Airline shares jumped today on the back of hopes that travel between the EU and US would open up again this summer.
Over the weekend, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that all US citizens who had been vaccinated should be able to travel to Europe by the summer.
Her comments sent shares in the UK’s carriers up in today’s trading, with British Airways (BA) owner IAG up 4.4 per cent.
Speaking to a conference today, BA boss Sean Doyle backed up von der Leyen’s comments, saying:
“If you look at the progress of vaccinations that the UK and the US have made, they’re almost neck and neck. I think the US is a great opportunity to get up and running again.”
The transatlantic network is a big earner for carriers such as BA, as well as European rivals such as Lufthansa.
But the gains were not kept to just the flag carriers. Low cost fliers Ryanair and Easyjet rose 2.5 and 4.1 per cent respectively, while Hungarian flier Wizz Air climbed 2.2 per cent.
It was an even better day for holiday giant Tui, which rose 5.0 per cent in total.
Global airlines industry body IATA said that von der Leyen’s comments gave people hope, but called on the European Commission to provide dates and public health benchmarks to help airlines plan.
“To fulfil that hope, details of the European Commission’s intentions are essential,” IATA director general Willie Walsh said.