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IAG: S&P cuts debt rating by one notch

( - S&P Global Ratings on Friday lowered its ratings on eight European airlines by one notch, after the rapid spread of COVID-19 has caused air traffic demand to collapse over recent weeks.

S&P said it has cut its ratings on easyJet, Ryanair, Lufthansa, IAG and SAS, amongst others, while placing all of their ratings on "credit watch" with a negative outlook.

The pandemic threatens the credit quality of these airlines and poses serious challenges for the industry as a whole given the uncertainty regarding the severity and duration of the outbreak, the ratings agency said.

In the meantime, S&P expects airlines to focus on protecting their short-term liquidity positions, which might include seeking government support, it said.

S&P has cut International Consolidated Airlines (IAG)'s rating to "BBB-".

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