Skift Take

After a year of uncertainty, frequent flyers on Air Canada ended up almost right where they started at the beginning of the century: with the airline independently owning and operating Aeroplan.

Series: Business of Loyalty

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The Skift Business of Loyalty covers the world of hotel, airline, and other consumer loyalty programs in the travel industry. Read more coverage of loyalty here.

Members of Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program have been through a roller-coaster year. For over a decade, Aeroplan was run as a separate business apart from Air Canada. Last year, however, Air Canada decided that it wanted to run and monetize its own loyalty program — so it announced a split from Aimia, Aeroplan’s operator.

Aimia had gone so far as to build out new incentives and a future for Aeroplan on its own, until Air Canada suddenly showed up and decided to outright buy the program.

Now, after a protracted negotiation and integration, that process appears to be complete. On Jan. 10, Air Canada announced that the acquisition of Aeroplan was wrapped up and that the future of the airline’s loyalty program was secure.

A big priority in the process has been to keep the transition seamless for Aeroplan members as they leave management under Aimia and switch to the in-house team. And to its credit, Air Canada seems to have guaranteed that for frequent flyers on the airline by outright buying the program. That should be a relief for most passengers on the airline — though there’s still a lot of time left in 2019 for Aeroplan to go sideways.

— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor

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Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.


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Tags: Aeroplan, air canada, frequent flyer programs

Photo credit: Air Canada B787-9 in Vancouver. Members of Air Canada's Aeroplan loyalty program have been through a roller-coaster year. Air Canada

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