Turkish Airlines' share price falls further after UK follows US with electronics flight ban

By bne IntelliNews March 22, 2017

The share price of Turkish Airlines (THY) was down 2.88% by the end of trading on March 21 after the UK joined the US in banning electronic devices larger than smartphones in hand luggage on flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa.

The restriction, introduced as an anti-terror measure to foil terrorists with innovative bombs, applies to airports including Istanbul’s Ataturk International. Shares in THY finished the day on TRY5.74 (€1.46).

Downing Street said airline passengers on 14 carriers would not be able to carry on to planes devices such as laptops on UK-bound direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, the BBC reported. Flag carrier THY flies to London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester.  

Hours before London’s announcement of the cabin baggage restriction, Washington had introduced a near identical ban hitting nine airlines flying to the US for 10 airports. US media were on March 22 reporting that the move was prompted by new intelligence of a threat from Islamic State.

According to the BBC, Canada is also considering bringing in a ban on larger electronic devices in airplane cabins.

Turkey’s flag carrier operates scheduled flights to the Canadian cities of Toronto and Montreal.

The travel restrictions may reduce passenger numbers, said Turkey’s Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan on March 21.

The number of passengers THY served increased by 2.3% to 62.8mn last year, easing from an average yearly gain of 17% between 2011 and 2015. The carrier posted a net loss of TRY47mn in 2016, the first loss in more than a decade.

A sharp decline in foreign tourist visits as a result of a series of terror attacks in Turkey and tension with Russia has impacted THY. In June last year, 45 people lost their lives in an attack on Ataturk Airport which was blamed on Islamic State.

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