NEW YORK -- Airline stocks plummeted around the world on Tuesday after deadly explosions ripped through a Brussels airport and train station, killing at least 31 people and injuring more than 200.
In Europe, travel giant Thomas Cook Group -- which operates charter airlines out of Belgium, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom -- led the rout, falling more than 5 percent in the hours after the attacks (the stock closed at a 4.2 percent loss).
Air France-KLM tailed closely behind, sinking 4.8 percent by mid-afternoon in Western Europe, though it bounced back slightly to a loss of just under 4 percent later in the day. France's publicly traded airport operator, Aeroports de Paris, the London-based International Consolidated Airlines Group, the German air giant Deutsche Lufthansa, the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair and the German airline travel giant TUI also fell.
As markets opened on Tuesday in the United States, traders awoke to images from Brussels on television screens and U.S.-based airline stocks also dipped.
American Airlines fell nearly 3 percent in the first hour of trading, though it recovered some of those losses as trading continued through the day.
Delta Air Lines initially fell about 2.6 percent before recovering slightly.
JetBlue Airways, which doesn't travel outside the Western Hemisphere, actually saw slight gains when the market opened, but ultimately closed down 0.2 percent.
United Continental Holdings, which owns United Airlines, fell nearly 2 percent in early trading. It, too, recovered slightly as trading progressed.
All flights to and from Brussels were suspended and all public transportation in the city, the de facto capital of the European Union, was shut down.
Ryan Grenoble contributed reporting.
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