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IATA: airlines see shares surge 15pc

AIRLINE shares surged by 15 per cent this year, despite the six-day disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

IATA said in its latest financial health monitor that the increase for airline shares was a result of improved financial results for US airlines during the first quarter of 2010.

Passenger demand was up by nine per cent, while freight demand was up by 26 per cent. Passenger volumes during April are likely to dip by four per cent due to the ash plume disruption.

IATA warned that fuel prices have moved up by $10 a barrel (£6.54) from first quarter averages to $96 a barrel, while air fares are also rising in a bid by the airlines to offset some costs.