Belfast Telegraph

Thomas Cook shares plunge after demand hit by Brussels terror attacks

Thomas Cook shares plunged by as much as 17% after it warned of a "sharp decline in demand" as a result of the Brussels terror attacks and following a n EgyptAir flight crashing in the Mediterranean Sea.

The tour operator said at its interim results that demand for trips to Belgium and Turkey is "significantly" down on last year, adding that more holidaymakers are delaying travel plans.

"The attack at Brussels airport in March has significantly impacted our Belgian business, due to operational disruption to our flying programme, a high level of cancellations and a significant drop in customer demand," Thomas Cook said.

Shares in TUI and easyJet also fell in morning trading, with Egyptian aviation officials confirming that EgyptAir's flight from Paris to Cairo crashed with 66 people on board.

Thomas Cook's revenues for the first half of the year dipped from £2.74 billion to £2.67 billion and pre-tax losses fell from £303 million to £288 million.

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser said: "As we look ahead to our busiest period, Thomas Cook is trading well to destinations other than Turkey, with particularly strong bookings to Spain and the USA."

Mr Fankhauser also reassured the market that Thomas Cook is "well positioned to meet our existing growth expectations".