Enter Your Email Address Image source: Getty Images. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Edward Sheldon, CFA | Wednesday, 3rd March, 2021 | More on: IAG Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Shares in British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines (LSE: IAG) had a fantastic run in February. During the month, investors piled into ‘reopening’ stocks and this pushed IAG’s share price up from 143p to 192p – a gain of 34% (12-month performance to the end of February was -39%).Is this a stock I should consider for my own portfolio? Let’s take a look at the investment case.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…IAG shares: the bull caseIAG was hit hard by Covid-19 last year and continues to be impacted. Recent full-year results, posted on 26 February, showed that in 2020, passenger capacity was just 33.5% of what it was in 2019. As a result of the disruption, the group posted an operating loss for 2020 of €7,426m versus an operating profit of €2,613m in 2019.Of course, the outlook for IAG is likely to improve this year. Now that vaccinations are being rolled out, we can expect travel to pick up sooner or later. There’s a lot of pent-up demand. This means the airline could potentially return to profit in the not-too-distant future. This would most likely boost the IAG share price.New Covid-19 risksHowever, there are plenty of risks here. While there’s no doubt people want to fly, the recovery may not be straightforward.While vaccines are being rolled out across the world, the emergence of new, more infectious variants of Covid-19 in countries such as Brazil and South Africa has forced many governments to ban all but essential travel. This could potentially impact Europe’s critical summer season.It’s worth noting that, last week, global airline industry body International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned the outlook for airlines had actually weakened since its December forecasts. Due to tightening travel restrictions, it now expects the airline sector to still be bleeding cash by the fourth quarter of 2021.Given the uncertainty in relation to Covid-19, IAG still isn’t providing profit guidance for 2021.Is business travel coming back?There’s also uncertainty over the future of business travel, which is where most large-scale carriers make the highest profits. I don’t know if business travel will ever return to what it was pre-Covid-19 due to the fact that a) technology has shown it’s possible to have meetings online and b) companies are trying to reduce their carbon footprints.“Business travel could be the big ‘if’ for 2021 and 2022 as companies realise that web conferencing calls using Zoom or other platforms could be more productive than spending hours on a plane to different countries for quick meetings,” said AJ Bell’s Russ Mould recently.Airline stock risksFinally, it’s worth pointing out history shows that airlines tend to be poor long-term investments. The industry is very capital intensive, and there are many things that can go wrong. You don’t see top UK investors like Terry Smith and Nick Train buying airline stocks. They steer well clear.My view on IAG sharesI think IAG shares have the potential to keep rising in the near term. If the prospects for the travel industry improve, IAG could benefit.But this isn’t a stock I’d buy for my portfolio. There are simply too many risks and, historically, airline stocks haven’t been good long-term investments. All things considered, I think there are better stocks I could buy. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Are you on the lookout for UK growth stocks?If so, get this FREE no-strings report now.While it’s available: you’ll discover what we think is a top growth stock for the decade ahead.And the performance of this company really is stunning.In 2019, it returned £150million to shareholders through buybacks and dividends.We believe its financial position is about as solid as anything we’ve seen.Since 2016, annual revenues increased 31%In March 2020, one of its senior directors LOADED UP on 25,000 shares – a position worth £90,259Operating cash flow is up 47%. (Even its operating margins are rising every year!)Quite simply, we believe it’s a fantastic Foolish growth pick.What’s more, it deserves your attention today.So please don’t wait another moment. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Get the full details on this £5 stock now – while your report is free. Like this one… See all posts by Edward Sheldon, CFA IAG’s share price is rising. Should I buy the stock now? I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. FREE REPORT: Why this £5 stock could be set to surge
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