U.S. airline shares traded lower Wednesday, following notable declines for commercial carriers in Europe, after the Federal Aviation Administration places flight restrictions around the Gulf region following Iranian missile attacks on U.S. and coalition military bases in Iraq.
Airline shares were also pressured by the crash of a Boeing-made 737-800NG, which killed 176 people shortly after takeoff near Tehran in a disaster officials said was triggered by engine failure.
"The Federal Aviation Administration issued Notices to Airmen tonight outlining flight restrictions that prohibit U.S. civil aviation operators from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman," the FAA said in a statement.
"The FAA will continue closely monitoring events in the Middle East. We continue coordinating with our national security partners and sharing information with U.S. air carries and foreign civil aviation authorities."
American Airlines (AAL) - Get Report shares were marked 2.28% lower in pre-market trading Wednesday to indicate an opening bell price of $26.60 each. Domestic rival United Airlines (UAL) - Get Report was seen 1.44% lower at $85.52 while Delta Airlines (DAL) - Get Report slipped 0.95% to $57.06 per share.
Boeing (BA) - Get Report shares were indicated 2.45% lower at $329.00 each following the 737-800NG crash, which the Ukraine embassy in Tehran said the crash was caused by engine failure and was not hit by a missile nor suffered a terrorist attack.
The 737-800 does not have the same software system that has been identified as the cause of the crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that took the lives of 346 people and lead to the overhaul of the planemaker's installation and training process.
In European trading, Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa traded 0.78% lower at 15.45 euros each, while regional airline Air France KLM and British Airways parent IAG fell 2% and 0.75% respectively.