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Air Canada and its partners confirm Aeroplan buyout

Air Canada has announced that it has reached a definitive agreement with AIMIA to acquire the Aeroplan program.

Final agreement for Air Canada to acquire Aeroplan

Here are the key points of the agreement according to Air Canada:

These agreements are key steps in the realization of Air Canada’s new loyalty program in 2020.

  • Air Canada enters into a definitive share purchase agreement with Aimia Inc. to acquire the Aeroplan loyalty program
  • Air Canada, TD Bank, CIBC and Visa enter into network and credit card loyalty program agreements for future participation in new Air Canada loyalty program
  • These agreements will allow Aeroplan members to continue to earn and redeem miles with confidence

Agreements with TD, CIBC, Visa…and American Express?

Here are the highlights of the press release on the partners involved:

In conjunction with the share purchase agreement, Air Canada, TD Bank, CIBC and Visa signed various commercial agreements related to this acquisition, including network and credit card loyalty program agreements for future participation in the new Air Canada loyalty program. These agreements will all become effective upon the execution of the Aimia Canada acquisition agreement. In addition, Air Canada continues to negotiate with American Express, which also issues Aeroplan co-branded products, to maintain its participation in the program beyond 2020.

It is interesting to see that the negotiation continues on the side of American Express which still provides “Aeroplan” cards.

We remind you that American Express had signed an agreement until 29/06/2020 for the transfer of bonus points to Aeroplan.

The date of acquisition of Aeroplan

It had been mentioned the fall of 2018. Instead, it will be the beginning of 2019.

The acquisition agreement is expected to be signed in January 2019.

We hope that the current Aeroplan rules will remain in effect until the end of June 2020, while Air Canada sets up its own program, into which Aeroplan members will be transferred…along with their miles.

Financial details of the Aeroplan acquisition

Here are the details from the Air Canada press release:

The aggregate purchase price includes $450 million in cash and the assumption of a liability of approximately $1.9 billion in Aeroplan miles, subject to certain post-signing adjustments. Air Canadawill receive financial support from TD Bank and CIBC totalling $822 million. Visa will also provide financial support to Air Canada. In addition, upon completion of the agreements, TD Bank and CIBC will provide Air Canada with $400 million in advance payments applicable to monthly Aeroplan mileage payments.

This is a great commitment by TD, CIBC and Visa to ensure their exclusive access to the 2020 Air Canada program.

TD Announcement

TD, through Katy Boshart – Head of Canadian Credit Cards – has issued the following statement to its Aeroplan credit cardholders:

I am pleased to write to you today to inform you that we have reached a long-term agreement with Air Canada to be the primary credit card issuer for the new Air Canada loyalty program when it launches in 2020.

With this agreement, we are delighted to have taken this important step to ensure stability, continuity and long-term value for millions of Canadians, including you, our TD Aeroplan customers. We think you’ll be pleased with the benefits and choice Air Canada’s new loyalty program will provide to meet your travel needs, and you can continue to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles as you do today. Your existing Aeroplan Miles will be transferred to the new Air Canada loyalty program in 20201.

Aeroplan Frequently Asked Questions

Aeroplan has published an FAQ on the transaction:

What will happen to my miles?

While more information about the future of Aeroplan is forthcoming, there are no immediate changes to your Aeroplan Miles. The miles belong to you and remain in your account. You can continue to earn and redeem your Aeroplan Miles as usual. If the deal goes through, all of your Aeroplan miles will be transferable to Air Canada’s new frequent flyer program in 2020.

When will the agreement be finalized?

The transaction is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. Subject to these approvals, the transaction is expected to close in January 2019.

How does this affect other partnerships that have been recently announced with non-Star Alliance partners?

More information about the future of Aeroplan is forthcoming. In the meantime, there are no immediate changes to your Aeroplan Miles. You can continue to earn and redeem your Aeroplan Miles as usual.

What happens if the agreement does not receive Aimia shareholder approvals?

Just like today, you can continue to earn and redeem your Aeroplan Miles as usual.

I am an Aeroplan credit card holder. Do I need to get another credit card?

No changes are made to your credit card. Air Canada has signed new agreements with Aeroplan’s credit card partners that will allow you to enjoy great credit card benefits now and in the future.

What if I have an American Express card?

Air Canada is continuing discussions with American Express, which also issues Aeroplan co-branded products, to ensure their continued participation in the Aeroplan program beyond 2020.

Does this mean that Air Canada is rejoining the Aeroplan loyalty program?

Air Canada is an Aeroplan partner today and will be until 2020. You can continue to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles with Air Canada and Star Alliance. If the acquisition is approved by Aimia’s shareholders, and if the deal goes through, all of your Aeroplan miles will be transferable to the new Air Canada loyalty program in 2020.

Will you keep me informed of any developments?

We are fully committed to keeping you informed of any developments regarding Aeroplan. Please check for updates here.

What if I have more questions?

You can consult the press release published today here. We will also continue to keep members informed through emails and publications on www.aeroplan.com. Please check back regularly for updates

Bottom Line

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in terms of customer acquisition…and therefore welcome bonuses!

And especially to have more concrete announcements concerning the future program of Air Canada…of which we know absolutely nothing at the moment.

Read Aeroplan’s press release.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Jean-Maximilien
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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