Aeroplan Announces New Partnerships With Air Transat & Flair Airlines

Filed Under: Air Canada, Other Airlines

A couple of weeks ago we learned that Air Canada made an offer to acquire Aeroplan, which is their spun off loyalty program. For over a decade Aeroplan has been the frequent flyer program of Air Canada, though in 2020 their contract ends. The termination of the contract has led to a lot of uncertainty for the future of Aeroplan.

After the news broke I explained what Air Canada buying Aeroplan would mean for consumers, and also what Aeroplan’s independent future could look like, if Air Canada’s acquisition doesn’t happen.

Despite Air Canada raising their bid from $250 million to $325 million, Aimia didn’t accept the offer, as they want $450 million. They say that they’re still open to discussions, though.

One thing I do have to give Aeroplan credit for is the number of new things they’ve managed to announce over the past week. I don’t necessarily think there’s much substance to the announcements they’ve made, but they sound nice.

Aeroplan seems sort of like an angry ex who is posting shirtless pictures on Instagram with a big smile and lots of people with the caption “never been happier,” purely in hopes of making their ex jealous. In other words, Aeroplan is trying to do everything they can to make Air Canada have FOMO and want them more.

Aeroplan has allegedly been in “discussions” with oneworld, though I’m not sure what exactly that would look like anyway.

Since then, Aeroplan has announced a “comprehensive partnership” with Porter Airlines, which will allow Aeroplan members to earn and redeem miles on Porter starting in 2019.

Today Aeroplan has also announced new “preferred partnerships” with Air Transat and Flair Airlines as of July 2020. With these partnerships:

  • Aeroplan members will be able to earn and redeem miles for Air Transat flights and vacation packages
  • Aeroplan members will be able to earn and redeem miles for Flair Airlines flights and ancillary items at fixed-rate costs

The thing is, Aeroplan isn’t actually revealing any details about how these partnerships will work. Aeroplan keeps talking about how with the new program members will be able to fly any airline anywhere, so it seems the only thing unique here is the ability to earn miles on these airlines? And it hasn’t even been made clear what the mileage earning rates will be.

Bottom line

Aeroplan deserves credit for the amount of talk they’re doing here. I’m sure most of these announcements are reassuring to members, and also Aeroplan probably thinks this is making Air Canada a bit worried.

But the reality is that there’s very little substance to any of this. I’m not surprised that’s the case, since the program is just under two years away, but at the same time I’m not going to get excited about anything where no details have yet been announced.

I have to hand it to Aeroplan, though. They’re talking a good talk.

  1. I applaud Aeroplan for announcing 3 new partners in less than a week after they rejected AC’s low ball offer. They have also confirmed they are talking with OneWorld. Not only that but they also provided details on their award chart.

    And what has AC announced of their program? NOTHING.

    Have they revealed an award chart? Nope.

    Will they even have an award chart? Or will they do what Delta has done and go dynamic pricing for awards?

    Will they continue to charge scam-charges on their “free” tickets?

    Aeroplan is winning in the court of public opinion.

  2. So they keep forming partnerships with LCCs.
    I don’t collect miles to use them on LCCs.
    Such a useless move by Aeroplan.

  3. “Aeroplan seems sort of like an angry ex who is posting shirtless pictures on Instagram with a big smile and lots of people with the caption “never been happier,” purely in hopes of making their ex jealous.”

    I love topless women. Part of equality when women feel free to walk around topless and don’t care about men staring at their chests.

    Fight for equality!

  4. I can’t wait to find the premium cabin sweet spots on these marquee international carriers……

  5. never heard of Flair. So Aeroplan is going from a worldwide network of *A flights to…some turbo props to YTZ, vacation package flights, and ??? Not sure how that’s supposed to make AC jealous.

  6. @iv I don’t know how you think they’re winning the court of public opinion. I was worried about my AE balance before, and I’m even more worried now. This coming from an AC SE100K/MM

  7. I’m starting to think AC’s plan was to buy back Aeroplan all along…and it seems like Aeroplan knows this. They should just pay 450 m…

  8. @JL:

    Agreed. And the vast majority of us that read this blog likely don’t either. But we’re a small minority. Think of the number of people who believe an airline co-branded CC is the only way to accrue miles aside from flying. Heck, I have a close friend who puts hundreds of thousands of dollars from his construction business on a SW co-branded CC because he “can take SO MANY flights with that” then just buys J tickets outright when he and his partner travel internationally. The lack of due diligence on his part is maddening to me since he’s so smart otherwise.

  9. Who in their right mind would continue to accumulate Aeroplan miles in 2019/2020, especially from flying

    It’s now clear AC is gonna have to scramble and make something out of Nothing, given their stellar IT, this is gonna be fun.

    Sucks to those poor souls who *have* to fly AC.

  10. Clearly Aeroplan is giving AC a bit of fright and Aeroplan looks better right now. You can say they don’t have much substance to announce, but they have, in fact, said that they are trying to preserve their award charts (granted, on what carriers we don’t yet know)….but on the other hand, what is the alternative that AC is pumping? Nothing. We know nothing about their program. AC probably doesn’t even know what they want to do.

  11. Deal won’t get done even at $450M. What author doesn’t understand is how equity markets work and how the controlling shareholder of Aeroplan is not interested in Air Canada’s bullying (which it has a terrible history of doing). TD & CIBC generate $400M in profits annually from the Aeroplan partnership, yet are offering $325M? Guys, in what business does that happen?

    Like I’ve said before, and will continue saying, author is a shill for the large airlines and does piss-poor work understanding the fundamental economics of Aimia relative to the price being offered by the AC consortium.

    You may read this letter (please read it slowly and carefully so you can digest properly) to get up to speed intellectually.

  12. @ don’t make sense. Belows are what you wrote.

    – “And what has AC announced of their program? NOTHING”.
    …… why would AC release a plan details of their own if they are trying to take over Aeroplan?

    – “Have they revealed an award chart? Nope”.
    ……. same as above they are trying to take over Aeroplan

    -“Will they continue to charge scam-charges on their “free” tickets”?
    …….. Are you sure AC charges scam charge not Aeroplan? Why the exact same flight with
    Mileage Plus or other programs do not have a scam charge but with Aeroplan? Are you saying other programs absorb the charge and paying on our behalf?

  13. The question is not “does Aeroplan have an airline they are a loyalty program for”; though obviously that helps.

    It is… “will they still be able to ticket Star Alliance award flights”. I understand the easy answer may be no, they will not. But the real value add is a YES to that answer, that is what they need to find, not a partnership with Porter Air… and they understand that.

    Eventually they will sell to Air Canada and others the parent company has relations with.

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