FRESNO, CA – Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) announced the upgrade of Fresno Yosemite International Airport’s underlying rating for outstanding revenue bonds to ‘BBB+’ from ‘BBB’, citing the contribution of improved financial management and continued enplanement growth to a strong and sustainable liquidity position and debt service coverage. The improved rating marks the first credit upgrade for Fresno Yosemite International Airport since the bonds were originally issued in 2000.
According to S&P Global Ratings, the adoption and adherence to cash reserve policies and a conscious effort to build cash above one year’s of cash-on-hand resulted in a discretionary cash position that will enable the Airport to weather economic downturn and other challenges. The agency expects cash levels will improve during the next five years, citing a combination of strong and improving operating margins, in addition to a five-year capital improvement plan (CIP) minimally funded with airport discretionary revenue and no cash reserves.
“Receiving a ‘BBB+’ rating upgrade from S&P Global Ratings will directly enhance our ability to put the facilities in place that are needed to sustain the growth the airport has experienced,” said Director of Aviation Kevin Meikle. “This is the result of an ongoing commitment to make sound financial decisions based on various metrics, including outcomes to our debt service coverage and building strong cash reserve levels, all of which contribute to a strong financial position and sustained air transportation for our region.”
S&P Global Ratings also noted Airport management’s efforts to control airline costs. Airline revenues represent about 28 percent of Fresno Yosemite International Airport’s total operating revenues. According to S&P Global Ratings, a diverse mix of airport revenue sources is a credit positive. The Airport’s financial position is further strengthened by recently extended lease agreements with its airline partners, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to serve the Fresno market.
A stable outlook from S&P Global Ratings reflects the agency’s view that enplanement levels will remain steady and the Airport will continue to manage its CIP with no impact to its cash position.
Fresno Yosemite International Airport currently offers Valley passengers daily non-stop flights to Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Guadalajara, 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.