Shares in Australia’s leading airline Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN) are falling today amid a sweeping set of new travel restrictions and lockdowns across the country.
At the time of writing, the Qantas share price has tanked 4.02%, trading at $4.54.
Australia braces for new restrictions
NSW has recorded more new COVID-19 cases on Monday, with Greater Sydney in a two-week lockdown on stay-at-home orders until Friday, 9 July.
Various border travel restrictions now apply across the country, with the situation changing rapidly as states grapple to contain several different COVID outbreaks.
Travel restrictions drag the Qantas share price
The latest restrictions fly in the face of Qantas ambitions to bounce back from COVID-19 impacts.
In the airline’s market update on 20 May, it said the group was on track to reach 95 per cent of its pre-COVID domestic capacity in the fourth quarter of FY21.
The update added that Qantas and Jetstar expected to average 107 and 120 per cent respectively, of pre-COVID domestic capacity by FY22.
In addition, Qantas had revised its expectations for the return of a “significant level of international flying” from the end of October 2021 to late December 2021.
The update also revealed the financial impact of lockdowns, flagging:
A three-day lockdown in Perth during April cost the group an estimated $15 million in EBITDA. This follows the $29 million impact from the Brisbane lockdown in late March and the Sydney (Northern Beaches) outbreak that resulted in an impact of around $400 million in EBITDA for the period.
It appears the latest lockdowns and border closures taking place over the next few weeks are weighing on Qantas shares on Monday.
Back to November 2020 levels
The Qantas share price has struggled to find headway this year, down 7.75% year-to-date.
At current prices, Qantas shares have retreated back to November 2020 levels, when the COVID-19 vaccine was still undergoing trials.