Airline and holiday operators' share prices fall in wake of missing EgyptAir MS804 flight

Catherine Neilan
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Flight MS804 is thought to have crashed into the Mediterranean (Source: Reuters)

Shares in airlines and holiday operators were suffering this morning in the wake of what appears to be another potential disaster involving a passenger jet.

EgyptAir flight MS804 went missing overnight as it was travelling between Paris and Cairo, with 56 passengers and a further 10 crew and security members on board. Three of the people listed on the flight are children.

It is thought the aircraft may have crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. A massive search operation is now underway. The reason for the disappearance has not yet been confirmed.

As markets opened in the UK, it was clear the events were already taking a toll on listed companies.

Thomas Cook, which this morning also unveiled its first half results, was the worst affected, with its share price dropping as much as 18 per cent.

19 May 2016 @ 11:45amThomas Cook Group (TCG)

Tui was down three per cent at pixel time, while Saga was down 3.5 per cent.

Budget airline EasyJet's share price fell 1.3 per cent, while British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines was down 1.5 per cent. Ryanair's share price dropped one per cent.

Shares in Dutch aerospace Airbus, which made the missing plane, were also down but by a relatively small 0.7 per cent.

The holiday sector has suffered a tough year, with terrorist attacks in Turkey, Sharm el-Sheikh, Paris and Brussels all affecting demand.

Last year's tragic incident in which the pilot of a Germanwings flight deliberately crashed the plane has also taken its toll.

Thomas Cook's share price is down more than 50 per cent over the past 12 months. The holiday operator has been one of the worst affected, as Turkey and Egypt were crucial destinations for the business.

Thomas Cook Thomas Cook | mobile image

Tui, whose share price is down nearly 19 per cent over the year, was particularly affected by the terror attacks in Tunisia last summer.

Tui Tui | mobile image

The trajectory of IAG's share price shows just how choppy it has been for the sector - but with downwards pressure.

IAG IAG | mobile image

Notable declines include late June and July, when the sector was still reeling from the Tunisia attacks in which 39 people were killed, early November when a passenger jet was shot down over Mount Sinai, killing 224 people and late November, when 129 people were killed during a series of coordinated attacks in Paris.

March's twin attacks in Brussels have also contributed to falls.

It is still not known why the EgyptAir flight has gone missing.

Just two months ago, an EgyptAir plane was hijacked by a man who, it later turned out, had no weapons on him and wanted to "delliver a message to his ex-wife".

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