European airline stocks continued to under perform broader markets Wednesday amid speculation that U.S. security officials are preparing to expand a ban on carrying laptop computers inside the cabin to include trans-Atlantic flights from the Continent that could cost passengers as much as $1 billion.
The Stoxx Europe TMI Airline index, the region's sector benchmark, fell 1.9% by 10:00 BST, outpacing the 0.25% decline for the broader Stoxx Europe 600. British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines (ICAGY) was marked 0.23% lower at 595.12 pence in London each while Air France KLM (AFLYY) was seen 0.25% lower in Amsterdam at €9.34 each.
The moves come ahead of a planned meeting this week in Brussels between U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials and their opposite numbers at the European Commission. DHS spokesman David Lapan said yesterday, however, that authorities aren't looking "solely" at Europe.