Fitch Revises Outlooks for Minneapolis & Detroit Airports to Negative

Fitch believes credit concerns at individual airports may increase during the course of Northwest's bankruptcy proceedings.


At somewhat less risk are airports served by Northwest that rely on local demand for air travel to drive their operations; however, some smaller cities with unprofitable route characteristics may lose service. Also, the bankruptcy may call into question Northwest's 'Heartland Strategy,' under which the airline has increased point-to-point service from airports such as Indianapolis International (airport revenue bonds rated 'A+' by Fitch).

In addition to the general airport revenue bonds at airports served by Northwest, the bankruptcy filing presents implications for holders of the airline's special facility debt. The structure and security of special facility transactions vary considerably, from a simple guarantee of the airline, in which case the investor's claim ranks behind secured creditors with limited chance for recovery, to more secured structures, such as mortgage or leases, which may provide the investor with a greater likelihood of recouping their investment. Fitch does not rate any of Northwest's outstanding special facility debt.

Fitch will issue credit updates on the airports mentioned, as well as any other facilities, as warranted by events during Northwest's bankruptcy proceedings.

Fitch's rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency's public site, 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.

CONTACT: Fitch Ratings Peter Stettler, 312-368-3176 (Chicago) Corey Modeste, 212-908-0399 (New York) Douglas Kilcommons, 212-908-0740 (New York) Jessica Soltz Rudd, 415-732-5616 (San Francisco) Christine Pollak, 212-908-0526 (New York, Media Relations) KEYWORD: MINNESOTA MICHIGAN NEW YORKINDUSTRY KEYWORD: TRAVEL BANKING AIRLINES TRANSPORTATION BOND/STOCK RATINGSSOURCE: Fitch Ratings

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