Not In Town | @notintownlive | 12 May 2017
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline, serving more than 200 airports in six continents.
Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world.
The airlines in a statement released on Thursday declared that effective June 30, 2020, Aeroplan will no longer be the loyalty program for Air Canada.
Aeroplan has been independently owned and operated by Aimia for almost a decade.
"By operating its own loyalty program, Air Canada will be better able to strengthen its customer relationships and deliver a more consistent end-to-end customer experience," the statement read.
Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada’s President and CEO in his statement on the new loyalty program said, "Our relationship with our more than 45 million customers sits at the core of Air Canada's ongoing transformation as we continue to grow our business beyond the 200 destinations that we already serve, and work to become a global champion."
He further added that the decision is the right one for Air Canada’s customers, their employees and shareholders.
Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines of Air Canada, said, “The new program, launching in 2020 will offer additional for Air Canada customers.”
Smith also highlighted that there will be earning and redemption opportunities, more personalised service and a better digital experience in the new program.
"Similar to all of Air Canada's North American peers, by managing our own loyalty program, we will be able to take better care of our customers by making decisions in real time that address specific needs," Smith added.
"We're excited to take this next step that delivers on our promise for continued investments in the customer experience," he said.
The airline’s report further stated that in the past decade, Air Canada has invested $10 billion to renew its fleet with the most technologically-capable aircraft, and to elevate its product offering, including all-new seats, Wi-Fi connectivity, expanded and renovated Maple Leaf Lounges, increased digital capabilities and updated branding comprised of a new livery, new uniforms and much more to improve the travel experience.
In the next three years, Air Canada's exclusive contract with Aimia remains in effect until its June 29, 2020 expiration date.
Until then, Air Canada will work closely with Aimia with the objective of providing consistent service for Aeroplan members.
The Aeroplan members during this period will continue to earn and redeem miles in accordance with the Aeroplan program which means, before the launch of new program in June 2020, members will be able to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles for Aeroplan Rewards, including flights with Air Canada and their Star Alliance partners in accordance with the Aeroplan program.
After June 2020, miles earned from Air Canada and Star Alliance flights will be credited to the new program, with customers able to redeem those miles for rewards including Air Canada and Star Alliance partner flights.
Aeroplan miles earned up to June 2020 will stay in Aeroplan members' accounts, and will continue to be subject to the conditions of their program.
Meanwhile, the airline's most frequent flyers will continue to enjoy Air Canada Altitude status recognition and its associated range of travel privileges, based on their annual flight activities with Air Canada and the Star Alliance member airlines.
The Million Mile program qualification activity and status will also be honoured in the new program, the airline stated.
Air Canada believes there new loyalty program will be focused on improved rewards and recognition for the airline's customers, and will provide Air Canada and its business partners, Star Alliance member and others, with significant growth opportunities.
The airline is expected to provide more at its Investor Day on September 19, 2017, concerning the financial benefits expected to be realized, as well as the transitional costs.
It is also targeting the net present value of the program repatriation over a 15-year period to exceed $2 billion.
(Reporting Suman Das)
Photo: Air Canada Facebook
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