Airline stocks went into a nosedive Wednesday on investor fears that a plan by United Airlines to grow rapidly will undercut prices and profits.
Shortly after the opening bell, shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. were down 10.2% at $70.05. American, Delta and Southwest also fell. Billions of dollars in market value evaporated.
United was the nation's biggest airline a decade ago but has slipped behind American and Delta. United executives say they have to rebuild service on routes that the airline abandoned if it wants to regain high-paying connecting passengers.