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Record profits for Ryanair

Low-cost carrier Ryanair has announced impressive profits for the year, indicating that air travel remains popular for people planning their holidays.

The airline revealed that its profits increased by 20 per cent to €139 million (£93 million) in the first quarter of 2007.

Traffic on the airline rose by 18.6 per cent to 12.6 million passengers and revenues also increased to €693 million (£467 million).

Revealing the results, the airline's chief executive, Michael O'Leary, said: "These record Q1 profits reflect an 18 per cent growth in passenger volumes, flat yields, and strong growth in ancillaries."

Mr O'Leary also took the opportunity to criticise airport operator BAA, which he said was not helping the aviation industry with its management of airports like Stansted and Heathrow.

He explained: "The current service provided by the BAA at Stansted is nothing short of appalling.

"Many of the 17 security machines are regularly unmanned during peak morning periods, and understaffing at passport control continues to cause long queues and frequent passenger delays."

He added that Ryanair would continue to call for the break-up of BAA over the coming year.

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