Aimia (Aeroplan) Adds Two New Partners Come 2020: Air Transat & Flair

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Aimia has been adding new Aeroplan partners once its partnership with Air Canada comes to an end in less than two years in 2020 (read more here) and members lose access to Star Alliance and Air Canada award space.

Air Transat

Air Canada and its financial partners tried to buy the Aeroplan business from Aimia (read more here) but Aimia wasn’t satisfied with the price offered and signaled that they were looking amount of $450 million or higher.

Here’s the announcement of the Air Transat partnership:

TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Aimia Inc. (TSX: AIM), today announced a new preferred partnership arrangement with Air Transat, Canada’s number one holiday airline, effective July 2020. Aeroplan Miles will be earned and redeemed on all Air Transat flights and vacation packages.

“Adding Air Transat to Aeroplan come July 2020 further differentiates and significantly enhances our Aeroplan experience by bringing our members closer to their favourite sun and holiday destinations,” said Jeremy Rabe, Chief Executive Officer, Aimia. “This is an exciting step toward our goal of providing Aeroplan Members with great value when both earning and redeeming miles on travel bookings to popular holiday and transatlantic destinations.”

“We are thrilled about this agreement in principle and look forward to Air Transat, recently recognized by Skytrax as the World`s Best Leisure Airline, partnering with Aeroplan for its members’ leisure travel needs to some 60 destinations in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East,” said Joseph Adamo, Chief Distribution Officer, Transat.

Here’s the announcement of the Flair partnership:

TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2018 /CNW/ – Aimia Inc. (TSX: AIM) and Flair Airlines today announced a preferred partnership that will see Aeroplan become Flair’s loyalty program. Starting July 2020, Aeroplan Members will be able to both earn Aeroplan Miles when booking flights on Flair routes and redeem for flights at fixed-rate fares.

“The addition of Flair Airlines as a preferred partner airline further strengthens our air offering in Canada for Aeroplan Members come July 2020,” said Jeremy Rabe, Chief Executive Officer, Aimia. “In addition to providing members with the ability to fly any airline, anywhere, this relationship with Flair will give our members exceptional value for popular Western Canada routes.”

When flying with Flair Airlines, a Canadian low-fare airline, Aeroplan Members will earn Aeroplan Miles for their flight and ancillary product purchases and have the ability to redeem for Flair flights at fixed-rate fares.  The relationship with Flair Airlines will give Aeroplan Members new redemption options, particularly those travelling out of Flair’s Edmonton hub, extending from coast to coast and upcoming southern destinations.

“At Flair we provide affordable flight options for Canadians. Our arrangement with Aeroplan helps further that commitment,” said Jim Scott, CEO Flair Airlines. “Our passengers will now be rewarded for their loyalty with the ability to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles for flights. This partnership strengthens our value proposition, giving more people the ability to fly to their preferred destination.”

Conclusion

Aeroplan members would lose access to Air Canada award space but would gain Porter, Flair and Air Transat? Not sure how compelling proposition this would be. I still believe that this is more signaling from Aimia to Air Canada to offer more cash to buy the Aeroplan business than anything else.

I flew Air Transat once five years ago from Toronto to Glasgow in economy. It was an uneventful flight in economy.

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