Ryanair identifies syndicate behind 55-jet funding

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Irish budget carrier Ryanair has identified the syndicate behind a $1.6 billion financing agreement covering delivery of 55 more Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

It has reached the agreement with a banking syndicate including Calyon - which is underwriting 25 jets - and BNP Paribas and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, each underwriting 15.

The aircraft are scheduled to arrive between November this year and October 2010.

Ryanair chief financial officer Howard Millar says the arrangement is "testimony to the financial strength" of the airline.

As of 30 June the airline had 196 737-800s in its fleet and was due to take another 116 under its contracts with Boeing by 31 March 2012.

Ryanair's newly-released annual report shows it is scheduled to take a total of 54 aircraft in the current financial year, another 65 in fiscal 2011 and 15 in fiscal 2012.

Over the same period it intends to dispose of a total of 23 aircraft. This will give Ryanair an overall fleet of 292.

Ryanair also holds options on 10 aircraft for delivery up to fiscal 2011, and another 70 for delivery in 2012-14.