Low-cost European airline Ryanair has reported a 39 per cent rise in profits during the last six months, with passenger numbers up by more than a fifth.
Best-ever half-year profits of €329 million (£220 million) have prompted the Irish firm to upwardly revise its full-year guidance by 16 per cent to €350 million (£234 million).
The company today said that rising fuel costs were offset by the 22 million people flying on its 437 routes between April and September, with overall revenue up a third to €1.26 billion (£0.84 billion).
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said that the company's success was to be celebrated given the "intense competition and very high fuel prices".
"The Ryanair lowest fare model has repeatedly proven that it can generate increased profitability and significant passenger growth during difficult trading conditions while many of our competitors are struggling to deliver profits or are losing money."
Mr O'Leary revealed that his firm intends to push ahead with its €1.48 billion (£1 billion) offer for Irish rival Aer Lingus, in which it already has a 19 per cent stake.
The chief executive also reiterated his belief that BAA's control of UK airports should be broken up.
"Ryanair continues to campaign for the break up of the BAA airport monopoly," he said.