Lufthansa (-9.3%), British Airways (-7.8%), Iberia (6.6%), and Air France-KLM (-6.6%), all of which have Latin American services, lost most heavily yesterday, as the threat of Swine Flu was broadcast around the world.
The world’s airline, airport and aviation supplier stocks were punished in front of a fear of a global pandemic on the scale of the 2003 SARS outbreak. But early trading in Asia was uncertain. At first some leading stocks regained ground today, but then entered choppy trading, as the market re-assessed the immediate threat.
Lufthansa’s fall was probably also aggravated by the carrier’s report last week, which contained an undercurrent of less positive noises than previously. Meanwhile, British Airways and erstwhile partner, Iberia, which derives much revenue from its Central American operations, were more directly affected by the Swine flu issue.
Airport operators, Fraport (-5.3%), AdP (-5.0%) and Ferrovial (-2.5%) saw downside, albeit not as marked as the Mexican airport operators at the heart of the crisis, GAP (-17.1%), OMA (-14.8%) and ASUR (-9.6%) whose stocks were understandably hit hard.
Even before the UN’s World Health Organisation later upgraded the threat of Swine flu to level 4 on its pandemic scale, aviation shares across the world lost heavily yesterday. Asian carriers, mindful of the enormous impact of SARS, when traffic levels dropped 50% for a short period, saw stocks hammered too.
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European selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 27-Apr-09
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