DUBLIN, March 20 Ryanair has secured its
first credit rating as it prepares to tap capital markets to
finance its order for 175 Boeing jets, gaining a BBB+
rating from Standard & Poor's, the Irish airline said on
Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers has raised
funds in the past through bonds backed by the U.S.
government-owned ExIm bank, but is preparing to tap markets
directly for the first time to lower its cost of financing.
A Ryanair spokesman declined to say when the company's first
bond issue would take place. Deliveries of the airline's order
of 175 Boeing 737s are due to begin later this year.
Ryanair also said it had completed a 70 million euro share
buyback, taking the total to 484 million over the past 12
(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by David Holmes)