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International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) is a multinational group of airlines headquartered in London, England, with a registered office in Madrid, Spain. The holding company includes airlines from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain, which carry more than 118 million passengers each year.
IAG’s shares are traded on both the London and Madrid Stock Exchanges under the ticker symbol IAG. The stock is a constituent of the FTSE 100 (UK100) and IBEX 35 (SP35) indices.
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With both British Airways (BA) and Iberia struggling to compete with low-cost airlines Ryanair (RY4C) and easyJet (EZJ), BA shareholders approved a £5bn merger between the two companies, forming the world’s then sixth-largest airline. The merger was finalised in January 2011, with IAG created to act as the group’s holding company.
The group rapidly expanded by making a series of high-profile acquisitions. In 2012, IAG bought British Midland International (BMI) from Lufthansa (LHA) for £172.5m. The purchase enabled IAG to increase its share of slots at Heathrow airport from 45% to 54%.
IAG’s growth accelerated further with the purchase of Vueling in 2013, Aer Lingus in 2015 and Air Europa in 2021 among others. In 2020, the group employed more than 60,000 staff and had a fleet of 533 aircraft, flying to 279 destinations worldwide.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to catastrophic losses within the aviation industry, and IAG was no exception. For the financial year (FY) 2020, the group reported total revenues of €7.87bn, a decrease of 69.2% on FY 2019, and an operating loss of €4.37bn. IAG also saw its passenger capacity decrease by 66.5% compared to the previous year.
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The stock hit a record high of £7.26 a share on 22 June 2018. It then lost its upward momentum and started trending lower, eventually falling to £4.19 on 18 August. The share price then began to rise, reaching £6.84 a share on 12 January 2020, only to quickly shed most of its gains in the following months as a result of COVID-19. On 27 September, the IAG share price closed the trading session at £0.91, a fall of more than 86% from its January high. The drop could be attributed to the continuing bans on non-essential travel which were implemented at the beginning of the global pandemic. The company’s stock then started to recover, climbing to £2.17 a share by 7 April 2021 before plunging to £1.89 on 17 May. The IAG share price ended 28 May at £2.02.
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