Turkish Airlines Down Most Since 2016 as Passenger Gain Stumbles

(Bloomberg) -- Turkish Airlines fell the most in close to two years after the carrier reported May traffic figures that point to more sluggish demand.

While the passenger tally rose 3.6 percent to 6.1 million, the increase amounted to less than a quarter of April’s 15 percent advance. Domestic routes showed the biggest turnaround, with gains slowing to 1.9 percent from 19 percent, according to a statement Friday.

Shares of Turk Hava Yollari AO, as the carrier is officially known, closed 11 percent lower at 13.47 lira in Istanbul, their steepest drop since July 2016. The stock has lost 14 percent this year, valuing the company at 18.6 billion lira ($4.1 billion) after posting gains of more than 200 percent last year.

Inbound international traffic also stuttered, with a 7.8 percent increase in May after the April number showed a gain of almost one third. That might suggest that hopes for a boom in tourist numbers this summer may have been overdone. Travel to Turkey had previously come under pressure amid a failed coup attempt and government backlash, and a spate of terrorist attacks.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.