Latest Round of Airline Fare Hikes Stumble

Another round of airline fare increases faltered Monday as two carriers backed down, including Continental Airlines Inc., which had started the price hikes of $10 per round trip on many U.S. flights to offset rising fuel costs.

Southwest, one of few profitable U.S. carriers, has largely insulated itself by taking long-term options to buy fuel at set prices. The Dallas-based carrier hedged 85 percent of its fuel purchases for 2005 at the equivalent of $26 per barrel of oil, a gamble that has paid huge dividends.

Continental shares rose 16 cents, to close at $10.74 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. AMR shares gained 22 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $9.03; Delta shares rose 10 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $4.20. Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest's shares gained 21 cents or 3.1 percent, to close at $6.92 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Shares of Southwest fell 19 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $14.31 on the NYSE; and JetBlue gained 3 cents, to $17.40 on the Nasdaq.

Associated Press writer Pam Easton in Houston contributed to this report.

We Recommend

  • News

    Effort to Raise Airfares Fizzles

    A nationwide increase in airline ticket prices fell apart over the weekend, the second time in two weeks that the major airlines have failed to raise fares.

  • News

    More Airlines Match Domestic Fare Hikes

    Higher air fares looked more likely Friday as American Airlines, Northwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways went along with competitors' increases that the companies said were necessary to offset rising...

  • News

    Competitors Match American Fare Increase

    A fare increase launched by American Airlines appeared to stick on Friday, as Northwest Airlines Corp., Delta Air Lines Inc., and Continental Airlines Inc. said they, too, would raise fares in most...

  • News

    Delta Lifts Price Cap on Business Fares

    Delta Air Lines raised the price cap on its most expensive fares Thursday, ending a six-month experiment with lower business fares that most competitors reluctantly matched.