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Airlines rally as Britain set to relax US and EU travel rules


Both easyJet and British AIrways saw their stocks rise on Wednesday morning. Photo: Getty Images

Both easyJet and British AIrways saw their stocks rise on Wednesday morning. Photo: Getty Images

Stocks of airlines including British Airways owner IAG and easyJet soared on Wednesday morning as the UK said it was going to relax restrictions around US and EU travel.

Senior cabinet ministers will consider letting US and EU passengers who have been fully vaccinated outside the UK skip quarantine when they arrive in England, the BBC reported.

A review of travel restrictions is expected by 31 July. Sources told the BBC the exemption was likely to be discussed at the Covid Operations meeting on Wednesday.

IAG’s (IAG.L) stock rose 4.2% on Wednesday while easyJet’s (EZJ.L) share price ticked up 4.7%. Rival budget airline Ryanair (RYA.L) gained about 2.4%.

Current rules stipulate that those who have been fully vaccinated in the UK do not have to quarantine when returning from the US, which is on the amber list, or the EU, members of which are either deemed green or amber.

But this does not apply to people who have been vaccinated outside the UK.

Read more: Euro 2020 boosts ITV as CEO says worst of pandemic impact is over

The travel industry, hit hard by the pandemic, has been urging a relaxation in this rule so that expats and tourists can travel into the UK more easily.

EasyJet’s CEO was sceptical that the change would help the industry. “It’s the right thing, it should be done, but like I said it is a little bit too late,” Johan Lundgren told LBC Radio.

“Even if they can avoid the quarantine, you’re still going to have the very expensive PCR testing that’s going to make this out of reach for many, many people,” he added.

Earlier this month, travel stocks had been boosted when the UK said that fully vaccinated Brits could return from amber-listed countries without the need to quarantine for 10 days.

Meanwhile Wiz Air’s (WIZZ.L) stock jumped about 6% as it announced it has hired 600 new cabin crew, with its CEO predicting a rebound in demand.

Wizz Air's shares were flying high on Wednesday morning. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

Wizz Air’s shares were flying high on Wednesday morning. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

“Through the quarter we did see encouraging recovery patterns in passenger air travel,” said József Váradi.

“People began returning to flying despite mobility restrictions still impacting travel. We carried 3m passengers during the quarter, more than four times the number we carried in the same period of last year.”

In July and August Wizz expects to operate around 90% and 100% of its 2019 capacity, respectively, “making Wizz Air the first major European airline to fully recover capacity to pre-COVID-19 levels”.

In the three months to 30 June, the airline’s revenue was €199m (£170m, $235m) and its total cost increased 56.1% to €307.7m.

Its statutory loss for the period was €114.4m.

Watch: Should I book a holiday in 2021?



Read More: Airlines rally as Britain set to relax US and EU travel rules

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