Airfinance Journal (“AFJ”), a unit of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, releases data that suggests that the airline credit cycle may have passed its peak.
AFJ Financial Ratings, a subscription data service covering approximately 140 of the world’s airlines, generates numeric scores rating the financial health of each airline based on five criteria. The criteria are average fleet age, Ebitdar (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rent) margin, fixed charge cover, liquidity and leverage.
Having reviewed the latest data, AFJ observes that the number of ratings that declined in the most recent annual period exceeded the number of ratings that improved. This is a reversal of the four prior years, as shown in Figure 1.
The simple average rating declined from 3.9 to 3.8 (equivalent to B+) in Figure 2. Weighted by size of airline the average declined from 4.7 to 4.6 (equivalent to BB).
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