Boeing, airline stocks tumble as new Covid variant spurs travel curbs

Boeing, airline stocks tumble as new Covid variant spurs travel curbs

Passengers, wearing protective face masks, walk through the international arrivals hall after arriving at Terminal 2 at London Heathrow Airport.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Boeing and other travel stocks slid in premarket trading Friday after several European and Asian countries announced new travel restrictions from southern Africa because of a new Covid variant.

The U.K. on Thursday said it would temporarily suspend flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana. The European Commission recommended a pause on travel between the EU and southern Africa.

The new restrictions highlight how new variants of Covid-19 can quickly disrupt travel, just as many airlines and aircraft manufacturers like Boeing were upbeat about a rebound in demand.

Boeing shares were down more than 6% in premarket trading, while Delta Air Lines was down 7% and United Airlines fell 8%. Hotel giant Hilton was down nearly 5% ahead of the market open.

The State Department and White House didn’t immediately comment on potential travel restrictions to the U.S.

On Nov. 8, the Biden administration lifted a broad pandemic travel ban on most non-citizens visiting from more than 30 countries, including the U.K., the EU, South Africa and Brazil.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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