As was widely expected, the Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price has started the week deep in the red.
In morning trade, the travel agent giant’s shares are down a disappointing 11% to $15.21.
This means the Flight Centre share price has now lost almost 18% of its value over the last two trading sessions.
Why is the Flight Centre share price being smashed?
Investors have been selling down the Flight Centre share price today amid concerns over the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
This variant of concern, as categorised by the World Health Organization, has led to countries shutting their borders to southern African nations and sparked fears of further lockdowns. This is threatening to derail the travel market recovery at a time when things were just starting to look rosy.
For example, rival Webjet Ltd (ASX: WEB), which is also tumbling lower today and down 8% at the time of writing, revealed last week that two of its three businesses were now profitable. However, that may not last long if travel markets are impacted by Omicron.
What happened on Wall Street on Friday?
It was a similar story for travel shares on Wall Street on Friday night.
Amid a broad market selloff that led to the Dow having its worst day of the year, the likes of American Airlines, Booking Holdings, Carnival Corp, and Expedia all fell heavily as investors rushed to the exits in a panic.
Though, as always, it is worth remembering that selloffs of this nature often bring about great opportunities for investors. Just look at what happened 18 months or so ago.
So, all eyes will be on Flight Centre and Webjet shares when the dust settles on this latest bout of volatility.