U.S. airline shares tumble on Greek debt crisis

CHICAGO (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. airlines shares were down sharply on Thursday alongside the broader stock market on concerns that the Greek debt crisis could spread and pressure other markets.

Shares of United Airlines UAL Corp’s (UAUA.O: ) posted the largest percent decline of the major carriers. The stock was down 15.22 percent at $16.77 on Nasdaq.

Shares of United’s merger partner Continental Airlines (CAL.N: ) were down 15 percent at $17.12. The Arca airline index (.XAL: ) was down 8 percent, the biggest one-day drop for the index in more than a year.

“The entire market is cratering about worries about a double dip recession,” said Standard & Poor’s airline analyst Jim Corridore.

He said UAL and Continental, which announced merger plans this week, are down more sharply than rivals because of the exposure their combined network would have in Europe.

“One of the big selling points of the merger is that it would be bulking up the European market,” Corridore said. “That’s where all the problems are right now.”

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(Reporting by Kyle Peterson in Chicago and Deepa Seetharaman in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)

U.S. airline shares tumble on Greek debt crisis