The precarious financial and labor problems of Eastern Air Lines have prompted Standard and Poor's credit-rating service to place on their CreditWatch list "with negative implications" the airport revenue bonds of four major airports that Eastern uses heavily.
Eastern showed a large loss of $67.4 million for the fourth quarter of 1985, and is currently in a 30-day cooling-off period from its federally mediated contract talks with certain employes. Eastern must gain concessions from its pilots, flight attendants and machinists by Feb. 28 so it can extend the terms on its $2.5 billion debt and avoid technical default.
The taxable senior debt of Eastern is rated CCC by S&P, which "is regarded, on balance, as predominately speculative with respect to capacity to pay interest and repay principal."
S&P placed the revenue bonds of the four airports on its CreditWatch list because Eastern, a major user of the airports, creates much of the revenue needed to service the principal and interest payment on the airport authorities issues.
The airports placed on CreditWatch are:
*Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport: $662 million of revenue bonds outstanding; 40 percent of the boarding passengers are Eastern's.
*Dade County Aviation Department (Miami International Airport): $500 million of revenue bonds outstanding; 39 percent of the boarding passengers are Eastern's.
*Puerto Rico Ports Authority (Luis Munoz Marin International Airport): $38 million of the revenue bonds are outstanding; more than 50 percent of the domestic passengers into San Juan are Eastern's.
*Kansas City International Airport, Missouri: $33 million in revenue bonds outstanding; 30 percent of the passengers are Eastern's.
These four airport revenue issues currently are rated A by S&P.
If Eastern is unable to solve its problems, it could be forced into bankruptcy, which would create problems for the four airport revenue issues.
The Treasury will auction two-year notes in minimums of $5,000 on Wednesday. They should return 7.90 percent.