- European Commission said vaccinated US tourists might be allowed to travel to the EU.
- The European Commission would also ask member states to resume travel from the US.
- There was no clarification on whether complete vaccination was mandatory for entry.
Europe’s beleaguered travel and tourism industry might find a new lease of life as Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission chief, said in an interview that US tourists who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 might be allowed to travel to the European Union (EU).
In a bid to contain the spread of the pandemic, the EU restricted international travel to a minimum for over a year. The European Commission now said that it would ask member states to resume travel from the US.
The decision comes in the backdrop of vaccination programmes picking up pace across the world. Von der Leyen did not specify by when travellers from the US would be allowed to enter the EU for leisure travel. Also, there was no immediate clarification as to whether complete vaccination was mandatory for entry or other proofs of recovery from Covid-19, and a negative PCR test would also be necessary.
A report by The Times said that US’ recent discussions on how the vaccination certificates could be used and ramp up in its vaccination programme helped the EU to consider leisure travel from the US.
The EU is finalising plans to allow travel for EU residents, who hold specified certificates, across the union by the summer. Travellers would need a negative test report for Covid-19, need to be fully vaccinated, or should have recovered from Covid-19.
The news is expected to boost the battered aviation industry. Here’s a look at a few aviation stocks with the largest market capitalisation that could potentially gain from the EU’s decision:
Ryanair Holdings Plc (LON: RYA)
With a market capitalisation of £15,705.28 million, the Irish low-cost airline was up 0.83 per cent to EUR 16.45 on 27 April at 08:12 GMT+1.
The company reported a loss of €306 million for the quarter ended February, against a profit of €88 million in the same period a year ago. Air traffic for the period was down 78 per cent to 8 million from 36 million. The group’s revenue was down 82 per cent to €0.34 billion from €1.91 billion.
The company had said that it would rapidly restore schedules and recover lost traffic as soon as the virus recedes and thereby would help the EU in rebuilding its tourism industry and generate jobs. It also said that the EU now needed to ramp up its slow rollout programme to match UK’s level.
International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON: IAG)
Shares of the multinational airline holdings company and the owner of British Airways, which has a market capitalisation of £10,188.76 million, was trading at GBX 205.40, up by 0.20 per cent on 27 April at 08:24 GMT+1.
The company posted an operating loss of €7,426 million for the year ended 31 December 2020 against an operating profit of €2,613 million a year ago. Its total revenue was down 69.4 per cent to €7,806 million from €25,506 million a year ago.
The group has not provided any guidance for 2021 due to uncertainties surrounding the duration of the pandemic and its impact.
Wizz Air Holdings Plc (LON: WIZZ)
The stocks of Hungarian low-cost airline with a market capitalisation of £4,109.62 million was trading at GBX 4,787, down by 0.25 per cent on 27 April at 08:37 GMT+1.
The company expects to post a reported net loss between €570-590 million for the year ended 31 March 2021. It said that it expected its whole year underlying loss to be in the range of €475-495 million. The company did not provide guidance for the year ending 31 March 2022 due to uncertainties around Covid-19.
Easyjet Plc (LON: EZJ)
The stock of British low-cost multinational carrier, which has a market capitalisation of £4,697.67 million, was trading at GBX 1,018, down by 1.02 per cent at 08:48 GMT+1 on 27 April.
For the half year ended 31 March 2021, the group expects its headline loss before tax to be in the range of £690 to £730 million, better than its previous expectations. The company said it would keep operating a reduced schedule through most of Q3 but would be open to increase operations depending on the demand situation.