
  • competent governance, demonstrated by management’s track record of consistently meeting and exceeding financial goals, and ability to manage risk through prudent capital and operating budgeting;
  • strong financial performance, underscored by high annual debt service coverage, low airline payments to the Airport, below average debt per passenger, and a strong liquidity position.

“Supporting the rating is the Airport’s consistently strong financial performance, which we believe is sustainable,” said S & P Global Ratings credit analyst Andrew Bredeson.

“It is not common for a small regional airport with fewer than one million enplaning passengers  to be upgraded to an ‘A’ rating and receive a two notch upgrade,” said Director of Aviation Kevin Meikle. “The improved rating better positions Fresno Yosemite International Airport to financially accommodate the Airport’s future and projected growth by ensuring efficient and modernized facilities for California’s Central Valley travelers.”

The S & P Global Ratings report makes note of the Airport’s strong recent passengers’ growth – new enplanement record levels have been set in four of the past five years.  International growth has been particularly impressive – international passengers accounted for 13% of the total in FY 2017.  The report also lauds management for “proactively adjusting rates and managing costs to achieve specific financial metrics” and for “consistently exceeding financial targets in recent years”.  It characterizes management’s goals – debt service coverage higher than 2.25X, domestic airline costs per enplanement at or below $7.0, and the generation of an annual contribution to unrestricted cash for future capacity projects   – as “reasonable” and “reflective of prudent financial management”.  Finally the report opines that the Airport’s outstanding financial performance will likely prove to be sustainable, given rising enplanement levels, a declining balance of outstanding debt,  no near-term plans to issue additional bonds, and a regional economy that generates adequate demand for scheduled passenger service.

Fresno Yosemite International Airport – Fresno Yosemite International Airport currently offers Valley passengers daily nonstop flights to Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Guadalajara and Morelia, Mexico on domestic and international carriers.  Fresno Yosemite International Airport is a municipally owned entity operating as a self-supporting enterprise. No City of Fresno general funds are used to operate Fresno Yosemite International Airport or Fresno Chandler Executive Airport.

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