March 17, 2007

Fitch Ups US Airways Ratings

Fitch Upgrades US Airways' Debt Ratings, Citing Stronger Liquidity

CHICAGO (AP) -- Fitch Ratings on Friday upgraded US Airways Group Inc.'s issuer default rating, citing the carrier's relatively strong financial results since emerging from bankruptcy protection in 2005.

Fitch upgraded the company's issuer default rating to "B-" from "CCC," its secured term loan rating to "BB-" from "B" and its senior unsecured rating to "CCC" from "CC." The moves affect about $1.9 billion in outstanding debt.

Fitch also assigned a new "BB-" rating to US Airways' new $1.6 billion secured term loan facility that is currently in syndication.

US Airways is the product of a 2005 merger between US Airways, which was emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and America West. Over the past year, its financial results place it "among the better-performing hub-and-spoke airlines," Fitch said in a statement.

"US Airways' strengthened liquidity position and a lack of significant debt maturities over the next several years have significantly reduced the probability of a near-term cash crisis," the credit-rating agency said.

Looking ahead, Fitch said it expects demand for air travel to remain fairly strong during 2007, but the pace of fare growth will likely slow as year-over-year comparisons get more difficult.

US Airways shares fell 23 cents to $46.31 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Source: Yahoo! Finance

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