German carrier Lufthansa gave a more upbeat assessment of revenue trends up to the end of the year, with the carrier benefiting from solid passenger demand and poised to swoop on struggling rivals. 

While this summer has seen Air Berlin and Monarch collapse due to tough competition, Europe's major carriers have enjoyed strong demand and improving price trends. 

However, despite posting record nine-month results today, Lufthansa stuck to its profit target for the year to earn more than the 2016 total of €1.75 billion. 

Lufthansa said it expected unit revenue, a measure of pricing, to rise slightly in the fourth quarter after a 4.5% increase in the third quarter. It previously predicted a drop in unit revenue for the second half. 

Analysts on average expect Lufthansa to report 2017 adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of €2.6 billion. 

Its shares have more than doubled this year to highs last seen in 2001. 

Lufthansa said its third-quarter adjusted EBIT rose 32% to €1.518 billion, slightly ahead of a Reuters poll forecast for €1.502 billion. 

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said the result "gives us the investment and growth capabilities we need to play an active part in the consolidation of the European airline market, and to continue to invest in the future of our company". 

The airline has agreed a deal to buy large parts of insolvent local rival Air Berlin and has submitted an offer for some of struggling carrier Alitalia's operations.