Six of the largest U.S. airlines raised some fares $50 each way, renewing their effort to offset record spending on jet fuel and return the industry to profit.

American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc., Continental Airlines Inc., Northwest Airlines Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. increased prices for U.S. first-class and last-minute coach tickets. Southwest Airlines Co. was the only carrier among the U.S.'s seven largest that didn't go along.

The airlines are raising fares at the fastest pace since 2001 to offset fuel prices that have more than doubled. They're also dropping unprofitable routes and shrinking fleets to try to end more than $40 billion in losses in the past five years.

"Constrained supply has provided support for numerous industry fare increases in response to ever-rising energy costs,'' Michael Linenberg, a New York-based Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst, said in a report today. "As a result, top-line growth is more than offsetting rising energy costs."

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