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Boeing, airline shares collapse as new Covid variant slows travel

Passengers, wearing 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 fell in pre-market trading on Friday after several European and Asian countries announced new travel restrictions from southern Africa due to a new variant of Covid.

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

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

Boeing shares are down more than 6% in pre-market trading, while Delta Air Lines is down 7% and United Airlines is down 8%. Hotel giant Hilton lost nearly 5% before the market opened.

State Department and White House did not immediately comment on potential travel restrictions to the United States

On November 8, the Biden administration lifted a broad pandemic travel ban on most non-nationals from more than 30 countries, including the UK, EU, South Africa and Brasil.

This story is developing. Please check for updates.

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