A year after announcing that it would be ending its relationship with Aeroplan, Air Canada has announced that it is seeking to buy back this loyalty program from Aimia. The carrier and its partners are seeking to purchase Aeroplan for C$250 million and will assume liability for unredeemed points.
Air Canada has announced its plans to buy back Aeroplan. Originally begun as an in-house rewards program for Air Canada frequent flyers back in the 1980s, it evolved into a broader loyalty program and was eventually sold off to Aimia, a Montreal-based marketing and loyalty management company, in 2002.
The carrier’s intentions to take back Aeroplan were unveiled in an official statement on Wednesday, just over a year after Air Canada said that it was planning to distance itself from the program. The airline, along with its partners, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and Visa Canada Corp, are proposing to buy back Aeroplan for C$250 million ($191 million).
The Globe and Mail reports that the carrier and its partners will also, “assume a [C]$2-billion ($1.53 billion) outstanding liability on Aimia’s books for loyalty points that have not yet been redeemed, although the breakdown between the partners is unclear.”
Air Canada has been quick to address this sudden about-face in an e-mail to its frequent flyers. “Straight to the point: we heard from many customers who were excited about our plans, and would prefer to transfer their Aeroplan Miles to the new Air Canada loyalty program,” the outlet quoted the airline as saying.
It added, “Aimia is an independent company and it’s ultimately their decision to accept or reject the proposal. However, no matter the outcome, we’re committed to listening to our customers and building the best travel rewards program for Canada.”
The offer put forth by Air Canada and its partners is set to expire on August 2.