Clipped wings: Why ASX 200 travel shares are having trouble getting off the ground today

A woman looks nervous and uncertain holding a hand to her chin while looking at a paper cut out of a plane that she's holding in her other hand. representing the falling Air New Zealand share price todayA woman looks nervous and uncertain holding a hand to her chin while looking at a paper cut out of a plane that she's holding in her other hand. representing the falling Air New Zealand share price today

The share prices of S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) travel giants such as Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) and Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) are struggling to gain ground on Friday.

It comes amid a broader sell-off event that’s seen the ASX 200 plunge 0.85%. Here’s how these ASX favourites shares are travelling today:

  • The Webjet share price is currently 1.05% lower at $5.17
  • The Flight Centre share price has slipped 1.19% to trade at $16.60

Meanwhile, the share prices of fellow ASX 200 travel stocks Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) and Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) are down 0.6% and 0.8% respectively.

There are several happenings that might be dragging on the ASX 200 travel sector today. Let’s take a look.

What’s weighing on ASX travel shares today?

First off, ASX 200 travel shares might be being impacted by the spread of diseases and illnesses.

COVID-19 and influenza are continuing to spread through Australia while concerns of foot-and-mouth disease grow.

Qantas has today confirmed rising COVID-19 cases among staff have caused large numbers of flights to be delayed or cancelled during the school holidays. Of course, such news might be weighing on ASX travel shares today.

Meanwhile, LNP senator Susan McDonald has called for a suspension of flights from Bali amid concerns Australians returning from the popular tourist destination could cause an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

McDonald said an outbreak of the livestock disease could have ramifications of “biblical proportions”, continuing:

We saw a swift closing of borders with COVID, and I believe similar measures should be discussed for foot-and-mouth, and if not flight suspensions, then quarantine for returning passengers.

Some people will say this is an overreaction … but the devastation of a foot-and-mouth outbreak in Australia would be widespread.

The impact on our near $80 billion protein and dairy herds would be indescribable.

Though, closing the border appears to be off the cards for now. Agricultural minister Murray Watts has ruled out such a response, 7News reports.

Whether talk of border closures could impact Australians’ decisions to travel is yet to be seen. But that might not be all holding Aussies back from jetting off on holidays.

Some economists expect the Reserve Bank of Australia will hike rates by 75 basis points next month after the unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in June, according to reporting by The Age.

Such a move would likely see Australians’ pockets feeling notably lighter. Of course, that could lessen demand for travel and possibly reduce sentiment for ASX travel shares.

The post Clipped wings: Why ASX 200 travel shares are having trouble getting off the ground today appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Corporate Travel Management Limited, Flight Centre Travel Group Limited, and Webjet Ltd. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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