Airline stocks soar on hopes for financial relief from coronavirus, Delta up 13%


An aircraft operated by British low cost airline Easyjet moves past other aircrafts as a rainbow is seen at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on March 9, 2020 in Schiphol, Netherlands.

Yuriko Nakao | Getty Images

Shares of major U.S. airlines got a respite Friday on expectations that the government will provide targeted financial relief from the coronavirus impact. 

Delta Air Lines climbed more than 10%, American Airlines jumped more than 8%, and United Airlines climbed more than 6%.

Airlines are among the hardest-hit industries due to the travel restrictions to slow down the spreading of the novel coronavirus. Major airlines have cut domestic and international flights because of the dented demand.

The stock market rallied on Friday after suffering its worst day since the “Black Monday” in 1987. Investors grew more optimistic that economic relief in response to the outbreak is on the horizon.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said U.S. lawmakers and the White House were close to a stimulus deal. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said the airline industry is among the priorities of the government. He said airlines face a similar situation to the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. He also listed cruise lines, hotels and small business in general.

Cruise line stocks also soared on Friday, with Carnival and Norwegian up 8% and 12%. Trading of these two stocks was halted in morning trading due to heightened volatility.

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