EasyJet has recorded one of its best winters financially thanks to its network, customer proposition, the failure of rivals and an early Easter.
The low cost carrier has reported a 3 million increase in passengers to 36.8 million for the six month ending March 31, 2018, and included 700,000 passengers via its new Berlin Tegel operation which launched in January.
The passenger growth was driven by a capacity increase of 7.8% as the existing network grew by 4.6%.
The airline said it also received a boost thanks to the early Easter, which meant the holiday weekend straddled the end of March and beginning of April.
The factors combined together to increase total revenue by 19.5% to £2,183 million while total revenue per seat grew by 10.9% to £54.10.
This resulted in a profit before tax excluding Tegel of £8 million, a £220 million improvement on the same period the previous year.
EasyJet chief executive John Lundgren said: "EasyJet has delivered an excellent performance reporting a profit of £8 million, one of our best results ever in the winter trading period (excluding the one-off impact of the start up of our Tegel operation).
"Total revenue was above £2 billion for the first time, almost 20% year on year. This was driven by a record number of passengers at 37 million and our highest ever ancillary sales due to giving passengers more options and lower prices on hold luggage along with our improved inflight bistro.
"Our performance was helped by the reductions in capacity from other airlines but was also driven by the strength of the easyJet brand which is now the most considered airline brand in the UK, moving ahead of BA for the first time.
"We also reached the milestone of carrying 13 million business travellers a year -partly supported by the increase in city to city routes as we successfully started operations in Berlin Tegel.
"Turning to our strategy, I have today announced an increase in investment in easyJet Holidays to gain a greater share of that market, showcased a series of initiatives to increase the number of passengers travelling on business and revealed plans to introduce a new loyalty programme which will support and reinforce all of these initiatives and will further increase passenger loyalty to easyJet.
"I also outlined new investments to harness the power of our data to improve our customer proposition, reduce costs and increase revenue.
"All of these initiatives will provide higher profit per seat and higher returns for our shareholders.
"I am also pleased to announce a number of new appointments to the Airline Management Board with a mix of internal promotions and new hires to easyJet.
"This will give the airline the right balance of skills, experience and diversity to deliver our strategy and take easyJet from strength to strength.”