Airline shares tumble as new Covid variant triggers travel restrictions

Air traffic dropped Friday after the UK imposed travel restrictions on southern Africa and the EU indicated plans to do so following the discovery of a new strain of coronavirus.

Owner of British Airways International Airlines Group fell 20 percent in initial sales, while EasyJet dropped 17 percent and Lufthansa lost 12 percent.

Sales increased significantly in most travel groups as shares of France’s Accor hotel group fell by 8 percent and InterContinental Hotels Groups by 7 percent.

UK late Thursday put six countries on their red list travel restrictions South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Swaziland – while the EU says it will ban travelers in the region.

The resurgence of global sanctions came as scientists expressed serious concern over the growing number of highly mutated coronaviruses, B.1.1.529 Sars-Cov-2, amid fears over its immunization and vaccination active distribution than the Delta race.

Airlines and other travel agencies were already under pressure this month after several European governments introduced new regional closures following a spate of diseases from major Delta states.

But the prospect of a return to restrictions that have spread around the world brings new concerns to the region that has recovered well over the past six months.

The massive tree damage on Friday sent several major airlines including IAG and EasyJet downhill since the launch of the Covid vaccine reopened the route to other countries late last year.

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