Monday 25 January 2021 2:45 pm

Airline and travel stocks plunge as markets await new border controls

Airline and travel stocks plunged this morning as traders braced for the introduction of harsher restrictions at the UK’s borders.

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Ministers will meet tomorrow to agree new controls to prevent people bringing coronavirus into the country, with measures under discussion reported to include quarantining travellers in hotels.

Speaking this morning, PM Boris Johnson confirmed that hotel quarantine measures were actively being considered.

As a result, the UK’s listed carriers dragged markets down amid fears that yet more pain is on the way for the battered industry.

British Airways owned IAG was the FTSE’s biggest faller, shedding 7.2 per cent to 140p by mid-afternoon.

Intercontinental Hotels meanwhile fell 4.4 per cent.

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Rolls, which is paid by airlines for the number of miles they fly using its engines, has seen its finances squashed by the worldwide limitations on flying.

Budget carriers Ryanair and Easyjet were both down 4.6 and 7.6 per cent respectively, while Hungarian flier Wizz Air dropped 5.4 per cent.

Holiday firm Jet2 dove 13.6 per cent, while Anglo-German giant Tui fell 4.1 per cent. Cruise firm Carnival also dropped 3.7 per cent.

CMC Markets analyst David Madden said: “It is understood the government is divided over what new measures should be implemented but nonetheless traders are cutting their exposure to the travel sector.” 

The new measures have been deemed necessary by ministers due to fears over the so-called South African variant of the coronavirus, which is believed to be considerably more contagious than previous variants.

Read more: Ministers to discuss hotel quarantine for UK arrivals

Yesterday health secretary Matt Hancock said that 77 cases of the new variant had been identified in the UK.

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