Irish low-cost airline Ryanair would face three times higher debt by the end of the financial year of 2020, S&P Global forecasts.

Following the financial report of Ryanair's financial performance, the airline expected to face a debt reaching €403 million at the end of the fiscal year 2020. However, the experts of 

S&P Global, the U.S-based global rating agency, forecasted that the debt of the Irish low-cost carrier might triple and run into €1,2 billion by March 2021.

The forecast follows Ryanair’s decision to lower its traffic assumptions. The low-cost airline is now expecting to fly not more than 38 million passengers until the end of the financial year in March 2020.“We now expect the recovery of air traffic to be slower than we previously foresaw,” is written in the S&P Global statement,

The analysts presumed that while the COVID-19 vaccination process in the United Kingdom has begun, the high uncertainty regarding the pandemic and economic recession still would impact the restoring of air traffic demand and the improvement of Ryanair's financial position. In addition, S&P Global outlined that the new COVID-19 cases outbreaks, which were followed by new lockdowns and air travel restrictions imposed by the governments worldwide, would continue to affect passenger confidence and demand.

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Ryanair opened a new hub at Paris-Beauvais Airport, which became the airline’s fourth base in France equating to a $200 million investment.   
 

“Ryanair demonstrates its proactive treasury management, uninterrupted access to capital markets, and ability to safeguard liquidity, underpinned by its most recent equity raising an unsecured bond issuance of €850 million, both completed in September 2020. We also acknowledge Ryanair's determination and flexibility to defer investments in new planes and to suspend share buybacks, with a focus on preserving cash and restoring its credit measures“, added S&P Global.

The agency assumed that the acceptance of the vaccine by the middle of 2021 could help to restore air traffic and this could lend a hand for Ryanair to turn its operating cash flow to positive in a fiscal year ending March 31, 2022.

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In a ground-breaking order, Ryanair became the first customer to place a significant order for the Boeing 737 MAX since its grounding in March 2019.