British Airways owner IAG removes non-EU stake cap

IAG lifted the restriction after non-EU ownership dropped to 39.5 per cent, well below the threshold for its status as a European airline.

British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group said it has removed a policy to cap the maximum number of non-European Union investors, sending shares up 6 per cent.

Last February, IAG – which also owns Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus – said it would limit the maximum shareholding level for non-European investors at 47.5 per cent in a move to keep its status as a European-owned airline.

At the time, the percentage had reached 48 per cent, just short of the 50 per cent-plus-1 EU-ownership threshold set for airlines that fly between destinations within the bloc.

Airlines that will no longer be majority-owned by EU nationals once the UK leaves the European Union face the threat of losing their right to fly within the bloc.

IAG said it was removing the cap after non-EU ownership dropped to 39.5 per cent.

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Shares in the company were 6.23 per cent higher at 678.20 pence in mid-day trading, their highest level since September 2018.

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