Ryanair on Monday posted its largest after-tax profit for the October-December quarter and said it was likely to face robust demand for Easter and summer 2023 flights.

The Irish airline, Europe's largest by passenger numbers, said it had earned 211 million euros ($229.40 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31, the third quarter of its financial year.

The profit numbers compared with a forecast of 200 million euros in a company poll of analysts and its previous record of 106 million euros in the final three months of 2017.

Ryanair reiterated its forecast of an after-tax profit of between 1.325 billion and 1.425 billion euros for the year through March 31. The airline in January upgraded an earlier forecast of 1 billion-1.2 billion euros, citing pent-up demand for travel after COVID-19 lockdowns were lifted worldwide.

"With Asian tourists now returning and a strong U.S. dollar encouraging Americans to explore Europe, we're seeing robust demand for Easter and summer 2023 flights," Chief Executive Officer Michael O'Leary said in a statement.

Last week, rivals Wizz Air and EasyJet reported strong summer bookings.

Ryanair, which unlike many airlines, kept its pilots and crew up-to-date with their flying hours during the pandemic to take advantage of the swift rebound and flew a record 38.4 million passengers in final three months of 2022.

It said it still expects to fly 168 million passengers in the year through March 31, well above its previous annual record of 149 million reached before the pandemic brought the travel industry to a standstill.

($1 = 0.9198 euros) (Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)