How to buy International Consolidated Airline Group shares (IAG)

IAG has suffered along with the rest of the aviation industry in the midst of a pandemic that grounded planes across the world. Find out if the time is ripe to bet on a rebound.
Updated: Jun 13, 2022
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This guide will give you a brief look at the history of IAG, its recent stock market performance, and what you should look out for before investing. You can also find our assessment of the best broker platforms to use to invest.

Compare the best IAG trading platforms

If you have all the information you need and just want to invest, you can visit one of our trusted brokers below. We’ve assessed all the best options and compared them so that picking the right choice for you is quick and easy. If you’re not ready yet, keep reading for more information on IAG.

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How to buy IAG stocks, a step-by-step guide

It’s relatively simple to get started on the stock market, so don’t worry even if you’re new to investing. These are five easy steps for you to follow:

  1. Choose a broker. You need to find an online brokerage platform. There are many different options to choose from, each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks. The comparison table above can help you select the right broker for you, and you can head to our comprehensive broker reviews if you’re still unsure.
  2. Create an account. Once you’ve selected your broker, simply go to their website and create an account. The steps required for this will vary from platform to platform, but generally you can expect to have to provide your name, email address, phone number, and some form of photo identification.
  3. Deposit funds. Log into your broker account and select the option to deposit funds. Depending on your broker you’ll have a variety of payment options available; most brokers accept bank transfers and debit card payments, but not all accept e-wallets such as PayPal. Select your preferred payment method and deposit the amount of money you wish to invest in IAG shares.
  4. Place an order for IAG stock. Search for IAG’s ticker symbol (IAG) and see the current price at which the stock is trading. If you’re happy with the price, enter the amount of shares you wish to own and place your order.
  5. Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your IAG shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in IAG!

What is International Consolidated Airlines Group? And should I invest?

The International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON: IAG) is a holding company formed by a merger between British Airways and Iberia, national airlines of Britain and Spain, and which now owns the two airlines. British Airways and Iberia merged in 2011 and since then the combined IAG has acquired more airlines, including the Irish flag carrier, Aer Lingus. 

British Airways is the largest entity IAG owns and contributes a majority of its revenue. Its London-New York route is one of the most profitable around and IAG as a collective is the third largest airline group in the world.

Now is a risky time to be investing in the airline industry, which has had to scramble to maintain cash reserves to see it through perhaps the worst crisis ever to have hit aviation. The long term effects of the pandemic on travel are still to be determined and IAG is more reliant on long haul flights than some of its competitors, while further lockdowns are another potential risk. 

More positive investors might look at the fact that IAG raised enough capital to see it through 2020 and could be positioned to benefit from the reopening if and when other airlines are driven to the wall.

How has the company performed in recent years?

In terms of raw numbers, the IAG share price finished 2019 at a similar level, 260p, that it had been in 2015. That doesn’t really tell the whole story, however. Constant global uncertainty, first in the form of the 2016 Brexit vote and then the 2020 pandemic, caused major drops in the IAG price over the past few years. Although the stock recovered within about six months to its pre-Brexit price, deal/no deal uncertainty and the lack of a clear picture buffeted the stock about in the aftermath.

The pandemic has presented a whole new set of challenges for the entire airline industry. One that has affected IAG more than some of its competitors is that it has been forced to battle both its unions and annoy its shareholders even as the pandemic gripped the world. 2020 alone saw IAG run into a dispute with the Unite union in the UK over its plans to buy Air Europa, while a share issue scheme caused a further fall when shareholders felt it diluted the value of their holdings too much. 

Both are potentially just short term shocks, and the share issue scheme did raise important capital to see the company through the pandemic, but they are indications of what a potential investor should be aware of before buying. Persistent underperformance and a lack of consumer confidence saw off the British Airways chief executive in 2020 as well, and the direction the new leadership takes is yet another thing for an investor to consider.

Is it a good time to buy IAG shares now?

Investing in airlines until the post-pandemic picture clears up is going to carry risk. IAG stock had performed well beforehand, which is perhaps a sign of strong fundamentals, and the group has been able to raise capital to protect itself in the aftermath. This might mean IAG is in a better position than some of its competitors but it depends on the level of risk and uncertainty you’re willing to expose yourself to.

Long-term investors might have to be courageous and trust their long view, while there is potential for short-term share dealers to capitalise on any rebound. Timing it will be difficult, and any investor will need to keep a close eye on government regulations, any sign of government bailouts – which have been mooted for UK airlines – and travel restrictions across the world before making any decision. You can keep track of all the latest news and market analysis of the airline industry below.

The UK’s blue-chip index FTSE 100 Index and its French counterpart CAC 40 both raced higher in the afternoon to erase this morning’s losses on the increased hopes that an agreement over a new stimulus bill in the United States could be reached.  Still, some analysts are pessimistic…
Shares of International Consolidated Airlines Group (LSE: IAG), the parent company of British Airways (BA), plunged 9% today as the row between the BA and its unions has deepened over the past few days.  Fundamental analysis: Unions to approach the EU The Unite union, which represents BA cabin crew, says…

Buying, selling and trading IAG shares for beginners

What to do before buying shares

You should always take the time to research a stock fully before investing your money, especially if you haven’t bought shares before. The more knowledge you have, the better your chances of making a wise investment. 

With that in mind, here’s a checklist to run through beforehand.

  1. Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company. What is IAG? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is IAG’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about IAG, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
  2. Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before getting involved in the stock market, make sure you have an understanding of how it works. This will ensure that you have more clearly defined goals and have thought through how you will achieve them.
  3. Decide between share dealing and CFD trading. Choose the type of investment strategy you want to pursue, and make sure you have carried out the necessary fundamental or technical analysis for share dealing and CFD trading respectively.
  4. Set the size of your budget. The golden rule of investing is never to risk more than you can afford to lose. Not every investment you make will result in a profit, so it is important to set a budget that not only allows good potential for capital growth, but also protects against overly damaging losses.
  5. Find the right broker. Individual brokers each have their own pros and cons. Some will have low fees but have a user interface you struggle to understand, whereas others may be a bit more expensive but come with a range of features that you want to take advantage of. Our broker reviews can help you find the right platform for you.
  6. Examine broader market conditions. No stock exists in a vacuum, and it’s always important to analyse the general trends of the stock market as a whole before investing. If a bear market is setting in and stock prices are falling, it’s best to wait it out and invest your money later when the stock is cheaper. If, however, the market is looking bearish, you’ll want to make your investment quickly to get the maximum benefit from rising stock prices. Our news section can help you keep on top of movements in the financial markets.

What is the difference between buying, selling, and trading shares?

If you’re new to stock investing, then it’s important to understand the basics of how to buy, sell, and trade IAG shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying IAG

This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for IAG stock, as outlined in the steps further up this page. Ideally you want to time your investment when the stock’s price is low so that you can profit by selling the shares after they increase in value.

Selling IAG

When you sell any IAG shares you have bought, you’ll want to do so at a higher price than the one at which you bought to earn a profit. 

When you sell is up to you. You might decide to hold your stocks for a long period, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that IAG’s stock is already up a lot compared to the price you bought it and you’ve noticed that the stock market is starting to fall, it might make sense to sell and take your profits to invest elsewhere. Equally, if the stock has fallen since you bought it and looks set to fall further, it might be a good idea to cut your losses by selling your shares.

Trading IAG

Trading is the same process as, it’s just done over shorter periods of time with the aim to make small profits on a regular basis. This means that you can make money faster and spend your profits in your day-to-day life – however, on the other side it means you can lose money faster as well. For inexperienced investors, we generally recommend making investments for at least 6 months to a year instead of making trades in quick succession.

You can trade IAG shares through dealing shares, or by trading with CFDs. These allow investors to speculate on stock prices and trade with leverage in pursuit of bigger gains. CFDs trading is explained further in the next section, but it is worth noting that beginners should avoid trading with leverage. It comes with large risks and is best left to experienced investors.

Share dealing vs CFD trading

When it comes to investing in any stock, the two options you have are share dealing and trading. Which one of these methods to opt for largely depends on your investment timeline, with investors thinking long term tending to go for share dealing, and those looking for short term gains pursuing a more aggressive trading strategy.

Here’s a quick summary of the two approaches, and the pros and cons of each.

Share dealing 

Share dealing refers to the practice of holding shares in a particular company over the long term. When investing like this, you’re seeking to profit either from dividend payments or an increase in the stock’s price over time.

When investing your money this way, it is important to do thorough fundamental analysis of the company in which you are investing. You want to put your money in a stock you believe will trend upwards over time, even if there is some market volatility along the way, rather than get distracted by shorter term peaks and troughs.


  • Can build wealth over time to achieve financial goals
  • Don’t need to be very reactive to short-term market movements
  • Some stocks will give you an income through regular dividend payments


  • Takes a long time to realise any profits
  • Your capital is tied up in stocks and cannot be used for other investments

CFD Trading 

If your aim is to generate profits in the short term, then you might be better off trading shares than holding them in your portfolio. Stock trades like this are executed using CFDs (contracts for difference), which allow investors to trade against the value of a stock without having to take ownership of it. When CFD trading, investors are looking to flip stocks fast to profit from short-term fluctuations in value.

One aspect of CFD trading that many investors find attractive is that they allow you to trade with leverage. This means you can place large trades while only putting up a fraction of the value yourself – for instance, if a platform offered leverage of 1:10, you could put £10 into IAG shares and be able to trade £100 worth. This can maximise profits if the market moves in your favour, but be careful as it can also lead to heavy losses.

When trading using CFDs, it is key to be skilled at technical analysis and reading stock price charts. As you’re trading stocks quickly and frequently, the fundamental strength of the company in which you’re investing isn’t as important as being able to predict how its stock price will rise and fall minute-by-minute.


  • Can generate fast profits if you read the market right 
  • Some platforms allow you to trade with leverage
  • Prevents your capital being tied up so you can take advantage of investment opportunities


  • Trading with leverage is risky and can lead to big losses
  • Doesn’t necessarily generate growth over the long term

Consider which approach suits you best and craft an investment strategy that works for you. If you need more information, then simply take our beginner stock trading course and read our guide to CFD trading to get you up to speed. 

How to choose a broker

With the wide variety of online brokers available these days, it can be hard to figure out which is the best service to go with. Our comparison table and in-depth reviews can help you cut through the noise, but by and large these are the aspects you should be considering when selecting a broker:

  • Range of stocks available. The most important thing is that you can actually use the broker to find the shares you’re looking for. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets, including cryptocurrency.
  • Fees and commissions. You want to keep as large a chunk of your profits as you can, so it’s important to make sure your broker doesn’t charge high fees that can eat into your profits.
  • Regulation. You should only use regulated brokers to place trades. Unregulated brokers can be risky and offer little to no protection if the business were to fail while you had funds in your account.
  • Payment methods available. You might want to use a specific payment method, such as PayPal, to fund your broker account. Not all brokers accept every payment method, but using our comparisons you can search only the brokers that support the option you’re looking for.
  • Reputation. One of the strongest indicators of a broker’s reliability is the reputation it has with the customers who have used it. Brokers are online businesses, and as such many user experiences can be found online. You can check these out in addition to our reviews to make sure you choose the right platform.
  • Customer service. As you’re going to be investing your money using the platform, you want to check that the broker offers good customer service in case you have a query or something goes wrong.

Latest IAG news

The IAG (LON: IAG) share price collapsed by more than 10% on Friday after the company published mixed quarterly results. The stock declined to a low of 125p, which was the lowest level since March 9 this year. It has crashed from the April high of 155p.  British Airways…
The International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON: IAG) share price crashed by more than 14% on Friday as investors reflected on the new virus variant. The stock ended the week at 131p, which was the lowest level since December last year. It has fallen by more than 40% from its…
The International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON: IAG) share price bounced back on Friday as investors reflected on the company’s earnings. The stock will be in the spotlight on Monday as investors cheer the resumption of the transatlantic route. US to reopen borders with Europe The US will end its…

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James Knight
Editor of Education
James is a lead content editor for Invezz. He's an avid trader and golfer, who spends an inordinate amount of time watching Leicester City and the… read more.