Mystery: Can You Guess Aeroplan’s Newest Airline Partner?

Mystery: Can You Guess Aeroplan’s Newest Airline Partner?

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I literally haven’t gotten anything done in the past two hours, because I’m having way too much fun thinking about this. So please immediately stop everything you’re doing and join me!

Aeroplan teases next airline partner

Air Canada Aeroplan is my favorite frequent flyer program, largely thanks to the program having more airline partners than any other frequent flyer program. The program has just announced SunExpress as its newest airline partner, and Aeroplan has also teased that another new airline partner will be announced next week.

Aeroplan is run by avgeeks, and they gave the following clue to guess the next partner:

They serve a particular, amazing aspirational destination and are the only one serving it on a scheduled basis with jet aircraft. In fact, the aircraft they use on this route is a fleet type they added specifically to serve this market!

I’ve now spent two hours on this, and still haven’t been able to come up with an airline that meets all these requirements. Aeroplan further clarified the clues as follows:

  • This is an airport in a destination that the folks at Aeroplan consider to be aspirational
  • The airline flies jets with scheduled service, and all other scheduled operators are props
  • The airline inducted this fleet type just to serve this airport, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the airline never flies the aircraft to other markets

What airline will Aeroplan partner with?

Honestly I feel like I’ve spent the past two hours looking at every airline on earth, every aircraft delivery in recent history, etc., and I’ve come up with nothing. Zilch. Absolutely nothing. I feel like I’m probably missing something obvious, though.

I’ve considered everything from Aircalin, to Air Greenland, to Air Madagascar, to Air Tahiti Nui, to Bamboo Airways, to Bangkok Airways, to Drukair, to Fiji Airways, to Maldivian, but nothing quite checks out.

My initial guess was Air Greenland, which has one A330 that it uses to fly between Kangerlussuaq and Copenhagen, but I’m fairly certain the folks at Aeroplan aren’t considering Copenhagen an “amazing aspirational destination” (no offense), and for that matter Copenhagen Airport has plenty of jets. Similarly, Air Greenland can (and does) serve Greenland without jets, so this isn’t a case of Greenland being the “aspirational” destination.

Honestly, I’m so stumped, and I’m also having too much fun guessing. I won’t be able to get anything done until I figure this out, so I figure the best way to get to that point is to enlist the help of OMAAT readers, who collectively know everything.

Bottom line

Aeroplan will be announcing another new airline partner next week, and Aeroplan has provided some clues. Despite that, I can’t for the life of me figure out what the airline is. Thanks to the folks at Aeroplan for simultaneously bringing me such joy, and wasting so much of my time! 😉

Can anyone guess Aeroplan’s new airline partner?

Conversations (45)
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  1. Azamaraal Diamond

    Leaning toward Greenland as the aspirational destination. However Easter Island is interesting but Lantam is rather associated with others like AS so probably not going with AC as a partner.

  2. Bridget Guest

    I'm guessing and hoping that the partner is Canadian North Airlines and that it opens up flights to Inuvik, NWT. It's definitely a bucket list aspirational destination.

  3. Felix Guest

    Maybe Bangkok Airways to Koh Samui? Right now they have a monopoly here. But there used to be some flights from Singapore Airlines among others.

    Etihad Airways has recently discontinued the possibility to redeem miles on Bangkok Airways.

  4. DenB Diamond

    Bamboo? Bangkok to Phuc Quoc?

  5. Mike C Diamond

    St Helena and Đien Bien Phu certainly fit the 'aspirational' label, and on a global level (even if somewhat niche in both cases). I can't comment on the prop criterion.

  6. David Diamond

    Bamboo Airways flying the E190 to Dien Bien is the answer I believe.

  7. Michael Guest

    Azores Airlines / SATA ?

  8. Vancouver - Char Gold

    Good article! A few days ago you mentioned how Starlux and Bamboo Airways might be looking to join a global airline alliance; my guess would be Bamboo or maybe Oman Air (?)

  9. SC Guest

    Biman?

    Recently they added 787-9 and started flying to Toronto via Istanbul (Fuel stop) from Dhaka. They do have other jet aircrafts mixed with Turbos for regional and domestic flights.

  10. JH Guest

    Simple: Fiji Airways. Link : https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/fiji-airways-vancouver-nadi-direct-flight

  11. Ned Member

    Depending on the validity of certain claims (like scheduled service - is that year round or just sometimes/charters) then Aerovias DAP could be a candidate. Looks like they purchased BAe-146s for flights to TNM - King George Island in Antarctica.

  12. Brendan Guest

    Bit outside the box but Air Saint Pierre?
    https://onemileatatime.com/news/air-saint-pierre/

  13. Bobby J Guest

    Airlink to St. Helena from JNB? I would definitely consider St. Helena an aspirational destination, if only for the bragging rights of saying you've been to one of the most remote places on Earth.

    Airlink uses an E-190 and are the only ones to fly the route. South African Airways, post-bankruptcy, is a shell of itself and only has a dozen or so routes. Airlink, by contrast, is a much more useful partner for travel across southern Africa.

    1. Grogg Member

      This seems plausible to me. The Embraer 190 press release (February 2017) had a quote from the Airlink CEO saying “the E190’s ETOPS (Extended Twin Engine Operations) capability and range presents Airlink with new market opportunities to address isolated destinations that were previously beyond our reach and in some instances." Then later in 2017, Airlink won the bid to serve St. Helena.

      https://www.embraercommercialaviation.com/news/airlink-becomes-first-south-african-airline-to-fly-ejets/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Helena_Airport

      This seems plausible to me. The Embraer 190 press release (February 2017) had a quote from the Airlink CEO saying “the E190’s ETOPS (Extended Twin Engine Operations) capability and range presents Airlink with new market opportunities to address isolated destinations that were previously beyond our reach and in some instances." Then later in 2017, Airlink won the bid to serve St. Helena.

      https://www.embraercommercialaviation.com/news/airlink-becomes-first-south-african-airline-to-fly-ejets/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Helena_Airport

    2. arbitrary9 Guest

      I was thinking the same thing. HLE seems pretty aspirational to me, and AirLink seems like a more useful partner than Air Greenland, in terms of destinations covered.

    1. Robert Guest

      I think you've nailed it. To Fargo, aspirational!

  14. Ladakn99 Member

    LATAM?

    They're the only airline that serves Easter Island; I don't remember if LATAM/LAN's reasoning for their 787-9 order was to serve Easter island, though. I know their 787-8 order wasn't.

    1. Grogg Member

      I was thinking this too, but I believe (i.e., Wikipedia says) they flew to Easter Island prior to the 787. Also, I'm guessing that other airlines don't fly turboprops to Easter Island. It definitely fits the aspirational destination part though!

    2. InceptionCat New Member

      IPC is about 5-6hrs from Santiago. Turboprops can't do that trek. The 767 did the journey too. LATAM Chile uses the both 787-8 & 787-9 on the route. I flew them in August. It's not LATAM.

  15. Peter Guest

    Bicol (DRP), so Cebu?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Isaac --- What's the airport? Both Drukair and Bhutan Airlines fly jets to Paro.

  16. 305 Guest

    I think it’s Greenland and you’re just slightly more of an avgeek than they are ;)

    1. Trey Guest

      Air Greenland if you consider Nuuk as the aspirational location - not the other direction to CPH.

  17. Chan Guest

    LATAM with their service to the Easter Islands?

  18. Mick Guest

    I’m in vietnam and it’s incredible lolll. Bamboo airlines? :)

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Mick -- What would the destination only served by a jet be, though?

    2. Zach Guest

      @Ben Con Dao island (VCS). They got Embraer aircraft to fly to the island from HAN while VN Airlines only flies turboprop planes from SGN. The airport will undergo renovations so A320 aircraft can serve it in the future, but for now they can’t.

      Same for Dien Bien Phu (VN flies turboprops from HAN but Bamboo can fly from SGN as well thanks to the Embraer planes). But I don’t think DIN is the destination they’re talking about.

      VCS makes more sense in my opinion.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Mike -- What would the destination without jet service be, though?

    2. Mike Guest

      Scratch that. Didn’t read the clue properly

  19. Sco Guest

    Isn't it just Air Greenland and they are talking about Greenland being the aspirational destination with no other jets?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sco -- That's not how I read it. The clue says that the airline can only serve this "amazing aspirational destination" with a jet. Air Greenland also flies turboprops to and within Greenland.

    2. T A Guest

      But the clue doesn't say they fly nothing but jets there. It only says they are the only one flying jets there, without excluding that the same airline might also fly props there.

    3. Sco Guest

      It doesn't say they can only serve it with a jet, it says they are the only ones serving it with a jet. And then the market they are serving with it is the Greenland-mainland Denmark market.

      Although if you wanted to be a stickler, I'm not sure that I'd consider Kangerlussuaq itself to be an "amazing aspirational destination" as its mostly just a layover to get to Ilulisat or Nuuk or somewhere else.

    4. Sam Guest

      Ben you're misreading the clue. It doesn't say they can ONLY serve it with a jet. It says they are the only ones who CHOOSE to serve it with a jet but it can still be served with a prop. The answer is 100% Air Greenland, with Greenland being the aspirational destination.

    5. Alvin | YTHK Diamond

      I agree that it's likely to be Air Greenland, mainly for the reason that they're not "serving" the market – at least to non-Greenlandics, which would make up probably a vast majority of guessers – when they operate flights within Greenland (I wouldn't put all my weight on the technical accuracy of the hints). I stand to be corrected, though.

  20. 23H Guest

    Something out of Bangkok does make sense given their new route there - but Pari has jet service from both Bhutan Airways and Druk Air.

  21. 23H Guest

    Yeah but Greenland is aspirational… that could be it.

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Grogg Member

This seems plausible to me. The Embraer 190 press release (February 2017) had a quote from the Airlink CEO saying “the E190’s ETOPS (Extended Twin Engine Operations) capability and range presents Airlink with new market opportunities to address isolated destinations that were previously beyond our reach and in some instances." Then later in 2017, Airlink won the bid to serve St. Helena. https://www.embraercommercialaviation.com/news/airlink-becomes-first-south-african-airline-to-fly-ejets/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Helena_Airport

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Bobby J Guest

Airlink to St. Helena from JNB? I would definitely consider St. Helena an aspirational destination, if only for the bragging rights of saying you've been to one of the most remote places on Earth. Airlink uses an E-190 and are the only ones to fly the route. South African Airways, post-bankruptcy, is a shell of itself and only has a dozen or so routes. Airlink, by contrast, is a much more useful partner for travel across southern Africa.

1
23H Guest

Something out of Bangkok does make sense given their new route there - but Pari has jet service from both Bhutan Airways and Druk Air.

1
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