The Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price is taking off today despite the company’s silence.
At the time of writing, the Flight Centre share price is $18.30, 6.15% higher than its previous close.
For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is up 1.01% right now.
Let’s take a look at what might be driving ASX travel shares higher today.
What might be boosting the Flight Centre share price?
The Flight Centre share price might be gaining amid rising confidence of a reunited holiday period.
Yesterday afternoon, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state would reopen its borders to quarantine-free travel from domestic hotspots earlier than expected.
The reopening has been moved forward to 13 December after Queensland’s vaccination rate rose faster than anticipated.
Additionally, the Flight Centre share price might be buoyed by news the Omicron variant of COVID-19 seems to cause more mild symptoms than other variants.
The United States’ chief medical advisor to the President, Dr Andrew Fauci told CNN data on the severity of the Omicron variant is looking “encouraging” so far:
Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it, but we really gotta be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe.
Fauci’s comments came as a fourth wave of new cases hit South Africa, with the BBC reporting the Omicron variant has become the dominant strain in the country.
According to South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, new recorded cases of COVID-19 soared from just 2,273 last Monday to 16,055 on Friday. That represents a 606% increase.
However, hospitalisations in the country aren’t rising at the same rate. 79 people were admitted to the country’s hospitals with COVID-19 last Monday while, on Friday, 279 were admitted. That marks an increase of 253%.
Right now, the Flight Centre share price is almost 15% higher than it was at the start of 2021. Though, it has fallen 9% since this time last month.