Airlines’ shares tumble on prospect of tighter travel rules

Airlines’ shares tumble on prospect of tighter travel rules

Stricter Covid curbs will ‘kill travel’ and hit confidence, warn executives

The prospect of new restrictions on international travel sent a shudder through the travel industry on Monday, piling pressure on companies already reeling from a year of disruption.

Shares in European airlines tumbled as the UK government prepared to introduce tighter immigration rules following concerns that new strains of Covid-19 could spread from international travellers.

Governments in Sweden, Belgium and Germany also tightened travel curbs over the weekend.

British Airways’ owner IAG led the share price declines, falling 8 per cent, while easyJet dropped 7 per cent, cruise operator Carnival decreased 6 per cent and Ryanair was 4 per cent lower at the close on Monday.

Travel groups devastated by national lockdowns and closed borders warned that additional measures could be the last straw for businesses and would knock consumer confidence during a key period for summer holiday bookings.