Press Release|Public Finance

KBRA Affirms A+ Rating/Stable Outlook for Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority Airport Revenue Bonds

7 Mar 2024   |   New York


KBRA affirms the long-term rating of A+ with a Stable Outlook for the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MEM) Airport Revenue Bonds.

Key Credit Considerations

The rating was affirmed because of the following key credit considerations:

Credit Positives

  • Enplaned passenger activity has demonstrated favorable recovery since the Delta de-hubbing (2013). MEM has fully transitioned to an O&D airport, with enplanements solidly growing the past three years, up 9.6% YoY in FY23, exceeding the pre-COVID pandemic level.
  • Operating revenues are supported by substantial cargo activities. MEM is the busiest air cargo airport in North America given its critical position in the FedEx network and it is the site of the shipper’s corporate world headquarters.
  • Capital needs through FY28 are manageable given terminal and airfield capacity, external funding sources, and limited new debt requirements.

Credit Challenges

  • Socioeconomic indices are relatively low, which may adversely affect discretionary air travel during economic downturns.
  • Gradually growing air carrier service, although the number of markets served remains somewhat limited.
  • Debt and debt per enplanement metrics are high but improving.

Rating Sensitivities

For Upgrade

  • Strong enplanement growth, accompanied by material service additions to new markets.

For Downgrade

  • Changes in FedEx business plan that substantially reduces cargo activity at MEM.
  • While not expected, a secular declining trend in enplaned passenger activity.

To access rating and relevant documents, click here.



A description of all substantially material sources that were used to prepare the credit rating and information on the methodology(ies) (inclusive of any material models and sensitivity analyses of the relevant key rating assumptions, as applicable) used in determining the credit rating is available in the Information Disclosure Form(s) located here.

Information on the meaning of each rating category can be located here.

Further disclosures relating to this rating action are available in the Information Disclosure Form(s) referenced above. Additional information regarding KBRA policies, methodologies, rating scales and disclosures are available at

About KBRA

Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC (KBRA) is a full-service credit rating agency registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as an NRSRO. Kroll Bond Rating Agency Europe Limited is registered as a CRA with the European Securities and Markets Authority. Kroll Bond Rating Agency UK Limited is registered as a CRA with the UK Financial Conduct Authority. In addition, KBRA is designated as a designated rating organization by the Ontario Securities Commission for issuers of asset-backed securities to file a short form prospectus or shelf prospectus. KBRA is also recognized by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as a Credit Rating Provider.

Doc ID: 1003449

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