Air Canada reacquires Aeroplan, new loyalty program launching in 2020

Aeroplan was launched in 1984 and was spun off as an independent entity in 2002

Air Canada plane

After almost 17 years of independence, the Aeroplan loyalty program is officially part of Air Canada once again.

According to a January 10th, 2019 email sent to a MobileSyrup Aeroplan account, Canada’s flag carrier airline is currently in the process of informing Aeroplan customers that the airline has formally reacquired the loyalty program it established in 1984.

The email provides customers with a “short preview of the future,” explaining that Air Canada will honour Aeroplan miles on a one-to-one basis when the airline’s new loyalty program launches in 2020.

“I’m delighted to let you know that our acquisition of the Aeroplan Program — concluded earlier today — will allow for all of your Aeroplan Miles to be honoured on a one-to-one basis in our new loyalty program when it launches next year, in 2020,” reads an excerpt from the same January 10th email, signed by Air Canada vice president of loyalty and e-commerce Mark Nasr.

A January 10th, 2019 Air Canada media release adds that TD Bank, CIBC and Visa Canada have all finalized commercial agreements in support of the acquisition.

Air Canada also reported that it had entered into an agreement with American Express Canada to ensure Amex’s participation in the airline’s upcoming loyalty program.

“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,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO of Air Canada, in the same January 10th media release.

“For many Canadians, given Aeroplan’s privileged access to Air Canada, it is the next best currency to the Canadian dollar.”

Air Canada launched the Aeroplan program in 1984, eventually spinning off the company as an independent entity in 2002.

In 2017, Air Canada announced plans to launch a new loyalty program to replace its partnership with Aeroplan-parent company Aimia in 2020.

In July 2018, however, a consortium led by Air Canada submitted a $2.25 billion takeover bid proposal to Aimia, which was subsequently rejected in August 2018.

Aimia’s board of directors ultimately unanimously approved Air Canada’s bid a few weeks later, agreeing to a $2.35 billion takeover.

In December 2018, Air Canada confirmed that its Aeroplan re-acquisition had cleared the necessary regulatory hurdles, explaining that the takeover was dependent on Aimia shareholder approval.

A special meeting was scheduled for January 8th, 2019, and as of today, it appears that Aimia’s shareholders have approved of the deal.

Source: Air Canada