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Ratings agency maintains Jackson airport credit rating

Aruba-Fitch-RatingsJACKSON — Despite the 2014 pullout of Southwest Airlines, a credit rating agency says the financial outlook at Jackson-Evers International Airport remains stable.

Fitch Ratings Friday maintained the airport’s $38 million in debt at BBB+, at the low end of investment-grade ratings, with Fitch saying it expects the rating to remain stable.

The rating agency says other carriers are picking up some of the slack left by Southwest. It also says prices charged to airlines by the Jackson airport are higher than similar airports, and rose to offset revenue lost from Southwest.

Fitch says airline travelers have few options besides Jackson, though, and says the airport has more than a year’s worth of cash on hand. It also has low debt payments, especially after it shelved a $20 million capital improvement plan.

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