Shares in Ryanair closed 8.4% higher in Dublin after it raised its profit forecast for the second time in a month after passenger numbers jumped 22% in November.

Ryanair today raised its full year profit after-tax forecast from its previous range of €750m to €770m, to a new range of €810m to €830m.

The airline said the revision comes after its new customer programme delivered a stronger than expected performance in the first month of its expanded winter schedule. 

Ryanair also raised its full year traffic guidance to just over 90 million customers from 89 million customers.

Passenger numbers for the month of November jumped by 22% to 6.35 million from 5.2 million, while the airline's load factor for the month rose to 88% from 81%.

The airline attributed the stronger than expected initial winter performance to the success of its "Always Getting Better" customer programme, its stronger forward booking strategy and what it called its "substantial fare and unit cost advantage over all other European airlines".

In a statement, Ryanair said its final full-year profit would still be heavily reliant on bookings and yields in its January-March fourth quarter over which it said it "presently has very little visibility".

Shares in the airline closed more than 8% in Dublin trade today -  its shares are up almost 60% in the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, Ryanair's largest low-cost rival, EasyJet today reported a 3% rise in passenger numbers in November, while Aer Lingus said its short-haul passengers were down 9%.
              
Ryanair today highlighted the success of new three-times daily routes from Dublin to Brussels and from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh, both of which are aimed at business passengers. 

New twice-daily internal flights in Poland to compete with LOT and three-times daily flights from Lisbon to London to take on TAP were also singled out. 

The focus on service by Ryanair and EasyJet has increased the pressure on higher cost "full-service" airlines like Air France-KLM and Lufthansa. 
             
The German airline's board approved plans earlier this week to expand its budget flight operations.