29.11.2012 18:33
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Phoenix (City of) AZ Airport Enterprise -- Moody's affirms Phoenix Airport's Aa3 senior lien and A1 junior lien bond ratings

Phoenix Airport has a total of $1.3 billion of airport revenue debt outstanding

New York, November 29, 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service has affirmed the Aa3 senior lien and A1 junior lien bond ratings of the City of Phoenix International Airport. The rating outlook is stable. The City operates and manages Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix-Goodyear Airport, and Phoenix-Deer Valley Airport.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

The rating is based on the airport's strong market position as the dominant air service provider in Phoenix and Arizona, stable financial operating results, and continued growth in enplanement levels. The stable outlook is based on the steady operational and financial performance by the airport despite increasing risks of higher debt, airline capacity reductions, and fragile national economic conditions.

STRENGTHS

* Strong market position in a large and growing service area population with a relatively stable economy

* Track record of well-maintained and stable finances with no exposure to variable rate debt or derivative contracts

* Strong market share by both U.S. Airways (corporate family ratings upgraded to B3) and Southwest Airlines (Baa3, stable outlook) creates a competitive airline environment that moderates airfares

CHALLENGES

* High revenue concentration in US Airways and Southwest Airlines and risk of changed operations should US Airways combine with American Airlines

* Operating risk associated with its compensatory rate making methodology and lack of long term airline leases

* Potential cost overruns associated with the Sky Train Construction project and additional operating expenses needed to manage the train system could negatively affect the airport's cash flow and liquidity; though this concern has decreased with the near completion of Phase I

* Total outstanding debt amount per O&D enplanement is $115, well above Moody's US Airport sector median of $77.61, with some additional debt planned

Outlook

The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectations that enplanement levels will remain stable or grow moderately above the current level and debt service coverage and liquidity will remain near current levels as the airport progresses through its capital program.

What Could Change the Rating - UP

Significant improvement in debt service coverage and liquidity, continued revenue diversification through increases in non-airline revenue sources, or significantly increased enplanements by carriers other than US Airways or Southwest Airlines could exert upward ratings pressure.

What Could Change the Rating - DOWN

Enplanement declines or other financial factors that cause sustained debt service coverage to fall below 1.50 times based on Moody's net revenue coverage calculations or that cause financial liquidity to fall below Moody's US airport medians could pressure the rating down.

RATING METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in this rating was Airports with Unregulated Rate Setting published in July 2011. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

The Global Scale Credit Ratings on this press release that are issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU are endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Ltd., One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E 14 5FA, UK, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that has issued a particular Credit Rating is available on www.moodys.com.

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides relevant regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

Information sources used to prepare the rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, parties not involved in the ratings, public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's Investors Service's information.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the rated entity, obligation or credit satisfactory for the purposes of issuing a rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a rating is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Rating Process page on www.moodys.com for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history. The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Kurt Krummenacker VP - Senior Credit Officer Public Finance Group Moody'sInvestors Service, Inc.250 Greenwich StreetNew York, NY 10007 U.S.A. JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653Chee Mee Hu MD - Project Finance Public Finance Group JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653 Releasing Office: Moody's Investors Service, Inc.250 Greenwich StreetNew York, NY 10007 U.S.A. JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653(C) 2012 Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and/or its licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

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