US Airline Shares Climb After Carriers Lift Fares

February 13, 2010

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Shares of US airlines rose modestly on Friday after news that five major carriers were increased air fares, adding to signs that the industry is turning a corner after a severe recession.

Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines matched a USD$10 round trip airfare increase on Friday that was initiated by United Airlines on Wednesday night, according to Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare, which tracks ticket prices.

American Airlines and US Airways also lifted prices on Thursday, Seaney said.

Low-cost carriers did not participate in the fare increase.

In recent weeks, the airline industry has reported higher traffic and greater demand, particularly from lucrative business travellers. The industry failed in its first attempt to lift fares in 2010, Seaney said.

US Airways jumped more than 6 percent to USD$6.73 on the New York Stock Exchange and earlier hit a year-high of USD$6.91.

Continental shares rose 4 percent to USD$19.63 in afternoon trading, while Delta shares were up about 3 percent to USD$12.18.

United shares were up 1 percent to USD$15.83 on the Nasdaq and reached a year-high of USD$15.98.

(Reuters)