Aimia adds Air Transat, Flair Airlines to list of new Aeroplan partners

Irving Hamilton
August 9, 2018

Now they've got both Transat and Flair as partners.

"The strategic value of Aeroplan [to the bidding partners] is clearly much greater than its stand-alone value to Aimia", Mr. Mittleman wrote.

For smaller airlines, a preferred partnership arrangement offers the promise of access to Aeroplan's more than five million members.

Aimia Inc's largest shareholder, Mittleman Brothers, said on Monday a buyout offer by an Air Canada-led consortium for Aimia's Aeroplan loyalty program was undervalued.

Aimia has been adding Canadian airlines to its portfolio of partners since Air Canada announced it would form its own frequent flyer programme.

With a current price to earnings ratio of just above six times next year's earnings, Air Canada looks ridiculous when compared to almost any other company in any other industry.

The biggest change for most Canadians is probably the Transat partnership, which means travellers in Canada will be able to fly within the country on Air Transat, and also fly to popular sun destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico, as well as to Transat destinations in Europe.

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"The proposed Air Transat-Aeroplan partnership would be for our flights and holiday packages", Adamo said in an email to TravelPulse Canada.

"Our Air Miles program operates the same way today".

"Our current VIPorter members will benefit from Aeroplan's enhanced range of loyalty services, with an ability to earn and redeem points with a growing network of airlines and other brands".

The bidders, it seems, have seized on the fear that Aeroplan members will rush to redeem their miles before Air Canada's contract with Aeroplan expires in 2020, thus creating a rush of cash out the door for Aimia. It's also a good deal for Aeroplan, as are the Flair Airlines and Porter deals.

They join Toronto-based Porter Airlines as recent partners in the Aeroplan points system, which Air Canada has said it will replace with its own loyalty points program when the Aimia contract expires.

In 2017, approximately 2.7 million rewards were issued to members including 2 million flights on Air Canada and Star Alliance carriers which offer travel to more than 1,300 destinations worldwide.

Aimia CEO Jeremy Rabe said his plan aims to open up destination options for Aeroplan customers after July 2020. Miles will able to be earned from then on Flair routes and redeemed for flights at fixed-rate fares. "This partnership strengthens our value proposition, giving more people the ability to fly to their preferred destination".

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