March 20, 2020 / 11:39 AM / 18 days ago

Top European airlines' credit ratings cut by S&P as virus crisis intensifies

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday cut its credit ratings on Europe’s top four airlines, including Lufthansa and British Airways, and put them on negative creditwatch as coronavirus curbs global travel and threatens the sector.

Lufthansa, IAG and its British Airways unit were cut to ‘BBB-‘, one notch above junk, from ‘BBB’.

Ryanair and easyJet were lowered to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB+’.

The spread of COVID-19 cases across the globe has caused air traffic demand to plunge in recent weeks, forcing airlines to ground large portions of their fleets and announce drastic cost cutting steps. (Reporting by Josephine Mason; editing by Jason Neely)

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