WASHINGTON - Airports are likely to face financial difficulties into next year because, despite their successful efforts to stabilize their debt portfolios, they are expected to have a continued slump in airline passenger traffic, Fitch Ratings said in a recent report.

Since the beginning of this year, Fitch has downgraded the ratings of six airport bond issues and assigned a negative outlook to another seven of them, while the airlines that service them have been assigned low ratings as well, according to the report. At this point, almost half of the major carriers are rated CCC by Fitch.

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