By Kristy Dorsey

Aviation stocks tumbled further yesterday as airline and airport operators warned that the imposition of quarantine restrictions on passengers into the UK will blow a massive hole in the industry’s recovery plans.

Shares in easyJet were nearly 6% lower while IAG, the owner of British Airways, lost almost 3% after the Prime Minister announced on Sunday requirements for nearly all incoming passengers to self-isolate for 14 days. Meanwhile, it has been estimated that package tour operators could lose up to £5 billion of business, about 70% of their annual income.

Speaking before the UK transport committee on Monday, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said British Airways will have to review its plans to restart a significant number of flights from July.

“There’s nothing positive in anything I heard the Prime Minister say yesterday,” Mr Walsh told MPs. “We had been planning to resume on a pretty significant basis of flying in July. I think we’ll have to review that based on what the Prime Minister said yesterday.

READ MORE: UK 'to bring in 14-day quarantine' for air passengers next month

“I don’t think anybody thought the UK Government would actually implement (a quarantine) if they were serious about getting the economy going again.”

The head of the Britain’s biggest airport, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye, said quarantine requirements will effectively close the UK’s borders. The impact of this will be felt throughout the economy, as 60% of the UK’s exports and inbound supply chain goods travel in the cargo holds of passenger planes.

He issued an urgent call for a road map on how to reopen borders once the virus has been beaten, with the Government taking the lead on agreeing international standards that will allow passengers who don’t have the infection to fly freely.

“Aviation is the lifeblood of this country’s economy, and until we get Britain flying again, UK business will be stuck in third gear,” Mr Holland-Kaye said.

READ MORE: EasyJet founder warns airline could ‘run out of money by August’

Airports throughout the UK have seen passenger numbers fall by around 97%, including those in Glasgow and Edinburgh. AGS Airports chief executive Derek Provan, which owns Glasgow and Aberdeen airports, said quarantine requirements will send the industry “back to the drawing board”.

Similarly, Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar described it as a “very significant backward step” for a sector that supports an estimated 30,000 jobs in Scotland.

As yet, there is no start or end date for the quarantine measures, which are designed to prevent Covid-19 from being brought in from overseas. Passengers from France will be exempt from the forthcoming requirements, and it is also thought that people arriving from the Republic of Ireland will not be made to go into quarantine.

These latest warnings from the industry follow thousands of job cuts already announced as the pandemic has shattered the global aviation sector.

READ MORE: British Airways set to make up to 12,000 workers redundant

Latin America’s second-largest airline, Avianca of Colombia, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday with estimated liabilities of up to £8.1bn. Emirates, one of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines, has said it will raise external funding despite the promise of financial aid from its Dubai state owner.

Back in the UK, accountancy firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson has estimated that package holiday operators could lose between £4.5bn and £5bn of business this year.

“For business and leisure travel, self-isolation for a period at least as long as a holiday itself, and in many cases twice as long, is a disaster,” said Rajeev Shaunak, head of travel and tourism at MHA MacIntyre.

“June is the period of the year when nearly all travel businesses aim to make sufficient profits to see them through the rest of the year.”

Shares in easyJet closed 5.9% lower yesterday at 500p, while IAG was down 2.9% at 185p.