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ASX 200 travel shares face new headwinds as Kiwi bubble policy tightens

It’s hard to run a travel business when no one’s allowed to leave home.
The post ASX 200 travel shares face new headwinds as Kiwi bubble policy tightens appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) travel shares could face a new round of pressure as the COVID-19 Delta variant wreaks havoc on reopening plans.

Case numbers in South Australia and Victoria are trending sharply lower, with South Australia potentially exiting its weeklong lockdown tomorrow evening.

But daily infection rates in New South Wales remain above 100. Which means ASX 200 travel shares are unlikely to benefit from the trans-Tasman travel bubble. That’s the quarantine free travel corridor which breathed fresh hope into the industry when it first opened on 19 April.

New Zealand moves goal posts for travel bubble

On Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a 2-month suspension of the vaunted travel bubble. (Details here.) Free travel between the 2 nations ended Friday at midnight, with Kiwis urged to return home before quarantine restrictions come back into force.

Now, in further tightening New Zealand’s trans-Tasman policy, the nation will look at Australia’s infection numbers as a whole, and no longer on a state by state basis as it had done previously.

Meaning not even travellers from Australian states declared free of community COVID infections will be allowed into the country until further notice.

According to New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson (speaking to TVNZ and quoted by msn.com):

The precautionary approach says you need to look at this Australia-wide. The reality, particularly on the mainland of Australia, is that unfortunately those are big borders … once (Delta) gets in there it is difficult to contain. We still think we can operate a trans-Tasman travel bubble but we think we need to have Delta under control.

With domestic travel still hampered in Australia due to rolling state border closures, you can almost hear investors in ASX 200 travel shares cheering on the rollout of effective vaccines.

How these ASX 200 travel shares moved post vaccine

You probably remember the jubilation that greeted the announcements of effective COVID vaccines late last year.

Not 1 but 3 different vaccine makers came out with positive news in early November 2020.

The forward looking share market was quick to react to the earliest rumours of their pending success.

Buoyed by hopes that the world was on track to return to normality, the ASX 200 gained 8.1% in the first 2 weeks of November.

But few shares enjoyed as much of a lift from the vaccine hopes as ASX 200 travel shares.

The Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) share price, for example, soared 23.3% in the first 2 weeks of November 2020 trading.

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price leapt 22%

And the Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price rocketed 39.1%.

With ASX 200 travel shares still trading well below their pre-pandemic levels, investors will be keeping a keen eye on the Delta variant and the outlook for a return to frequent flying.

The post ASX 200 travel shares face new headwinds as Kiwi bubble policy tightens appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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More reading

6 ASX shares to rocket when COVID Delta passes

ASX 200 Weekly Wrap: Just like that… ASX back to record highs

Top brokers name 3 ASX shares to sell next week

ASX 200 travel shares slide as New Zealand closes travel bubble

Qantas (ASX:QAN) share price falls as capacity drops below 40%

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 Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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