The US credit rating institute, Moody’s Investor’s Service, has today downgraded SAS’s credit rating to Ba1 for the Group’s senior implied rating, a downgrade of the credit rating by one level.
The downgrade is based on such aspects as the uncertain situation in which the airline industry in general finds itself as a result of a low level of economic growth, which affects the demand for air travel. A further factor of uncertainty is the development in Iraq and concern surrounding the effects of the SARS epidemic on travel. Moody’s appreciates the SAS Group’s new restructuring measures aimed at achieving sustainable profitability and competitiveness. An overall evaluation, however, led to Moody’s downgrade of SAS’s credit rating. Several other airlines have also been downgraded recently and SAS’s credit rating remains better than the industry average.
The SAS Group is in a situation with a healthy cash flow and favorable access to unutilized contracted loan guarantees. The changed credit rating does not affect the SAS Group’s existing loan portfolio.