Asiana Airlines shares tumble after plane crash

SEOUL (REUTERS) - Shares in South Korea's No.2 air carrier Asiana Airlines Inc tumbled on Monday after the crash of its passenger jet in San Francisco on Saturday with more than 300 people on board.

The Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 that crashed at San Francisco's airport, killing two passengers, was traveling "significantly below" its intended speed and its crew tried to abort the landing just seconds before it hit the seawall in front of the runway, the US National Transportation Safety Board said on Sunday.

"This tarnishes Asiana's reliability as an airline, and if the flight crew turns out to be responsible for this tragic accident it will deal a serious blow to the airline," said Woori Investment & Securities analyst Martin Song, adding that share falls on Monday were factoring in that "worst-case scenario."

Mr Song added that the accident was certain to discourage Chinese passengers from using the airline, and could "dampen" foreign passenger demand overall.

Shares in Asiana Airlines were trading down 6 percent to 4,810 won as of 0044 GMT (8.44am Singapore time), after falling to as low as 4,630 won earlier in the session, the lowest level seen in more than 39 months.

Meanwhile Korean Air Lines Co Ltd, its peer, was trading 1.2 percent higher.