Southern California’s Ontario International Airport Authority receives strong financial outlook from robust pandemic recovery
S&P Global Ratings raises outlook to positive and affirms long-term credit rating for revenue bonds
S&P Global Ratings raised its outlook of the Ontario International Airport Authority’s (OIAA) outstanding revenue bonds to positive and affirmed its long-term investment grade rating of A-minus, largely on the strength of the Southern California gateway’s pandemic recovery.
“The outlook revision reflects our view of (Ontario International Airport’s) recent positive enplanement trends that have exceeded S&P Global Ratings’ updated activity recovery estimates, with July, August and September 2021 monthly enplanements at 97%, 92% and 97% of pre-pandemic levels, respectively,” the credit rating agency said in its risk analysis.
In addition to Ontario International’s return to near pre-pandemic passenger volumes, S&P Global noted the airport’s access to federal stimulus grants, attractiveness as a cargo hub and strong management and governance, which are supported by the region’s economic fundamentals, for the positive outlook and A-minus credit rating.
“The S&P outlook is welcome news for ONT on the heels of the fifth anniversary of our return to local control,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the OIAA Board of Commissioners, and Mayor pro Tem of the City of Ontario. “We have worked aggressively since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain our airfield and facilities while modernizing our cargo facilities in anticipation of a full return to normal operations in 2022.
“Airlines are showing their confidence in our airport with the resumption of flights and the creation of new routes, increasing the number of nonstop destinations from Ontario International to 25 in recent months,” Wapner said.
Passenger traffic recovery at ONT has exceeded national trends, S&P Global explained in its analysis: “The combination of vaccine progress, easing mobility restrictions, strong economic growth, and pent-up domestic leisure travel demand has contributed to ONT’s strong recovery in air travel demand, which we expect will be sustained. Our overall financial risk profile is unchanged at strong.”
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 with nonstop commercial jet service to 21 major airports in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and Taiwan, and connecting service to many domestic and international destinations. There is an average of 67 daily departures offered by nine air carriers. 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).