By Bev Fearis, published 11/11/20
News of successful Covid-19 vaccine trials saw shares in airlines, hotels and travel companies take off this week.
In Europe, IAG’s stock jumped 25%, easyJet’s soared by 35%, while Wizz Air and Ryanair’s also went up but by a more modest 15% and 12% respectively.
In the U.S, there were also double-figure share climbs for American Airlines Group (16.5%), United Airlines (19.9%) and Delta Air Lines (17.6%).
Shares in aircraft manufacturer Boeing rose 17% and Airbus’s stock price surged nearly 19%.
The vaccine hopes also boosted shares of Intercontinental Hotels Group (12%), Premier Inn’s owner Whitbread (16%), Marriott International (21%), Park Hotel & Resorts (40%), Expedia (22.5%) and American Express (21%).
The increases came after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and BioNTech revealed that interim results of a large-scale vaccine trial have performed far better than experts had hoped, with 90% effectiveness.
Regulators had previously said they would approve a vaccine even if it would be only 50% effective.
The UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS will be ready from December to roll out the new coronavirus vaccine if it gets full approval.
Meanwhile, in other good news for the travel industry, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told this week’s Airport Operators Association conference that the Government’s proposed ‘test to release’ scheme will start once the latest lockdown is over with the aim of cutting the 14-day quarantine to around a week, or possibly five days.
“Through the Global Travel Taskforce, we have been making very good progress on a ‘test to release’ programme to launch once we’re out of lockdown,” he said.
“This will consist of a single test for arrivals into the UK, provided by the private sector and at the cost to the passenger, allowing a much-reduced period of self-isolation.
“Beyond the lockdown, this should encourage many more people to book flights with confidence.
“Once we emerge from lockdown, we can roll out the systems to help people travel again.”