Fitch: American Airlines' Merger with US Airways Credit Neutral to Latin American Airports

NEW YORK--()--The merger announcement of two of the largest North American air carriers, American Airlines and US Airways, is not likely to adversely affect Latin American and Caribbean rated airports, according to Fitch.

Fitch considers the merger, even if causing future changes and reductions to frequencies, is unlikely to negatively impact the Latin American rated airports' projected traffic performance and/or revenues.

With respect to the Caribbean airports, "both airlines serve different destinations and market sources, and present limited or no overlapping on their routes. Fitch envisages no credit implications to rated airports at this point in time," says Omar Valdez, AD at Fitch.

Current market participation of American Airlines and US Airways in Latin American rated airports is low when compared to other carriers servicing international routes. According to the most recent information provided to Fitch by issuers, current frequencies are expected to remain constant in the Latin America region, while the addition of new routes is anticipated.

In Caribbean airports rated by Fitch, however, the two airlines have a greater participation, where the average dependency on US passengers is calculated at 71%. Positively, market diversification at these airports is adequate, with no single air carrier enplaning above 20% of international seat capacity.

In addition, Fitch believes that any possible unattended demand could be readily absorbed by other carriers, as Caribbean airports benefit from an established tourist base with steady enplanements, and an ample air carrier diversification.

Overall current passenger traffic in the region continues to grow steadily, in line with our 2013 Outlook expectations, and providing for better prospects with respect to air traffic volumes going forward.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE.

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Omar Valdez, +1-212-908-0713
Associate Director
Fitch Ratings, Inc., 33 Whitehall Street, New York, NY 10004
or
Astra Castillo, +52 (818) 399-9137
Director
or
Alberto Santos, +1-212-908-0714
Senior Director
or
Media Relations:
Elizabeth Fogerty, New York, +1 212-908-0526
Email: elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Omar Valdez, +1-212-908-0713
Associate Director
Fitch Ratings, Inc., 33 Whitehall Street, New York, NY 10004
or
Astra Castillo, +52 (818) 399-9137
Director
or
Alberto Santos, +1-212-908-0714
Senior Director
or
Media Relations:
Elizabeth Fogerty, New York, +1 212-908-0526
Email: elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com