Buy Airline Stocks – 5 Best Airline Stocks To Buy Right Now in 2021

Fact Checked by Gary McFarlane

Airline stocks took a major hammering in 2020 in response to global lockdown measures and thus – a near-standstill of the travel industry. This does, however, present an excellent opportunity to buy airline stocks on the cheap – especially when you consider that international travel is slowly but surely returning to some sort of normality.

In this guide, we analyze the best airline stocks to buy right now and show you how to complete your purchase with a 0% commission broker in less than five minutes.

Table of Contents

#1 Broker to Buy Airline Stocks – eToro

1
$50Exclusive promotion
Our score10
  • Invest in a wide range of cryptocurrencies
  • Ability to copy more experienced investors and their decisions
  • eToro crypto wallet included which makes it beginner-friendly
0% Commissionstart TradingOur score 10

How to Buy Airline Stocks – A Quick Guide For 2021

If you’re here to learn how to buy airline stocks from the comfort of your home – the quickfire guide will walk you through the process with eToro – an online broker that is regulated by the SEC, FCA, and other financial bodies.

At eToro, you only need to meet a $50 minimum investment when you buy airline stocks – and you can complete the process without paying a cent in commission.

  • Step 1: Open an Account with eToroYou will first need to register an account on the eToro website by letting the broker know who you are.
  • Step 2: Upload Your ID – To get your account verified instantly, upload a copy of your government-issued ID and a proof of address issued within the prior three months.
  • Step 3: Deposit Funds – You can deposit funds into your eToro account with a debit/credit card, bank transfer, online banking, or Paypal. Other e-wallets and local payment methods are supported too. The minimum deposit is just $50.
  • Step 4: Search for Airline Stock – Search for the airline stock that you want to invest in and click the ‘Trade’ button.
  • Step 5: Buy Airline Stocks – In the ‘Amount’ box, enter your stake (minimum $50). eToro supports fractional investments, so you don’t need to buy a full stock. To confirm your airline stock investment, click the ‘Open Trade’ button.

You will find your newly purchased airlines stocks in your eToro portfolio. At any given time, you can check the value of your investment, and if the markets are open – cash out.

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Best Airline Stocks to Buy Now – List of the Best Airline Stocks

If you’re searching for the best airline stocks to buy right now – we like the look of the following companies.

  1. Easyjet – Cheap Airline Stock With Attractive Upside
  2. Southwest Airlines – Low-Cost Airline Stock Showing Great Signs of Recovery
  3. International Airlines Group (IAG) – Airline Group With Multiple Carriers
  4. Spirit Airlines – US-Based Budget Airline With Strong Balance Sheet
  5. American Airlines – Year-to-Date Gains of 80%

We explain why the above five airline stocks caught our eye further down in this guide.

How To Buy Airline Stocks – Choose a Broker

If you want to buy airline stocks in the safest way possible – make sure you choose an online broker with a strong regulatory standing. You should also consider fees, commissions, minimum investment requirements, supported payment methods, and customer service.

We found that the best airline stocks can be purchased from the brokers listed below in a safe and low-cost way.

  • eToro – Overall Best Place to Buy Airline Stocks
  • Capital.com – Trade Airline Stocks at 0% Commission

The above investment platforms are reviewed in full further down in this guide.

What are Airline Stocks?

Airline stocks are simply companies that you can invest in that are involved in the aviation industry. In effect, you will be buying shares in a specific airline – such as Delta, Ryanair, or Southwest Airlines. On the other hand, you might find yourself investing in an airline stock that covers multiple carriers.

economywatch

A prime example of this is International Airlines Group (IAG) – which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. This particular stock owns flight carriers such as British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, and Aer Lingus. All in all, there are dozens of airline stocks that can be traded online, so diversification is relatively simple. In fact, you might even consider investing in an ETF that focuses exclusively on airline stocks.

Best Airline Stocks to Buy Now – Full Analysis

Airline stocks have experienced enhanced volatility levels since the COVID pandemic came to fruition. This is because stock prices are overly reliant on government regulations with respect to lockdown measures and travel requirements.

That is to say, as more and more countries begin to open their doors, this will invariably have a positive impact on the broader airline arene. On the other hand, if lockdown measures begin to surface, the opposite will happen.

With this in mind, you need to perform lots of research to find the best airline stocks for your portfolio. If you need some guidance, below we review some of the most attractive stocks in this marketplace.

1. Easyjet – Cheap Airline Stock With Attractive Upside

Easyjet is a UK-based budget airline that flies to over 1,000 destinations across 30+ European countries. This airline stock might not be for the fainthearted, not least because it suffers from extreme volatility levels. Not only is this COVID-related, but rising debt levels and falling profits continue to make investors nervous.

With that said, if you’re looking for the best airline stocks in terms of value, we like the look of Easyjet at current prices. For instance, in late 2021, this airline share is trading on the London Stock Exchange at just 629p each. Just seven months previous to writing this page, the very same shares hit highs of over 920p.

buy easyjet stocks

This means that based on current pricing levels, there is a short-to-medium upside potential of 46%. In the longer term, it is important to remember that Easyjet was performing extremely well prior to the pandemic. In fact, the stock was trading at over 1,200p in February 2020. To get back to this level, a further upside of over 90% would be required.

The most important thing to bear in mind with Easyjet is that financially – this stock is struggling. Not only does management predict 2021 losses to exceed £1 billion, but debt levels continue to rise beyond uncomfortable levels. On the other hand, Easyjet does have access to favorable financing options which many market commentators argue should see the airline stock through its current economic woes.

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

2. Southwest Airlines – Low-Cost Airline Stock Showing Great Signs of Recovery

Southwest Airlines is not only a low-cost airline that operates in more than 120+ destinations, but it is the world’s largest budget-friendly operator in this marketplace. At the time of writing, the airline stock carries a huge market capitalization of over $30 billion via its NYSE listing. Much like the rest of the airline industry, Southwest stocks were hit hard by the pandemic.

In fact, the shares went from $57 per stock to $23 in the first five months of 2020. This represents a huge decline of 59%. However, the stocks have pretty much got back to pre-COVID levels, with Southwest Airlines trading at over $50 in late 2021. With that said the stocks surpassed the $64 per share level in March 2021 – which is great news for the recovery of this airline.

southwest airlines stocks

This means that based on current prices of around $50 – there is a potential upside of 28% in the short term. The longer-term plan could be much more attractive than this. But, Southwest Airlines must first address its staff shortage problems, which once again, is a direct consequence of the pandemic. Nevertheless, as passenger numbers continue to rise – Southwest appears to be the best airline stock to buy right now.

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

3. International Airlines Group (IAG) – Airline Group With Multiple Carriers

International Airlines Group (IAG) is behind several airline carriers. Namely, this includes Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, LEVEL, and Vueling. This means that in buying IAG shares, you are indirectly investing in multiple airline stocks. IAG stocks – which are listed on the London Stock Exchange, have enjoyed upward momentum since the turn of 2021.

IAg stock price

The shares have gone from 137p in January to 52-week highs of over 215p. This represents gains in excess of over 56%. With that said, IAG stocks have since cooled off, with a late 2021 average of 173p each. This does, of course, allow you to buy this top-rated airline stock at a more favorable price.

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

4. Spirit Airlines – US-Based Budget Airline With Strong Balance Sheet

In a similar nature to Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines specializes in budget-friendly flights – both in the US and overseas. In total, the airline is behind 400+ daily flights across more than 60 destinations. What we particularly like about Spirit Airlines is that the company has a strong balance with sufficient levels of cash flow.

In terms of its current share price action, Spirit Airlines is up over 22% year-to-date. The stocks did, however, surpass a value of $40 in mid-2021. As such, at current prices of $24-ish, this represents an attractive upside of over 66% in the short-to-medium term.

In addition to this, Spirit continues to expand its low-cost international network – with both the Caribbean and South America being its main focus at present. In terms of its current share price action, Spirit Airlines is up over 22% year-to-date. The stocks did, however, surpass a value of $40 in mid-2021. As such, at current prices of $24-ish, this represents a further upside of over 66% in the short-to-medium term.

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

5. American Airlines – Year-to-Date Gains of 80%

If you’re looking to stick with companies that are currently enjoying strong upward momentum, American Airlines is one of the best airline stocks for this purpose. At the start of 2021, these shares were trading at just $12 each. Fast forward to later 2021 and the same shares are now available at no less than $22.

American Airlines

This means that in just under 1-year of trading, the shares are up over 80%. Before the pandemic came to light, American Airline stocks were trading at 52-week highs of $28. This means that the firm has all but recovered its COVID-related losses, which is welcome news for long-term investors.

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Investing vs Trading Airline Stocks

There are several ways in which you can buy and sell airline stocks. This is often a choice between a long-term buy-and-hold strategy or a shorter-term trading system.

Choosing the right option for you is crucial before you proceed to buy airline stocks.

Invest in Airline Stocks

If you’re a complete beginner in the online trading space, it might be best to deploy a buy-and-hold investment strategy when you buy airline stocks.

  • As the name implies, this simply means that you will invest in an airline company by buying and owning its shares.
  • This means that you will be a stockholder in the company and thus – you will be entitled to dividends, if applicable.
  • As a long-term investor, you will need to keep hold of your airline stocks for at least one year.

However, a period of no less than five years is often suggested, as this will allow you to ride out any short-term market storms. In fact, five years is more than enough time for your chosen airline stocks to hit pre-COVID levels.

Trade Airline Stocks

If you are a day or swing trader that likes to buy and sell shares on a short-term basis, you might decide to trade airline stocks. This means that you will look for opportunities that allow you to make a quick profit – perhaps over the course of a few weeks, days, or even hours.

For example, let’s suppose that an airline stock announces that it will be laying off hundreds of staff members. In turn, this is all but certain to result in the respective shares going down in value. As a short-term trader, you would subsequently look to short-sell the shares.

Trade Airline Stocks

The easiest way to trade airline stocks is through a low-cost broker that offers contracts-for-differences (CFDs). This will allow you to gain exposure to the stocks without taking ownership – meaning that you can also apply leverage to your position.

Furthermore, CFDs allow you to go long or short – so you can look to enter positions to profit from both rising and falling airline stock prices. This is particularly useful in an industry that is currently suffering from high volatility levels.

How to Choose the Best Airline Stocks for my Portfolio?

knowing which airline stocks to buy can be a difficult task in the current economic climate. After all, although global travel appears to be recovering slowly but surely, pre-COVID passenger numbers are still a long way away. With that in mind, it is important that you do plenty of research and analysis before you buy airline stocks. 

We would suggest considering the points outlined below in your search for the best airline stocks in the market.

Financials

Without a doubt, the most important metric to look for when choosing the best airline stocks for your portfolio is that of the financials. By this, we pay close attention to the company’s balance sheet. The first thing to explore is how much debt the airline stock currently has, alongside its cash flow levels.

If there is a wide disparity between these two figures, then this indicates that the firm might be struggling to meet its short-term debt obligations. And in turn, this puts the airline stock in a critical condition – especially if it is forced to obtain expensive financing from third-party lenders. Alternatively, the other risk here is that the airline stock might be forced to issue more shares as a means to raise capital.

southwest airline stocks

If this is the case, then the value of your shares will be diluted. This is why many market commentators argue that Southwest is one of the best airline stocks to buy right now. Crucially, this airline stock has a robust balance sheet with over $14 billion in liquid assets.

Pre-COVID

Once you have assessed the balance sheet, the next thing that you need to look for in your search for the best airline stocks is how the company was performing pre-COVID.

  • This is more important than first meets the eye, as the decline of the airline industry since the pandemic began is no fault of individual carriers.
  • With that said, if the carrier in question was struggling before the pandemic came to fruition, then this should present a major red flag.
  • On the other hand, you have the likes of Easyjet – which was one of the best performing airline stocks before COVID crashed the markets.

As such, if Easyjet is able to weather the storm until pre-COVID passenger numbers return, this particular stock looks attractive.

Share Price Recovery

In choosing the best airline stocks for your portfolio, it’s also important to assess how well the respective carrier has recovered since the decline of early 2020.

For example, in the case of Southwest Airlines, the stock was trading at highs of $57 pre-COVID. fast forward to 2021 and Southwest has since hit highs of $64. This means that Southwest has not only recovered its pandemic-related losses, but it continues to surge northwards.

Destination Routes

Another great way to pick the best airline stocks for your portfolio is to look at which destinations the carrier services. This is because while certain regions of the globe are reopening to tourism, others remain closed. For instance, across South East Asia, many countries are still reluctant to open their doors completely.

This includes the likes of China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. This is also the case with Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific island nations. On the other hand, much of Europe and the US appear happy to reopen to mass tourism. As such, it might be a good idea to focus on airlines that specifically service these regions.

Benefits of Airline Stocks

Airline stocks offer several benefits to investors in the current economic climate – which we elaborate on in more detail below. 

Undervalued

Although many airline stocks have since recovered much of their COVID-related losses, there are still some great bargains to be had. Even in the case of Spirit Airlines, this stock still has another 66% in gains to make to get back to its prior 52-week high of $40. You then have Easyjet, which still requires a further upside of 90% to back to its pre-COVID price of over 1,200p.

Travel is Returning

Make no mistake about, travel numbers are finally starting to show potential. This is because many major tourism markets – such as the US, Europe, and the Caribbean, are now opening their doors to tourists. This is, of course, very welcome news for airline stocks – as this marketplace is hugely reliant on the tourism industry.

Airline Stock Diversification

There is still the potential to generate some sizable returns by investing in airline stocks. However, the key issue is knowing which airlines will prosper in the coming years, and which carriers will continue to struggle financially. The good news is that diversification in this niche area of the stock market is simple.

This is because you can invest in a large basket of airline stocks by purchasing fractional shares. For example, not only are the five airline stocks discussed on this page available at eToro, but the minimum investment is just $50 per trade. This means that with a balance of just $250, you could purchase all five stocks.

best airline etf at etoro

With that said, eToro also offers an airline stock ETF. The US Global Jets ETF – which can be purchased commission-free and from a minimum of $50 at eToro, gives you indirect access to dozens of airline stocks from a wide variety of regions. This includes everything from American Airlines, Air Canada, and Jetblue Airways Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, and Japan Airlines.

This ETF also contains a number of aircraft manufacturers and even travel booking websites – which allows you to reduce your exposure somewhat.

Drawbacks of Airline Stocks

It goes without saying that there are several drawbacks and risks that also need to be considered before you buy airline stocks.

COVID Travel Restrictions

First and foremost, although global travel is finally starting to open up, this isn’t the case in all regions.

  • Most countries that are open to tourists still have certain restrictions in place – such as requiring passengers to have proof of a negative PCR test and in some cases – full vaccination.
  • This will, of course, demotivate many passengers from traveling in the current climate.
  • Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, there is every chance that global travel will once again be put on hold – should COVID numbers rise beyond levels that governments are comfortable with.

If this does happen, this will have a major impact on the value of airline stocks.

Balance Sheet and Debt

The vast majority of airline stocks are now home to very unhealthy and some in cases – critical balance sheets. This largely centers on rising debt levels and a lack of access to liquid assets. Many airlines have since been forced to raise much-needed capital by selling aircraft and leasing it back, as well as taking on more financing.

In many cases, financing agreements have been taken out at unfavorable rates. Such a high-risk business model cannot continue indefinitely, so airline stocks need to hope that pre-COVID passenger numbers return sooner rather than later.

Bankruptcy

Since the pandemic came to light, many airlines have gone bankrupt. Although most are small carriers that you might not have heard of – some of the largest casualties include Air Italy, Flybe (UK), and NokScoot (Singapore).

Crucially, if you buy an airline stock that subsequently files for bankruptcy, there is every chance that you will lose your entire investment. This is because, as an ordinary stockholder, you are essentially at the back of the queue when it comes to distributing assets.

Where to Buy Airline Stocks – Full Broker Reviews

Once you know which airline stocks you wish to invest in, the next step is to find a suitable broker that can facilitate your purchase. In the sections below, you will find a small selection of regulated brokers that allow you to buy airline stocks at 0% commission.

1. eToro – Overall Best Place to Buy Airline Stocks

bitcoin today

eToro is a regulated online broker with over 20 million investors on its books. The platform is regulated by the SEC, FCA, ASIC, and other reputable bodies – so you can invest in airline stocks in safety. At eToro, you will have access to over 2,500 stocks from 17 international marketplaces. This means that you can buy and sell a full range of airline stocks – including all of the picks discussed on this page. Regardless of how much your chosen airline stock is trading at, you only need to meet a minimum investment of $50.

All stocks at eToro can be purchased on a 0% commission basis. In addition to individual companies, eToro also offers airline stock ETFs. At the forefront of this is the previously discussed US Global Jets ETF – which gives you access to dozens of US and international carriers. ETFs at eToro are also commission-free and require a minimum stake of just $50. When it comes to payments, eToro supports debit and credit cards, e-wallets like Paypal, Skrill, and bank wires.

etoro review

The minimum deposit requirement is $50 and no fees apply to US investors. Otherwise, you simply need to cover a 0.5% fee to convert your local currency to US dollars. Once your account is set up, you might also consider the eToro Copy Trading feature, which allows you to trade passively. This is because your chosen trader will buy and sell assets on your behalf. In terms of user-friendliness, eToro is a great option if you want to buy airline stocks in a straightforward manner – as the platform was built with beginners in mind.

Pros

  • Invest in stocks at 0% commission and ZERO stamp duty
  • Minimum investment per stock is $50
  • Supports debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and UK bank transfers
  • Regulated by the FCA and covered by the FSCS
  • Used by over 20 million people
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Social and copy trading tools

Cons

  • Perhaps too basic for technical traders
  • No support for MT4 or MT5

 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

2. Capital.com – Trade Airline Stocks at 0% Commission

capital.com review

Capital.com allows you to buy airline stocks in the form of a CFD instrument. This means that you won’t actually own the stocks. Instead, you will be trading them by specifying whether you think the airline stocks will rise or fall in value. To do this, it’s simply just a case of placing a buy or sell order, respectively. Having access to short-selling tools is crucial when trading airline stocks, as this sector of the financial markets is currently very volatile.

In other words, if you think that an airline stock is doomed in terms of its financial standing and status as a going concern, you can elect to short-sell on the Capital.com platform. We also like this CFD trading site as it allows you to apply leverage to your airline stock positions. Limits will apply and are dependent on your county of residence. Nevertheless, you can trade airline stocks at Capital.com – with or without leverage, at 0% commission.

capital.com review

In most cases, you will find that the spreads at Capital.com are competitive and no deposit or withdrawal fees apply. The minimum deposit requirement at Capital.com will depend on your chosen payment method. While debit/credit cards and e-wallets require just $20, bank wires need to meet a minimum of $250. Safety is assured at this top-rated platform, with Capital.com holding licenses with the FCA, CySEC, ASIC, and NBRB. Opening an account at Capital.com takes minutes and you can do this online or via the platform’s investment app.

Pros

  • Top-rated spread betting and CFD broker
  • Licensed by the FCA, ASIC, CySEC, and NBRB
  • $20 minimum deposit (debit/credit cards and e-wallets)
  • 0% commission on all markets
  • Tight spreads and no fee on deposits or withdrawals
  • Supports thousands of financial markets
  • Convenient for newbies

Cons

  • Experienced traders might consider the broker too basic
  • $250 minimum deposit on bank transfers

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 78.77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and/or CFDs with this provider.

How to Buy Airline Stocks – Detailed & Explained in Full

If you’re ready to buy airline stocks right now – this section of our guide will walk you through the process with eToro. In doing so, not only can you buy airline stocks and ETFs at 0% commission – but the minimum requirement to get started is just $50.

Step 1: Open a Broker Account

Get the process started by visiting the eToro website and clicking on the ‘Join Now’ button. Follow the on-screen prompts by entering your personal details and choosing a username and password.

how to join etoro

You will also need to upload a copy of your government-issued ID – as part of the KYC (Know Your Customer) process.

67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Step 2: Deposit Funds

You can now make a deposit into your newly created eToro account – ensuring that you fund it with at least $50. No deopsit fees apply if you are depositing funds in US dollars. Other currencies attract a fee of 0.5%.

Deposit Funds

If you want to buy airline stocks instantly, it’s best to use a debit/credit card or an e-wallet like Paypal.

Step 4: Search for Airline Stocks

In the search box at the top of the page, enter the name of the airline stock that you want to buy. In the example below, we are looking to invest in Easyjet. 

buy airlines stocks etoro

You can also view the full list of airline companies supported by eToro by clicking on ‘Discover’ followed by ‘Stocks’.

Step 5: Buy Airline Stocks

Now it’s just a case of deciding how much you want to invest. You don’t need to buy full shares at eToro, so you can invest any amount of your choosing about the $50 minimum.

buy airlines stocks etoro

Once you are ready to buy your chosen airline stock – click ‘Open Trade’. And that’s it – you have just invested in airline stocks at 0%.

How to Buy Airline Stocks – Conclusion

Finding the best airlines stocks to buy right now can be a daunting task. After all, much of the industry is still suffering from the impact of COVID-19 and its respective influence on global lockdowns and travel restrictions. On the other hand, there are still plenty of bargains to be had – with many airline stocks trading at favorable entry levels. 

If you want to buy airline stocks right now and you know which companies best fit your investment goals – consider completing the process at regulated broker eToro. You only need to cover a $50 minimum and all stock investments are commission-free. Plus, eToro even offers airline stock ETFs – which is great for diversification purposes.

1
$50Exclusive promotion
Our score10
  • Invest in a wide range of cryptocurrencies
  • Ability to copy more experienced investors and their decisions
  • eToro crypto wallet included which makes it beginner-friendly
0% Commissionstart TradingOur score 10

FAQs

How to buy airline stocks?

Where to buy airline stocks?

What are the best airline stocks to buy right now?

Should I buy airline stocks?

How much do you need to buy airline stocks?

About Kane Pepi PRO INVESTOR

Kane Pepi writes for several high profile publications such as InsideBitcoins, the Motely Fool, and Learnbonds. Based in Malta, Kane is extremely skilled at complex subjects related to financial matters - including a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, a Master’s Degree in Financial Crime, and actively engaged in Doctorate Degree research, for the money laundering threats of the blockchain economy.