Bond rating raised for PBIA as passenger demand increases

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has upped the bond rating for Palm Beach International Airport as passenger demand increases.

The agency raised the underlying rating for PBIA’s general airport revenue bonds to ‘A+’ from ‘A’. 071414 biz peoplexp 04

“The upgrade reflects our assessment of the airport’s strong debt service
coverage and liquidity, which we believe PBI will at least sustain given
steady enplanement trends,” Standard & Poor’s said in a news release announcing the rating increase. ”

Standard & Poor’s pointed to the airport’s “diversity of carriers,” including a number of low-cost airlines, the county’s stable economy, steady air travel demands from residents, and the airport’s relatively low “debt burden.”

Michael Simmons, the airport’s director of finance and administration, attributed the rating increase to PBIA’s financial health and the strong tourism market here.

“We were pretty happy to see it,” Simmons said of the increase. “There is a strong origination and destination market here. Tourism is good as well, and our financial health is strong…It all kind of goes into (Standard & Poor’s) black box of how they look us.”

Simmons said the airport recently paid off a large portion of its outstanding debt.