Deutsche Lufthansa AG raised its financial forecast after operating profit almost doubled in the first half of the year.

Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes in 2017 will rise “above the previous year,” Lufthansa said in a statement Monday. That topped the German airline’s earlier prediction that the measure would be slightly below.

The improved outlook underscored the strong passenger demand that has helped push Lufthansa shares to a nine-year high. The carrier has capitalized by leasing extra aircraft from ailing rival Air Berlin Plc and from the full takeover of Brussels Airlines, which enabled Lufthansa to expand its Eurowings low-cost arm.

“The results of the first half year show that all efforts put forth by our staff in all business units are clearly paying off,” Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr said in a statement on Twitter. “We are especially pleased with the success of Eurowings,” he said, adding it is highly probable that Eurowings will achieve “positive results.”

Adjusted Ebit almost doubled in the first six months to 1.04 billion euros ($1.19 billion) from 529 million euros a year earlier, on “strong demand” for tickets. Revenue rose 2 billion euros to 17 billion euros, Lufthansa said. Pre-bookings for the third quarter, seasonally the most important period, have “stabilized,” the airline said.

Second-quarter unit revenue increased 1.8 percent excluding currency effects, while unit costs excluding fuel and currency effects declined 3.4 percent, Lufthansa said. Both costs and unit revenue will fall in the second half, the airline said.

The company is scheduled to release detailed figures on Aug. 2.

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Photo Credit: A Lufthansa Airbus A321-200. The airline has raised its financial forecast. Lufthansa