Air Canada just acquired Aeroplan for $450 million CAD.
After back and forth, Aimia Inc. agreed to sell its frequent-flyer program Aeroplan to Air Canada for $450 million Canadian dollars (about $350 U.S. dollars).
As it happens, the deal wasn’t reached without some negotiation involved. Montreal-based Air Canada originally bid $250 million Canadian dollars, but Aimia, which currently operates Aeroplan, declined the offer. Air Canada group then increased its bid to $325 million Canadian dollars, but the offer was rejected again. Aimia made a counteroffer, which the airline accepted in the end. As part of the deal, Air Canada also will assume about $1.9 billion in points liability.
Pending shareholders’ approval, the deal is scheduled to close this fall. Meanwhile, Aimia will continue to operate Aeroplan until June 30, 2020, when the current contract expires. Originally, the airline was planning on launching a new loyalty program, but Air Canada’s acquisition of Aeroplan suggests otherwise.
“This transaction, if completed, should produce the best outcome for all stakeholders, including Aeroplan members, as it would allow for a smooth transition to Air Canada’s new loyalty program launching in 2020, safeguarding their miles and providing convenience and value for millions of Canadians on behalf of the consortium,” Air Canada’s President and CEO Calin Rovinescu said in a statement.
Although we do not know exactly how the new program shakes out, it sounds like your miles would be safe at least. You can continue to redeem them on Star Alliance partners and not worry about losing them come 2020.
What do you think of Aeroplan’s return to Air Canada?