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This is when ASX airport shares will take off

Sydney Airport and Auckland Airport shareholders haven’t had a good time this year, so when will it all turn around?
The post This is when ASX airport shares will take off appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

asx share price rise represented by red paper plane flying away from other white paper planes

There’s been much talk about travel shares like Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) and Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) making a roaring comeback.

But what about those poor airports? COVID-19 completely killed off flying and devastated these usually reliable infrastructure shares.

The Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) share price is still down 25% compared to January, and Auckland International Airport Limited (ASX: AIA) is negative 13% for the same interval.

Interstate borders have now almost completely reopened, and there is some hope for international travel with multiple vaccines in the pipeline.

So is it worth holding airport shares in anticipation of a looming revival?

Unfortunately, you’ll need to be very patient. According to S&P Global Ratings, a decent pickup won’t take place for a while.

“We expect a firm recovery won’t start until at least late 2021 for ANZ airports given international travel remains elusive,” S&P Global Ratings lead credit analyst Parvathy Iyer said. 

She added that third waves of the current coronavirus in the northern hemisphere are not helping.

“Fiscal 2021 will be weaker than our previous expectations for most airports given recent setbacks.”

Where are airports at now?

New Zealand airports are ahead of the game, while a resuscitation in Australian airports has been held back by bickering over state border closures.

Kiwi domestic travel is now back up to 60% of pre-COVID levels, according to S&P Global Ratings, while Australia is up to about 40% to 50%.

But a proper recovery can’t take place until airlines and governments figure out a way to reopen international travel.

“A meaningful and steady recovery of international traffic in fiscal 2022 and beyond will be important for airports’ balance sheets,” Iyer said.

Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) chief Alan Joyce suggested last month that the airline would make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for passengers in order to safely revive international flights.

“Talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe, I think it’s going to be a common theme,” he told television show A Current Affair.

“What we’re looking at is how you can have a vaccination passport, an electronic version of it, that certifies what the vaccine is. Is it acceptable to the country that you’re travelling to?”

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Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo owns shares of Qantas Airways Limited, Sydney Airport Holdings Limited, and Webjet Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Webjet Ltd. 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.

The post This is when ASX airport shares will take off appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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