Budget airline Ryanair has vowed to cut average fares by up to 10pc as part of a bid to fly an additional five million passengers over the winter period.
The Dublin-based carrier believes there are "many opportunities" open to it, such as competing more vigorously at primary airports and in attracting business traffic, which tends to travel more during the winter period.
Its "ambitious" new forecasts for the six months to March 31 include the plan to fly an additional 2.2 million passengers compared with its previous estimate - leading to a total rise of 16pc or 5.3 million customers on a year earlier.
It now expects annual profits of up to €770m, a rise of 18pc on its previous guidance. Profits for the summer half-year were 32pc higher at €795m.
The airline's recent drive to improve its image is showing signs of paying off, having softened its stance on baggage charges and booking conditions and introduced allocated seating and a new business service.
Ryanair said average fares will fall by between 3pc and 5pc in the current quarter before an aggressive drive will cut fares by between 6pc and 10pc.
As a result, the airline expects to carry 89 million customers in the year to March 31.