Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

5 things to know about Aeroplan points and Air Canada

5 things to know about Aeroplan points and Air Canada

A previous version said customers would be able to carry over Aeroplan points to Air Canada's new loyalty program.

The move will see the Star Alliance member take back control of its rewards scheme, which was spun out and then sold off to become a fully independent scheme by 2008 in order to help Air Canada through hard financial straits - a situation which echoed speculation in 2014 that Qantas might do the same thing during its own troubled times.

I've booked an Air Canada flight using Aeroplan points.

Air Canada said it would launch its own loyalty program in 2020, replacing the current program, Aeroplan, sending its shares to their highest in almost 10 years.

The contract with Aimia will be in effect until June 29, 2020, and miles earned from Air Canada and Star Alliance flights will be credited to the new program after that, Air Canada said.

The airline says customers will still be allowed to purchase seats on Air Canada with their Aeroplan points after the change, but at prices that are "competitive with other third-party rewards programs".

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In a statement, Air Canada said Aeroplan will no longer be the carrier's loyalty program after its agreement with Aimia - Aeroplan's parent company - effectively ends June 30, 2020.

Like Air Canada, Aimia said Aeroplan members can earn and redeem points with the airline in the remaining three years of the partnership.

What about Star Alliance?

Air Canada's contract with Aimia Inc.

Air Canada is expected to offer more details on the new program at its annual investors' meeting on September 19.

Air Canada now knows less about its customers than many of its competitors, and unlike many airlines, it doesn't have lucrative co-branded credit card deals, since those belong to Aimia. Aeroplan has its own status program for its best customers, with three tiers - silver, black and diamond.

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Chapman added that Aeroplan may have to scramble to find a new strategy, as its offerings become more fractured without Air Canada as a major partner. Johnston said he's not anxious about those companies following Air Canada's lead. The program allows customers with points in many other loyalty programs, including American Express Reward Points, Marriott Rewards and Hilton Honors, to transfer those points to Aeroplan.

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and global airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Aeroplan will continue its program for now and revisit its future options later. Forward-looking statements are identified by the use of terms and phrases such as "preliminary", "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "plan", "predict", "project", "will", "would", and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions.

The loyalty program, called Aeroplan, is owned by an independent company called Aimia.

Any other changes at the airline?

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