Shares in the major London-listed airliners were all flying low on Friday morning in the wake of yesterday’s attacks in Barcelona.
Easyjet PLC (LON:EZJ) (down 2.5% to £12.69), Ryanair PLC (LON:RYA) (down 4.2% to €18.49) and British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) (down 2.2% to 610.5p) were all in the red.
Two vehicle attacks in Spain
On Thursday afternoon, a rented van was driven down Las Ramblas, a popular pedestrianised street in the centre of the city, mowing down tourists and locals.
The driver of the van, who is believed to be the sole attacker, fled on foot and is still being hunted by the police.
Spanish authorities have said 13 people were killed in the attack, with more than 100 others left injured.
That attack was followed up by a second in the seaside town of Cambrils, about 70 miles south-west of Barcelona.
An Audi A3 smashed into passers-by leaving six people injured – one critically – and a police officer was hit as well.
Five attackers, some of whom were reported to be wearing suicide belts, were then shot dead by Spanish police. The two attacks are believed to be linked, officials said.
These two incidents are the most recent in a series of deadly vehicle attacks in Europe. This year alone there have been attacks in Stockholm, Paris and London, while Berlin and Nice were also targeted in 2016.
Attacks will not help airliners that are already in a price war
“As we’ve seen over the last couple of years in Europe, these kinds of atrocities affect tourism and will hit airline earnings,” said ETX Capital’s Neil Wilson.
“Investors are concerned that demand will fall over the rest of the year, which was already looking like it would be a tough patch for the industry.
“Airlines are already dealing with a price war and several have warned about the second half.
“The attacks in Spain will do nothing to help and should hit earnings, although we won’t know to what extent until the quarterly updates come in.”