Mayor’s Office

Mayor Miro Weinberger and Aviation Director Gene Richards Announce BTV Earns Upgraded Credit Rating from Moody's

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 12, 2014
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                 802.735.7962

Mayor Miro Weinberger and Aviation Director Gene Richards Announce BTV Earns Upgraded Credit Rating from Moody’s
BTV Rating Improves to Investment Grade Baa3 from Junk Bond Ba1

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger and Director of Aviation Gene Richards today announced that Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the credit rating of Burlington International Airport (BTV) by one level to Baa3 from Ba1.  Moody’s action elevates the Airport’s bonds from “junk” status to investment grade for the first time in more than four years.  The rating outlook remains stable, having been improved to stable from negative in January 2014.

“Today’s upgrade is the direct result of years of hard work focused on improving every aspect of the Airport’s financial health,” said Mayor Weinberger.  “I hope the people of Burlington see in this progress proof of our community’s ability to address our challenges and make our great City even stronger.  I am grateful to the Airport staff, City financial officials, the Airport Commission, and the City Council, who have worked together to achieve this upgrade.  We appreciate as well the broad support on this issue from the Burlington community.”

The Moody’s Ratings Report offered the following rationale for the rating upgrade on the City’s $43 million Airport revenue bonds:

  • “…improvement of financial metrics including debt service coverage and liquidity after a period of volatility in recent years.”
  • “…recent trend of enplanements, which turned positive in 2014 after several years of declines.”
  • “…fundamental strength of the City of Burlington economy and the low cost per enplanement that are expected to keep air travel demand at or above current levels.”
     

Moody’s suggested that the rating could further improve through sustained enplanement and revenue growth or from a significant liquidity increase.

“The team at BTV and the City of Burlington has worked incredibly hard to strengthen the Airport’s financial standing, and we are delighted that Moody’s has recognized our efforts,” said Director Richards.  “This is a new day for BTV, and we will continue to work hard and progress in the right direction.”

The history of the Airport’s revenue bonds ratings and outlooks follows:

Moody's Ratings

Date

Action

Rating

Action

Outlook

         

11/12/14

Upgraded to investment grade

Baa3

Affirmed

Stable

01/15/14

Affirmed

Ba1

Revised

Stable

11/19/12

Affirmed

Ba1

Affirmed

Negative

01/06/12

Affirmed

Ba1

Affirmed

Negative

10/13/10

Downgraded to junk bond status

Ba1

Affirmed

Negative

05/13/10

Downgraded 2 steps

Baa3

Revised

Negative

11/28/05

Affirmed

Baa1

Affirmed

Stable

 

The Moody’s Report also noted the following as strengths relevant to its actions:                

  • “Large education and health care presence in Burlington, low unemployment relative to the state and nation.”
  • “Diversity in airport revenues, including significant parking and concession revenues.”
  • “Diversified airline carrier mix and limited competition in the service area.”
     

*Please see Moody’s Investors Service Ratings Report here.

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Press Release Date: 
11/12/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office