Passenger fares on international flights will rise between 4 percent and 8 percent by mid-December to compensate for the sharp rise in fuel prices, the International Air Transport Association said Monday.

The airline industry, whose profits were declining even before the Persian Gulf crisis, has been hit hard by the rising cost of jet fuel.The association said Monday that airlines also intend to raise cargo rates between 3 percent and 7 percent. Decisions were made at a four-day IATA-hosted conference and are subject to the approval of governments.

A terse statement said the increases are "to recover, at least partially, continued cost increases, particularly in fuel prices."

In late August, the association set fare increases of up to 8 percent.

The International Air Transport Association is the industry's leading group, with 200 member airlines.