Posted on: Wed, 03/01/2023 - 14:00
Southern California gateway earns higher rating for robust pandemic recovery and strong financial management
(Ontario, California – March 1, 2023) – S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term rating for Ontario International Airport Authority revenue bonds outstanding to A from A-minus because of the airport’s substantial recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger volumes sustained above pre-pandemic levels and significant cash reserves. The ratings agency further said its outlook for the OIAA is stable.
“The upgrade reflects our view of the airport’s improved market position and strong overall enterprise risk profile, driven by a substantial rebound in enplaned passenger levels that have been sustained above pre-pandemic levels and the expectation that the authority will maintain financial metrics consistent with a strong financial risk profile as it issues debt to fund its capital needs,” S&P Global reported.
Three key credit strengths contributed to the higher rating:
- “Robust air travel demand, supported by favorable service area economic fundamentals, including a large, growing population base and ample employment opportunities.”
- “Strong management and governance, with management that we consider capable in operating an airport of this size, and a conservative approach to financial and capital planning.”
- “Strong liquidity position, bolstered by an infusion of federal stimulus aid.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased by the S&P rating as Ontario International Airport continues to turn heads in its pandemic recovery,” said John M. Schubert, OIAA chief financial officer. “With our population base growing, passenger and cargo volumes remaining strong and our aviation partners showing even greater confidence in our facilities and services, we are looking forward to sustained growth and a bright future.”
Ontario International Airport welcomed more than 5.7 million air travelers in 2022, outpacing pre-pandemic 2019 by 2.8%. It was the airport’s highest annual passenger volume since 2008. Shipments of air cargo also outpaced 2019 volume by nearly 9% and maintained ONT’s position as a major commerce and logistics hub.
Ontario ranks among the 10 largest cargo airports in North America and, according to a recent analysis by Oxford Economics, serves as the hub of a global supply chain network that generates $17.8 billion in economic activity.
S&P Global Ratings is a leading provider of credit ratings with more than 1 million credit ratings outstanding on government, corporate, financial sector and structured finance entities and securities.
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About Ontario International Airport
Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the fastest-growing airport in the United States, according to Global Traveler, a leading publication for frequent fliers. Located in the Inland Empire, ONT is approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a full-service airport which offers nonstop commercial jet service to more than two dozen major airports in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and Taiwan. More information is available at www.flyOntario.com. Follow @flyONT on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
About the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA)
The OIAA was formed in August 2012 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino to provide overall direction for the management, operations, development and marketing of ONT for the benefit of the Southern California economy and the residents of the airport's four-county catchment area. OIAA Commissioners are Ontario City Council Member Alan D. Wapner (President), Retired Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge (Vice President), Ontario City Council Member Jim W. Bowman (Secretary), San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman (Commissioner) and retired business executive Julia Gouw (Commissioner).