US airlines' shares start to take off

DELTA AIR LINES, AMR &ndash; which owns American Airlines &ndash; and UAL have seen their shares more than double in the US since March, in the latest sign that the stricken aviation sector is starting to recover.<br /><br />AMR was the highest gainer between the start of March and mid September for the world&rsquo;s major airlines, as its shares went up threefold.<br /><br />And UAL, which owns United Airlines, and Delta &ndash; the world&rsquo;s largest carrier &ndash; saw their shares more than doubled.<br /><br />But &ldquo;buy&rdquo; ratings from analysts outweigh &ldquo;holds&rdquo; and &ldquo;sells&rdquo; on only two companies: Delta and Continental.<br /><br />The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that the airline industry will be hit by $11bn of losses in 2009, but the companies&rsquo; performance indicates that the worst is over for the sector.<br /><br />The news comes despite a dip in share prices a day after AMRand USAir said they would launch share sales to raise money to get through the slump.