Rising demand, fewer seats and steadily increasing fares have made the beleaguered airline industry attractive once again to investors, including mutual fund giant Fidelity, Bloomberg reports.

Since the end of 2005, Fidelity has increased its holing in the AMR holding corporation, the parent of American Airlines, from 13 million shares to about 24.1 million, now representing 13% of the company.

The value of AMR shares has doubled in the past year, with the company potentially turning a profit this year for the first time since 2000, according to analysts from Thomson Financial.

Spokespeople for both Fidelity and AMR declined to comment on Fidelity's move to increase its stake in the company.

American has skirted bankruptcy protection in the face of rising jet fuel and labor costs in 2003 when employees agreed to $1.8 billion in concessions. United Airlines, US Airways, Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines have each filed for bankruptcy protection since 2002.

"Bankruptcy is becoming less of a risk, due not only to the rising fare environment but also to the likelihood that we are going to see some type of wage or productivity concessions," said Susan Donofrio, an analyst with Cathay Financial in New York.

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