Moody’s maintain ‘stable’ rating for Australia’s airport sector: MAp surges, AIX declines


Moody's Investors Service maintained its "stable" rating for the Australian airport sector in 2010-2011, adding that intense price competition among airlines and strong business activities should encourage further growth.

  • Moody's maintains a stable rating for the Australian airport sector, expecting 4% passenger growth in the next year.
  • Intense price competition among airlines and strong business activities are driving growth in the Australian airport sector.
  • Weaker leisure markets may reduce recent double-digit expansion at major Australian airports to single-digit growth.
  • Capital expenditure programs and debt could negatively impact financial metrics if passenger growth expectations are not met.
  • Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport experiences a 30% decline in international passengers in May 2010 due to political unrest.
  • Phuket International Airport sees a significant increase in international passengers, with growth rates ranging from 35% to 70% since January 2010.

The ratings agency expects average passenger numbers to grow by 4% in the coming 12 months on a year-on-year basis, despite weaker leisure markets which are expected to reduce recent double-digit expansion at Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide to single-digit growth. It added that improved price offerings and increased business activities should spur growth.

Moody's warned however, that capital expenditure programmes and corresponding debt would negatively affect financial metrics should expectations on passenger growth fail to materialise. Moody's rated four of Australia's five major airports as stable, with only Brisbane having a negative rating of "Baa1". Other ratings included "A3" for Melbourne, "Baa2" at Adelaide and Sydney, and "Baa3" for Perth.

Shares in MAp surged 4.0% yesterday, while Australian Infrastructure Fund fell 1.5%.

Pax at Bangkok Airport falls 30% in May-2010, Government promises support for recovery

Tourism Authority of Thailand stated the Thai Government has given its full support to the recovery of the Thai travel and tourism industry in recognition of its importance to the national economy and acknowledged it was the worst affected of all business sectors by the political unrest.

International passengers arriving at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport fell in May-2010 by an average of 20% year-on-year or by 30% over May-2008 levels. From 18-May-2010 to 24-May-2010 alone, daily arrivals declined by an average of 12,000-14,000 on normal levels.

However, the number of international passengers arriving at Phuket International Airport rose by 61.2% to 88,126 over 01-May-2010 to 28-May-2010 and since Jan-2010, international passengers arriving at Phuket Airport has grown 35% in Jan-2010, 70% in Feb-2010, 39% in Mar-2010 and 39% in Apr-2010.

The full report on the Tourism Authority of Thailand's traffic is contained in today's edition of Airport Business Daily. For the latest strategic news updates on listed and non-listed airports worldwide, including traffic, financial highlights and shareholding, subscribe today.

Shares in Airports of Thailand dipped 0.8% yesterday.

Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 01-Jun-2010

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