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US Airline Industry Continues Financial Tailspin

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High fuel costs and tough competition continue to take a toll on the airline industry as some U.S.- based carriers are reporting huge losses.

On Thursday, Delta Airlines said it lost $2.2 billion in the last three months of 2004, and was more than $5 billion in the red for the whole year.

Delta is the third-largest airline in the United States, while rival Continental ranks fifth. Continental posted a $206 million loss for the fourth quarter.

Earlier this week, top-ranked American Airlines reported losses of $387 million, while fourth-ranked Northwest lost $412 million.

Airline executives vowed to continue slashing wages and other costs in an effort to return to profitability.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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