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Airlines Start Boosting Round-Trip Fares

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines both boosted round-trip air fares Thursday, and other airlines are expected to follow suit in order to offset high fuel costs, according to media reports.

American Airlines, owned by AMR, lifted many of its domestic round-trip fares by $10 to $40. Delta raised its round-trip fares by about $20.

Northwest Airlines, UAL's United Airlines, US Airways Group and JetBlue Airways have said they are considering lifting rates as well.

Typically, air fare hikes stick only if rivals follow suit, as airlines focus on remaining price-competitive. Last month, American Airlines and Delta led a ticket price increase that lifted fares about $10 per round trip, which marked the 22nd broad price increase in two years.

The airline industry has recently showed signs of returning to profitability after several years of struggle, as capacity has decreased and the carriers have moved to trim costs.

Airline shares have risen this month after a rocky year, as investors have speculated about industry consolidation.