Which Airlines Form The IAG Group
Let’s get the ball rolling by just explaining what IAG stands for. Not very creatively the acronym stands for International Airline Group. The holding was founded in 20211 when Iberia, Spain’s flag carrier, and British Airways, the UK’s flag carrier, merged.
However since it’s birth in 2011 the IAG Group has expanded taking control of other airlines. At the moment of writing this post the group controls 5 airlines, of which 2 budget carriers and 3 full service or legacy operators. More specifically the 5 airlines are:
- British Airways (United Kingdom)
- Iberia (Spain)
- Aer Lingus (Ireland)
- Vueling (Spain)
- Level (Spain)
The group often works in unison when placing orders to the plane manufacturers. Just as done recently when a substantial amount of Boeing 737 MAXs were ordered and they will be used for more than just one of the airlines. This clearly grants a bigger negotiating power.
The Shared Avios Frequent Flyer Programme
Another shared feature is the frequent frequent flyer programme. Flying on any of the 5 airlines that comprise the group will enable you to build up Avios miles. Avios being the name of the programme.
Clearly you can also use your miles to claim rewards including flights on any of these 5 operators. However there is one exception, flying Level doesn’t allow to accrue miles. Level being the youngest airline of the group.
Who Controls The Group?
The governance of the group sees the two founding airlines, Iberia and British Airways, have a majority stake in the holding. Despite these two airlines controlling the group jointly, British Airways does have more shares than Iberia therefore having a bigger role in decision making.
We must also note that an external entity also holds a stake in the IAG Group. That entity is none other than Qatar Airways. The gulf based airline controls 25% of the group’s shares.