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9 AUGUST 2021

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Article from BTNews 9 AUGUST 2021

COMMENT: Share prices. An air of uncertainty

They say that bookmakers always win.  

The London Stock Exchange is something of a gamble too with the participants some really expert with a deep knowledge and understanding of their particular interest and others true punters, often using other people’s money.  Is Virgin Atlantic about to join?

Share prices look forward and the gap between those that will recover quicker and with more certainty and those which will lag is already evident.

The travel industry is no different than any other investment with huge sums involved, major wins happening, and regular financial disasters even before Covid, Flybe and Monarch Airlines being recent cases.

Nobody could have forecast what has happened in the last 18 months.  

The shutdown known as 9/11 was but a pinprick compared to 2020/21.  The Twin Towers tragedy has even become the basis of a successful musical (Come From Away – now playing again at the London’s Phoenix Theatre).  Covid-19 will not, but you never know!  Remember the Titanic.

Ask anyone in the industry on how they see the future and the general answer is “nervous” and long-term “fine”.  The real question is “when does long-term begin?”

Most will agree that this summer is complete with UK hotels doing well but domestic flights still under a shadow and international services much reduced, careful management required to gain good load factors and revenue. Business travel has all but collapsed and even a simple holiday can be a gamble, the short notice return of Mexico into the ‘red’ being a case in point.  Last year even a Minister was caught out.  Do you make a booking for a winter holiday or hold back?  There is bound to be space.  In June 2019, 28.5m flew domestically but for June 2021 it was only 2.8m. I 2022 in your thoughts?

BTN notes below some London Stock Exchange listed travel share prices, the lead figure January 2020, followed by the price at the close of the market this Friday, 6 August.  One airline stands out as doing very well.

According to various reports Virgin Atlantic has begun presentations to institutional investors to assess their appetite for a stock market listing of the airline.

Clearly some senior travel industry managers have accomplished a great deal whilst others, good in their business, have found it difficult to deal with the unfolding and unknown financial dilemma.  A few have led in a very public manner, but others have found the quiet approach suits them better.  However, their ‘public’ is just not the London Stock Exchange and investors, but also travellers who they need to lure back, and perhaps most important of all, staff and trade supporters, without whom the whole multifaceted complex will fall apart. They want leaders.

The London share price – Friday 6 August
(pence except where noted)

Airlines 03-Jan-20
06-Aug-21
EasyJet 1420
850
IAG 426
174
Jet2 1890
1323
Ryanair 14.54
€ 16.83
TUI 610
333
Wizz 3896
5196










Hotels



IHG      5189
4735
PPHE 1910
1490
 (Park Plaza Hotels Europe)
Whitbread      3198
4179  (Premier Inn)
Travelodge is not traded



See also JetBlue starts in this week’s BTN 

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum


Joe Andrews, Harrow, Middx

I like the headline “An air of uncertainty”. But not just the Stock Market. The whole international travel business!


Jeff Smith, Hornsey

Investing in an airline really is a gamble. They really are an odd mixture. EasyJet with a majority shareholder not represented on the board, Wizz a Hungarian airline listed in the on the London exchange but registered I believe in Jersey. And IAG simply a mistake!


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