Here’s why travel shares led the ASX 200 on Monday

ASX travel stocks experienced a solid takeoff today.

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Monday has been a big day for ASX 200 travel shares as the sector faced numerous exciting happenings.

Earlier this afternoon (Australian time), the United States’ international borders were flung open to vaccinated travellers.

However, there was perhaps more exciting news for ASX market watchers. This morning, Sydney Airport (ASX: SYD) confirmed it had agreed to a $23.6 billion takeover offer.

As a result, the Sydney Airport share price shot up 2.7% over the course of today. Meanwhile, that of Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) gained 4%.

Though, it was the ASX 200 travel agents that walked away with the best wins.

The Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price ended Monday’s session 4.7% higher than it did Friday’s.

Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) did even better. Its share price surged 5.7% despite the company’s silence.

For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fell 0.06% today.

Let’s take a closer look at the news that likely piqued the market’s interest in the ASX 200 travel sector on Monday.

ASX 200 travel shares outperform

ASX 200 travel shares had a great day’s trade as the world awaited the United States’ international borders reopening, which happened the moment the market closed.

As of 12:01 am eastern standard time Monday (3:01 pm AEST and 4:01 pm AEDT), vaccinated travellers from all over the world are welcome to travel to the United States for non-essential purposes.

It’s the first time non-essential travel has been allowed into the United States since March 2020 when then-President Donald Trump slammed the borders shut to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Perhaps in anticipation, some United States-based travel shares surged higher on Friday. Expedia Group Ltd (NASDAQ: EXPE) gained 15% on Friday, while Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ: ABNB) soared 12%.

Those gains might have helped inspire today’s movements on the ASX.

Meanwhile, the market was spoilt by exciting news from Sydney Airport on Monday.

The ASX-listed airline has accepted the Sydney Aviation Alliance’s takeover bid of $8.75 per share.

Though, shareholders might want to wait before getting too excited. The acquisition is still subject to approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It will also need to be approved by 75% of Sydney Airport’s shareholders.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.

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