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US Air, American, Continental and Southwest lead US airline stock gains

US Airways (+4.4%), American Airlines (+4.4%), Continental (+4.3%) and Southwest Airlines (+4.0%) led the US airline sector higher yesterday amid a solid session on Wall Street (+1.2%), despite higher oil prices.

Investors were relieved by reports CIT Group, a key player in the aircraft leasing market via subsidiary CIT Aerospace, will receive up to USD3 billion in fresh funding from creditors, which will help stave off bankruptcy.

The credit hungry airline sector needs continuing support amid the deep economic recession. Latest yield data from the ATA shows domestic airline yields in the US slumped 18.9% last month, year-on-year, while Atlantic yields fell an eye-popping 25.2%.

Elsewhere, TAM’s shares soared 9% yesterday after Bank of America stated the airline’s planned bond sale will strengthen finances and a stronger Brazilian real will support the airline’s earnings.

Republic Airlines’ shares drifted up 0.8% yesterday. See related article: Republic entering uncharted territory

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 20-Jul-09