Asiana Slumps in Seoul After Worst Plane Crash in 2 Decades

Asiana Slumps to Three-Year Low After Worst Crash in Two Decades
An Asiana Airlines Inc. passenger aircraft taxies on the tarmac at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul on July 7, 2013. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea’s second-biggest carrier, slumped the most in almost 19 months in Seoul trading after its worst plane crash in two decades.

The carrier dropped 5.8 percent, the most since Dec. 19, 2011, to close at 4,825 won after falling to a three-year low. The stock has declined 22 percent this year, compared with a 9 percent decline in the benchmark Kospi index.

Two people died and more than 300 escaped, some sliding down emergency exits, before a fire swept through Asiana’s Boeing Co. 777 plane while landing in San Francisco July 6. It was the first fatal passenger crash by a South Korean airliner since 1997.

“Investors are worried that the crash will hurt earnings,” said Cho Byoung Hee, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co. in Seoul. “It’s peak season for airlines now, and for this to happen could affect its operations and increase costs.”

Pilots of the Asiana jet tried to abort a landing 1 1/2 seconds before it slammed into a rock berm short of the runway at San Francisco, an accident investigator said.

The aircraft slowed so much on approach that a cockpit warning of an impending aerodynamic stall sounded 4 seconds before it crash-landed, U.S. Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said, describing data from flight recorders in her first briefing since the accident.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at kpark3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net