The sale-and-leaseback market looks "hot at the moment" for the right credit, Ryanair finance chief Neil Sorahan told FlightGlobal at a media briefing in London today.

"We haven't been in that market for some period of time," Sorahan adds, noting that roughly 9% of the budget carrier's fleet is leased.

Sorahan indicates that Ryanair might be looking to diversify its funding mix after relying solely on its own cash to acquire new aircraft over its current fiscal year ending 31 March.

"We continue to look at all cheap sources of financing out there. We are very interested in the lowest cost of financing. Whether that's cash, whether its debt capital markets, sale-and-leasebacks, Japanese operating leases or other forms of finance, we look at everything, and we continue to look at everything," says Sorahan.

The airline will by March 2017 have financed 52 Boeing 737-800s through its own balance sheet in the current financial year, Sorahan notes.

In July last year, at a first-quarter results briefing, Sorahan said that Ryanair's own cash represented the cheapest financing available for the carrier.

"We're buying aircraft cheaper than we ever did. Fifty-two aircraft we take this year are delivering at euro/US dollar rates of approximately $1.31. So we're locking in aircraft in euro terms cheaper than we've ever done," he commented at the time.

Ryanair will take 42 737-800s in its 2017-18 financial year, 44 in 2018-19 and 21 in 2019-20, its financial presentation for the third quarter ended 31 December 2016 shows.

Source: Cirium Dashboard