) -- The airline sector has made heavy advances in afternoon trading, on the heels of

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

touting the sector's attractiveness.

The Amex Airline index has gone up by 3.5% to $29.50.

"Now that ... previously exuberant expectations have normalized as evidenced by price action in the last

one to two months

versus improving trends and ... the risk of a liquidity squeeze at a major carrier in 2010 has fallen; we believe investors will become increasingly willing to bet on the cycle," wrote Morgan Stanley analyst William J. Greene in a note to investors cited by the

Wall Street Journal


Greene has boosted his outlook for the sector to attractive from in-line.

On top of that, he also lifted his ratings on





( UAUA) to overweight from equalweight and lowered his ratings on

Alaska Air

(ALK) - Get Report

to underweight from equalweight.

UAL stock has soared 11.3% to $9.20. AMR has risen 6.8% to $6.70.


(DAL) - Get Report

shares are also up, 7.2% to $9.20. Another big gainer is

US Airways


, which has added 6.8% to $3.90.

Continental Airlines

(CAL) - Get Report

stock has risen 4.8% to $15.70.

After a ratings cut from JP Morgan, shares of Alaska Air tumbled 2.1% to land at $30.30.

One of the largest anomalies in today's airline sector has been

China Eastern Airlines

(CEA) - Get Report

, which has taken a 6.6% fall to $37.80.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York.

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