Air Canada Closes Aeroplan Purchase From Aimia

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The saga surrounding Aeroplan, Air Canada and Aimia has finally come to an end. Air Canada’s purchase of Aeroplan business from Aimia was completed today. Aeroplan program was spun off in 2005 when Air Canada was restructuring its businesses (and needed cash).

Air Canada Aeroplan Email

Air Canada is still on schedule to launch new yet unnamed program in 2020. Miles from the Aeroplan will be converted at 1:1 ratio. Above is the announcement that Air Canada has been emailing to its members.

You can access Air Canada here.

Here’s Air Canada’s press release:

Aeroplan Miles will be Honoured on One-to-One Basis in Air Canada’s New Loyalty Program when it Launches in 2020

  • Customers can continue to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles with confidence
  • Altitude Status and privileges remain unchanged for customers
  • Credit card loyalty program and network agreements finalized with TD, CIBC and Visa Canada for future participation in Air Canada’s loyalty program
  • Agreement in principle entered into with American Express for its continued participation in Air Canada’s loyalty program post 2020.

MONTREAL, Jan. 10, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada announced today the successful closing of its purchase of Aimia Canada Inc., owner and operator of the Aeroplan loyalty business, from Aimia Inc. Air Canada also confirmed that Aeroplan Members’ Miles will be honoured on a one-to-one basis in Air Canada’s new loyalty program when it launches next year, in 2020.

“Air Canada is creating an industry-leading loyalty program that aims to provide unmatched flexibility, choice and convenience for customers when it debuts in 2020. With today’s purchase of Aeroplan, we are taking a major step forward on this transformational initiative by acquiring one of Canada’s most popular loyalty programs. For many Canadians, given Aeroplan’s privileged access to Air Canada, it is the next best currency to the Canadian dollar,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.

“We are also now able to provide confirmation to Aeroplan members that their existing Aeroplan Miles will be honoured on a one-to-one basis in our new program. Finally, with today’s transaction, customers will have certainty that they can continue to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles confident that their existing Air Canada Altitude status and privileges are secure.”

Since announcing in May 2017 that it would launch its own, new loyalty program starting in 2020, Air Canada has undertaken extensive consultations with more than 30,000 customers to identify key program attributes. Customers expressed their strong preference to use their Aeroplan Miles in the new Air Canada loyalty program, expected to be the best loyalty program in the country and, based on their feedback, they can look forward to other features including:

  • The best reward value for Air Canada flights, plus, unparalleled access to travel on over 40 partner airlines, including the Star Alliance global network;
  • Canada’s best travel rewards credit cards, offered by TD, CIBC and American Express;
  • More ways to earn and redeem points for travel, upgrades, experiences, on-board product and everyday indulgences;
  • An improved experience when traveling with friends and family;
  • Everything Air Canada has to offer in one place, with a new digital experience.

For more information, Air Canada customers and Aeroplan members can consult www.aircanada.com/loyalty.

Concurrently with the conclusion of the Aeroplan purchase, Air Canada, The Toronto-Dominion Bank (“TD”), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (“CIBC”), and Visa Canada Corporation (“Visa”) finalized various commercial agreements relating to and in support of the acquisition, including credit card loyalty program and network agreements for future participation in Air Canada’s new loyalty program. In addition, Air Canada has entered into an agreement in principle with American Express Canada, which also issues Aeroplan co-branded products, to secure its continued participation in Air Canada’s loyalty program after 2020.

The aggregate purchase price for the acquisition consists of $450 million in cash plus $47 million in cash for pre-closing adjustments. The pre-closing adjustments relate to lower net liabilities assumed than projected. The purchase price is subject to post-closing adjustments and the acquisition also includes the assumption of the Aeroplan Miles liability. Air Canada received payments from TD and CIBC in the aggregate amount of $822 million. Visa also made a payment to Air Canada and assuming completion of the American Express agreement, AMEX will do likewise. In addition, TD and CIBC made payments to Aimia Canada Inc., now Air Canada’s subsidiary, in the aggregate amount of $400 million as prepayments to be applied towards future monthly payments in respect of Aeroplan Miles.

Conclusion

It is interesting to know that they value the unredeemed miles (unclear how many – must be billions) that Aeroplan business has on its books at $1.9 billion liability.

Half of Aimia’s 1,500 employees will move to Air Canada as part of the deal (not sure what the rest will do).

There really wasn’t any other way of doing this. Air Canada announced that they wouldn’t renew their deal with Aimia and would launch their own program. This lead to stock market value of Aimia crashing. Now that Aeroplan is back in house it ensure smooth transition to the new program in 2020 (better burn those miles NOW though).

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