Cork and Dublin airport operator Daa has credit rating reduced due to Covid uncertainty

Cork and Dublin airport operator Daa has credit rating reduced due to Covid uncertainty
The Daa currently has listed debt of €400m which is due for repayment in eight years time. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The operator of Cork and Dublin airports has had its credit rating and outlook reduced amid the turmoil in the air travel industry caused by the Covid-19 impact.

However, the Daa - which operates the airports on behalf of the State - said its overall rating remains strong and it is not in danger of defaulting on its debt. 

The airport operator currently has listed debt of €400m which is due for repayment in eight years time.

Ratings agency S&P Global Ratings has lowered the Daa’s long and short-term credit ratings by one notch – to A-/A2 from A/A1 – and has revised its outlook to negative.

S&P said the negative outlook reflects the ongoing uncertainty about the extent and timing of the aviation sector’s recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.

Last month it emerged that the Daa is looking to cut around 750-1,000 jobs over the summer months as part of an overall urgent cost cutting programme aimed at stemming losses arising from the Covid-19 shutdown of air travel.

The Daa said it has been losing €1m per day due to the Covid-19 crisis and has warned it will suffer “significant financial losses” this year. 

The company employs around 3,700 workers across Dublin and Cork airports, with job numbers set to reduce across both airports and at the Daa’s head office.

Staff have the option of staying, taking a career break, reduced hours, or voluntary redundancy. 

Employees have already been placed on a four-day week. 

A Daa spokesperson said talks are continuing and there have been expressions of interest from staff.

Irish airports got further bad news this week with Ryanair saying it plans to cut 1,000 Ireland-UK flights due to Irish quarantine rules for incoming passengers. 

The airline said it would result in more than 200,000 lost passengers to regional airports including Cork.

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