CLE Receives Bond Rating Upgrade
August 19, 2019
Fitch Ratings Inc. (Fitch) has upgraded its underlying airport bond rating for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) from BBB+ to A-. This is the second time in the past 12 months that CLE has seen its bond ratings increase, covering approximately $635 million of outstanding debt.
Last August, both Standard & Poors (S&P) Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) upgraded their bond ratings for CLE to A and A3, respectively. The upgrade from Fitch marks the first time in nine years that CLE has posted ratings within the “A category” from all three leading agencies.
“We are pleased with Fitch’s confidence in our financial performance and governance,” said Airport Director Robert Kennedy. “As we embark on the Master Plan process, our financial strength will be of the utmost importance and we are honored to have the confidence of the leading credit rating agencies.”
Per the statement released by Fitch, “The upgrade reflects CLE’s airport traffic and revenue growth, particularly in the years since United Airlines vacated its hubbing operations. This positive operational performance has resulted in an improving cost profile.”
CLE has experienced continual passenger traffic growth and expanded air carrier service since 2014. The total number of passengers for 2018 was 9,642,729, a 5.50 percent increase over 2017. Through the first six months of 2019, CLE has accommodated almost 5 million customers which is up 209,785 passengers or 4.50 percent over same period in 2018.