ASX travel shares are nosediving today amid border opening delays

WA has delayed the reopening of its borders in another blow to the travel industry.

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A man with a suitcase puts his head in his hands while sitting in front of an airport window as he learns of the Air New Zealand share price plummeting

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Key points

  • Qantas, Webjet and Flight Centre shares are all falling today
  • Interstate and international border opening delays could impact ASX travel shares
  • COVID-19 Omicron fears have led to Western Australia keeping its border closed

It’s proving to be a tough day for ASX travel shares, which are sinking in a sea of red at the time of writing.

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is currently down 1.88% to $4.94, Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) shares are falling 2.07% to $16.99 apiece, while the Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price is slipping 1.06% to $5.15.

The Helloworld Travel Ltd (ASX: HLO) share price is down 0.87% to $2.28 while Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD) shares are dropping 3.56%, currently swapping hands at $20.32 apiece.

Let’s take a look at what might be impacting these travel companies today.

Border opening delay

ASX travel shares are falling again today after a tough 24 hours. Qantas fell around 1% yesterday, Flight Centre dropped almost 3% and Webjet descended 3.5%.

Today, travel shares are in focus after Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan delayed the opening of Western Australia’s border indefinitely.

Further, the arrival of international tourists into Australia could be delayed due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Hopes the borders will be fully open by Easter have now been dashed, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review. It suggests reopening could now be months away.

Quarantine free interstate and international travel to Western Australia was due to start on February 5, but now the border will remain closed indefinitely.

The West Australian reported 6,000 interstate and international passengers were earmarked for arrival at Perth Airport on the first day of the border reopening.

Some 80,000 interstate and international travellers were due to arrive within the first two weeks, the publication added.

Mr McGowan said in a social media post:

Allowing hundreds or thousands of Omicron infected people to fly straight into Perth from 5 February, with no testing, no quarantine and no public health measures, would cause a flood of COVID-19 across our State.

So, from 12:01am on Saturday February 5, a new hard border will be in place with a focus on both safety and compassion.

The Qantas share price may be under added pressure given the direct impact of border closures on its flight routes. As Motley Fool Australia reported earlier this week, Qantas was planning to resume its Perth to London long-haul flight on March 27. The airline was also considering Perth to Johannesburg flights.

With international arrivals caps in Western Australia to remain, it is unclear if these flights will go ahead.

ASX travel shares price recap

The Flight Centre share price has returned around 8% in the past year. Meanwhile, Webjet has ascended 2.4% in the same period and Qantas has risen 1.3%. Helloworld has slumped almost 4% over the past 12 months, while Corporate Travel has skyrocketed by more than 20%.

In contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has returned around 6% in the past year.

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The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited and Webjet Ltd. 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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